do you have to follow the expiry dates to the letter?

However, it may happen that you find yourself in a situation where you cannot replace your expired medicines with newer ones. Shortage of the molecule or forgetting during a trip… What to do? “When there are no other solutions, medicines that have passed their expiry date can be effective”, assures the Society of Pneumology of French Language, which is based on several scientific works. “Many solid forms stored under reasonable conditions and in their original, undamaged packaging retain 90% or more of their potency for at least 5 years after the expiration date listed on the packaging,” she notes. Solutions and suspensions are more unstable.

How can this stability be explained? If the active ingredient of any drug is intended to degrade gradually, regardless of the packaging, “the expiry date – 3 to 5 years after the manufacture of the drug – is set by the manufacturer himself who, in general, exercise great caution,” notes the Foundation for Medical Research. Thus, “in reality, we observe a very slight degradation of the active ingredient content of the tablets”, she abounds.

As a precaution, however, avoid exceeding this date as much as possible. And in any case, never throw your medication, expired or not, in the trash or in the toilet.

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