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What Does the Expiration Date on Your Medication Really Mean?

medication expiration dates

Story at-a-glance -

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration began requiring prescription medication be labeled with expiration dates in 1979. Expired drugs account for 25 percent of annual health care costs in the U.S.
  • Analysis of 30-year-old medication demonstrates that up to 86 percent of the compounds remained potent, suggesting further testing may lead to longer expiration dates
  • The best and most effective way of reducing your health care costs, and the cost to the environment of discarded medication, is to reduce your dependence on drugs through lifestyle changes

By Dr. Mercola

In 1979, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required drug companies to publish expiration dates on the drugs they produce. Prior to that, after drugs were sold, people used them until they felt it was time to dispose of them. As you're likely well aware, I'm not a fan of using prescriptions drugs for just about any reason.


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