Currently, some people have good habits of paying attention to expiry dates when they buy drugs. They refuse to purchase drugs if its use period is going to expire and thus it cannot be stored at home for a long period of time as expected. However, quite a few people still take no notice of expiry dates of drugs.
Be careful with out-of-date drugs
In fact, many people store big bottles of tonics containing vitamins and minerals with hundreds of tablets. After using such bottles for a period, they stop taking. At that time, there are still so many tablets in the bottle and they store remaining drugs for future usage. When they intend to improve their health, they find such stored tonics but their expiry date is over. However, some people continue to use such expired drugs because the cover and color of drugs remains polish and bright and they think that no problem will happen. Meanwhile, many people will get surprised when it comes to their knowledge that opened eye drop bottles are allowed to use within a short period of time only, not until their expiry dates.
The expiry date is defined as the use period fixed for a batch of medicine after which medicine will lose its effectiveness. For example, the expiry date of medicine is June 30, 2010, that is users should use it from the time of purchase to June 30, 2010 and from July 01, 2010 onwards, the medicine is invalid.
As prescribed by our pharmaceutical laws, labels of drugs circulated in the market are required to be recorded with some contents including expiry dates (in addition to registration number, batch number, and manufacture date). If there is no expiry date recorded on the label of medicine, it will be considered as counterfeit medicine. It is also provided that purchase, sale and use of out-of-date drugs are unlawful.
It should be noted that expired drugs will lose their necessary features as registered in accordance with quality standards, though there is no change in the appearance of the drugs. Many people think that there will be no problem when using just-out-of-date
drugs. Therefore, they continue using for not wasting. But they may face with series of risks. Expired drugs not only reduce or lose their effectiveness but may cause harmful effects as well. Typically, tetracyclin, an antibiotic, will exert harmful impacts on kidneys
if used after the expiry date.
Elements related to the stability of medicine
Some elements related to the stability of medicine include temperature, moisture, sunlight, etc. Therefore, we should not only comply with the expiry date but also pay attention to the storage and keeping of drugs in good conditions in order to ensure the
lifetime and expiry date of drugs. It is advised to keep drugs closed in a cool place and at low temperature and avoid exposure to sunlight in order to maintain the quality of drug.
Drugs with two expiry dates
Some drugs have two expiry dates. They are not single-dose drugs and can be used more than once. Eye drop is an example. In addition to the expiry date recorded on the package, box and label (this date is only taken account of when the drug is closed), we
should take notice of another expiry date when we open the eye drop bottle for use. When the eye drop bottle is opened, the expiry date recorded on the label is insignificant. We should throw away it after 15 days of use because being used for so many times, the eye
drop may be bacterially contaminated and mouldy. That is why we have to throw away unexpired drugs in some cases.