Everyone, at one point or another, has probably considered taking medication that is past its expiration date, but not everyone knows the potential risks posed by old prescriptions. Even if the bottle says it lasts until February and it’s now March, it’s not wise or healthy to continue taking medication once it is expired. For starters, medication loses its effectiveness once it passes its predetermined shelf-life. That means that expired prescriptions may not work as well once they’re expired, and people may be fooled into thinking they can safely go to work or school after having taken the medicine.
They may expect it to “kick in” later, when in reality, it has become too deteriorated to produce the same effect. Secondly, expired medication can actually have serious health implications, depending on their chemical make-up. In some cases, these expired drugs will undergo a change in physical or chemical properties, making them unsafe to continue ingesting. It’s always better to be cautious and get a new prescription than risk taking the old one. In the best interest of your health, be sure to check the printed expiration date before taking any medication. Also, consult with your pharmacist about the proper way to dispose of expired pills so you can keep the environment – as well as your own body – healthy.