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Are Outdated Prescriptions Safe to Consume?

Judie Rappaport
July 22, 2014

Dear Judie,


I opened Mom’s medicine cabinet and found prescriptions that expired as far back as 1999! I tried discarding them, but she stopped me by saying her doctor told her to keep taking them because he was out of prescription pads. Do you think that’s true?

- Donna, Ft. Pierce


Dear Donna, 


No. Like food, outdated drugs can be dangerous and harmful. Would mom eat a sandwich that was eight years old? At best, the chemicals in outdated medications can lose their potency, denying your mom the treatment she needs. At worst, they may be dangerous and injure her. The rules are simple: visit your medicine cabinet at least every six months and discard outdated medications. When in doubt, ask your pharmacist. Ask mom’s doctor to request that she bring all her medications with her on her next visit. He will discard them. Unfortunately many people cannot afford medications or believe they can save money by using expired prescriptions. Make certain your mother can afford the new medications he prescribes for her.



Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©


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