The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Discussions of the best (or worst) equipment to have on hand for use in the event of an injury during an emergency.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 11934
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Bouncing in to Graceland

The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by Stercutus » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:34 pm

Does anyone have a table or other resources showing what the real shelf life of OTC meds are?
"Big Thanks - I promise to advance your agenda within the secret and omnipotent councils of the Trilateral Commission"

“No-one likes us, we don’t care.”

User avatar
NoAm
ZS Chapter Volunteer
ZS Chapter Volunteer
Posts: 4798
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:34 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Contagion, Carriers, Zombieland, Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Resident Evil (s), 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later
Location: WNC Mountains
Contact:

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by NoAm » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:46 pm

We were at a prepping seminar and a Dr. there said one year after the expiration date is usually a definite safe bet for pills. She did STRONGLY warn though to be careful of ANYTHING with accelerator pumps, like inhalers (Primatene Mist, etc.) the medicine might be fine, but the chemical used for the accelerant can expire and cause damage to your lungs (don't know if that is the right word or not, but I am sure you know what I mean). She used some expired Asthma inhaler medicine and wound up burning her lungs because the chemicals went bad, not the medicine.
ZSC025 President
Check out this months newsletter To see how to save on food storage
ZS Chapter VolunteerHave questions about starting a chapter?●Want to find other ZS members in your area? Looking for other ZS members to start a chapter with? Check here first New Chapter Coordination Questions or email us at [url=mailto://chapters@zombiehunters.org]chapters@zombiehunters.org[/url]

User avatar
The Highwayman
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 4393
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:46 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Resident Evil series
Location: North Central FL

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by The Highwayman » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:58 pm

There is no definitive way to determine the shelf life. There are just too many factors, including what types of meds, were the meds in their original packaging, were the stored in a cool, dry place, where they exposed to sunlight, etc., etc., etc.

Best bet is to keep OTC meds in original packaging (as long as possible) or similar airtight container, in a cool, dry, place out of sunlight. Even then,using something past 6 months or so over due-date is pushing it, IMO.
Join ZS:17- FL


RIP Hk33k

Paragon
* * *
Posts: 752
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:06 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by Paragon » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:08 am

The Highwayman wrote:Even then,using something past 6 months or so over due-date is pushing it, IMO.
The FDA has required all drug manufacturers to include expiration dates on their packaging since 1979. A 1985 study conducted by the FDA for the US Air Force concluded that the expiration dates specified by most manuafacturers were intentionally conservative, and that approximately 80% of all OTC and Rx medications tested remained safe and effective three years past the expiration date.

Other than precipitates forming in some IV fluids and reports of Fanconi Syndrome linked to the pH buffer originally used in tetracycline back in the 1960's, I'm not aware of any medications actually becoming toxic, rather some merely lose their efficacy over time.

Proper storage, as described by TH above, is a key factor.

Jim

Liff
* * * * *
Posts: 1330
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:50 pm

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by Liff » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:36 pm

http://www.associatedcontent.com/articl ... tions.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Imagine if you will, there is a drug study is going on. In this study the organizers of the study are going to give you a substance which may or may not be toxic, then not monitor you at all, and there will be no follow up. Also, you will get paid zero dollars for participating in this study. If you want to enroll, all you have to do is to take expired medicines. I wont stop you, you are an adult and responsible for your actions. Good luck.

On a serious note, almost all medicines will go far past their expiration date, or fall far short of it. Medicine is just like milk. If you left the jug on the counter instead of the refrigerator, the milk will probably last less time than the printed expiration date. In the freezer, that jug of milk will last longer then in the fridge.

If you want tablet medicine to last a longer time; cold, dark, and dry come to my mind. But seriously, this side of the PAW, go buy new ones.

User avatar
AZMedic
* * * * *
Posts: 3344
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 3:36 pm
Location: Arizona, USA

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by AZMedic » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:55 am

My service pulls drugs 3 months prior to experiation due to the excessive heat in AZ.

They are supposed to be fine with a 1 year buffer for certain reasons I have heard as rumors like a Katrina event but nationwide and such.

Some expired meds get sent to third world countries.....
Take Action.
I am a Paramedic.
ZS Arizona Chapter 18: Officer

Front Offensive Line of SpamWar 6/10:Axis of Oxycontin8878 I was a warrior.
Rush2112 wrote:
the_alias wrote:
AZMedic wrote:'86 damn almost missed this cutoff. I remember baywatch ya then I became a lifeguard and was like wtf this isn't the same......
I honestly thought you were around 45 + :lol:
He's crotchety enough.

User avatar
Ad'lan
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 5731
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:45 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shawn of the Dead
Rabid (1977)
Location: Hampshire

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by Ad'lan » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:25 am

The Major problem you would have with medicine is not it becomming dangerous, but it becomming less and less effective, at an unknown rate. So saftey limits might not be known. if for example, you were using paracetamol OTC tablets, and you reckond they were only working half as well as they should, normal dosage isn't helping, you might take double doses, and do some liver damage, because you can't determine it's strength and so forth.

I just keep a rotating stock of Medicine, use up the old stuff and store the new stuff I buy.
My Guide to making your own Bowstring
My Guide to making your own Flint Arrowheads
My Guide to Fletching
My Guide to Primitive Fletching
Cymro wrote:Seriously, I'm not sure I'd fuck with Ad'lan if he had his bow with him. I just don't see that ending well.
Please Check out my PAW Story, Fagin

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 11934
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Bouncing in to Graceland

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by Stercutus » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:02 am

Perhaps I should buy less then? The motrin's and allergy meds get used up a good rate but some of them just sit there and I end up tossing out a new bottle of whatever after 3 years. As much as I like being prepared I hate waste even more.
"Big Thanks - I promise to advance your agenda within the secret and omnipotent councils of the Trilateral Commission"

“No-one likes us, we don’t care.”

User avatar
AZMedic
* * * * *
Posts: 3344
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 3:36 pm
Location: Arizona, USA

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by AZMedic » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:40 pm

For OTC meds I have a big bottle from the big box stores then I just buy a few little ones for the car and such.
Take Action.
I am a Paramedic.
ZS Arizona Chapter 18: Officer

Front Offensive Line of SpamWar 6/10:Axis of Oxycontin8878 I was a warrior.
Rush2112 wrote:
the_alias wrote:
AZMedic wrote:'86 damn almost missed this cutoff. I remember baywatch ya then I became a lifeguard and was like wtf this isn't the same......
I honestly thought you were around 45 + :lol:
He's crotchety enough.

User avatar
Real_Ale_Act
* * * * *
Posts: 1828
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:34 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: I like the PAW ones better!
Location: on the Mokelumne River, CA.

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by Real_Ale_Act » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:57 pm

Blacksmith wrote:Perhaps I should buy less then? The motrin's and allergy meds get used up a good rate but some of them just sit there and I end up tossing out a new bottle of whatever after 3 years. As much as I like being prepared I hate waste even more.
While it doesn't make sense to buy in bulk to save money if you don't use in bulk and wind up Wasting the excess, think on it this way: say the 24 count bottle is 5.99 (0.25 per used pill if you use 'em all) and the 100 count bottle is 9.99 (.10 per used pill if you use 'em all) You may wind up throwing away half of them at the end of three years, but your per used pill cost is .20, which is still a savings. (your math may vary)

Also, another way to put it, is it worth the extra $4 to have the assurance that there will always, but always, be an Immodium in the house if you need one?
“Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty, well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming ... WOW! What a ride!”
Suizen wrote: (damned to hell reason and logic... who needs it?! PANIC SQUAD!!! UNITE!)
Chapter XV: ZS, California-Style

Paragon
* * *
Posts: 752
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:06 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by Paragon » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:05 pm

I hate throwing out unused meds as much as anyone, perhaps even more when you consider what the annual expired meds/supplies cost is for just my STOMP II. The thought of what I'd probably be willing to part with in exchange for a bottle of aspirin, Benadryl, suture kit, or an IV bag of NS a couple of years into the PAW is enough to make me stop sniveling about the costs.

Jim

User avatar
BobtheBreaker
* * * * *
Posts: 3474
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:27 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: DotD 04
LotD
Resident Evil
Evil Dead Trilogy?
Location: Sandy Eggo, KA

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by BobtheBreaker » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:20 pm

I feel you on the whole unused medicine expense. My classic example of this is Aspirin: I dont use Aspirin for anything but I need to keep a small amount around for my kits...so I cheat and hit to local bodega and buy a couple unitized doses for like a buck and call it a day. For other stuff which I use very little of its mostly about gaining the experience to buy "just enough".
.22LR/.357/Cheese Cake/SAK/Grey Wire
If you can't laugh at yourself, you're in trouble.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast

Security Guard/Wilderness First Aid/CPR for the Professional/HAM Technician

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 11934
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Bouncing in to Graceland

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by Stercutus » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:09 pm

Aspirin is actually pretty easy, they almost always have it at the dollar store for... a dollar. Other stuff can be a bit more however.
"Big Thanks - I promise to advance your agenda within the secret and omnipotent councils of the Trilateral Commission"

“No-one likes us, we don’t care.”

LowKey
* * * * *
Posts: 4793
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:32 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Night of the Dead (original and remake)
Dawn of the Dead (original and remake)
Land of the Dead
Diary of the Dead
28 Days
28 Weeks
Resident Evil
Shawn of the Dead
Night of the Comet (cheese squared!)
Dead Alive (cheese cubed!!)
Location: In the Middle East, for my sins.

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by LowKey » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:13 pm

Apologies for Necro- ing this thread, but I was searching for any threads on the shelf life of medical supplies (non-meds) and this popped up.
Just so anyone surfing through this later on knows, the DOD and FDA have been running SLEP (Shelf Life Extension Program) wherein the military sends a sample from a batch of meds that has been in storage long past it's printed expiration date to the FDA and it is tested to see if the compound retains at least 90% of it's effectiveness. According to the study a large number of meds are effective WAY past the expiration date given my the manufacturer.
Use google, find the study, read, and use your judgement.

As an example, Doxycycline Hyclate which has (according to the manufacturer) a shelf life of 24 months has found to last on average 74 months (minimum extension 37 mo, maximum 66 mo). So on average it's been found to be effective after 6 years....not the 2 years on the package.
If I were to be considering using old Doxycycline I'd not expect to get the max extended shelf life, nor would I expect the average. I'd be thinking about the minimum extened shelf life.
All this assumes you've done a good job of keeping the meds in a cool, dark place with low humidity.

YMMV :awesome:
“Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” Robert A. Heinlein

User avatar
ineffableone
* * * * *
Posts: 3557
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:15 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Undead, Dead Alive/Braindead, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, 28 days, 28 Weeks Later, I Am Legend, Resident Evil franchise, Serenity (I would call Revers pretty damn zombie), Versus, Black Sheep
Location: Back in the Pac Northwet

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by ineffableone » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:53 am

Yep there is actually a big list the military compiled of drugs that can last years past their stated shelf life. Even a list of how the potency drops over even longer times. Problem is you have to have military clearance to see this list. They have an agreement with the FDA not to disclose the results. I have heard from a few people who served in the military who have seen the list, and they have said it is quite shocking how many drugs are thrown away that could be kept much longer than the date printed on them.

That said, there was one thing I learned about that absolutely should not be used past the expiration and could actually turn to poison shortly after the expiration date. That is water purification tablets. I honestly think a lot of people who think they are prepared might end up dead from old water purification tablets. I know many folks who don't think to check the dates on them but rely heavily on water purification tablets for their bug out preps.

There is of course the famous Patriot Nurse video on this subject.



SkinnyMedic also got in on the topic too.

\

And there are plenty of other videos and articles out there. But I have3 yet to see an actual list. Sure would be nice though to have one.
"Once a man has seen society's black underbelly, he can never turn his back on it. Never pretend, like you do, that it doesn't exist"

"None of you seem to understand. I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with ME!"


ZS Wiki ZS Acronyms

Gun Self Defense Counter

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 11934
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Bouncing in to Graceland

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by Stercutus » Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:38 am

I had hear rumor of this list four years ago when I asked the question but have yet to come across it. Still like to see it. Wikileaks anyone?

:lol:
"Big Thanks - I promise to advance your agenda within the secret and omnipotent councils of the Trilateral Commission"

“No-one likes us, we don’t care.”

User avatar
fred.greek
* *
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:29 pm

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by fred.greek » Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:31 pm

latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-expired-drugs-still-work-study-20121008,0,6591417.story
************
The LA Times online had an article reporting researchers tested the effectiveness of eight drugs that had been sitting around, unopened, in pharmacies a full 28 to 40 years past their official expiration dates.
http://www.latimes.com/health/boostersh ... 1417.story
Out of the 14 active ingredients, 12 were still at high enough concentration – 90% of the amount stated on the label – to qualify as having “acceptable potency,” the researchers found. These included:
Acetaminophen, Codeine, Hydrocodone, Phenacetin, Caffeine, Chlorpheniramine, Pentobarbital, Butalbital, Secobarbital, Phenobarbital, Meprobamate, Methaqualone., The only active ingredients that missed the 90% cutoff were aspirin and the stimulant amphetamine.
The article mentions that the federal Shelf-Life Extension Program allows drugs in federal stockpiles to be retained for up to 278 months after their stated expiration date

User avatar
ineffableone
* * * * *
Posts: 3557
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:15 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Undead, Dead Alive/Braindead, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, 28 days, 28 Weeks Later, I Am Legend, Resident Evil franchise, Serenity (I would call Revers pretty damn zombie), Versus, Black Sheep
Location: Back in the Pac Northwet

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by ineffableone » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:46 pm

Stercutus wrote:I had hear rumor of this list four years ago when I asked the question but have yet to come across it. Still like to see it. Wikileaks anyone?

:lol:
Here is the portal to see it, but you need the right username and password to get access.

https://slep.dmsbfda.army.mil/portal/pa ... /SLEP_HOME

While not the actual list, this is the most detailed offical document about it that I have found access to.

http://www.astho.org/Programs/Preparedn ... act-Sheet/

I sure as hell would love to see the actual list and how much longer things last past the expiration, but so far Snowden and Assange haven't given it to us.
"Once a man has seen society's black underbelly, he can never turn his back on it. Never pretend, like you do, that it doesn't exist"

"None of you seem to understand. I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with ME!"


ZS Wiki ZS Acronyms

Gun Self Defense Counter

CrossCut
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:32 am

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by CrossCut » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:51 am

Submitted a FOIA request for the info almost exactly one year ago, the FDA contacted me about last December, by phone, and said (even with just the summary info I had requested) that the request would likely run into the many thousands of dollars in research ($80 hourly rate) fees and printing costs. I had put a $100 limit on my request.

Shortly after, I submitted a new FOIA to them for only one drug, erythromycin, and asking only for the summary information on the most recent test results for that specific drug. The same woman from the FDA contacted me again, and advised me this request could likely run upwards of a $1,000 dollars or so, and asking if I was willing to raise my limit above the $100. No. I asked about getting the fee waived, unlikely she said. I pressed on the specifics on why it was so much when I could probably write a SQL query in 10 mins to get the info out of their database if I had the schema/column layout of it - she didn't have an answer. She then asked that, since I was unwilling to raise the limit, could she cancel my FOIA. I said no.

Snowden - please help!

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=108176&p=2412807&

Edit:
Strength in numbers maybe? File your own FOIA request for the SLEP results here: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/f ... stform.cfm
Last edited by CrossCut on Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

IANMCDEVITT
* * * *
Posts: 826
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:13 pm

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by IANMCDEVITT » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:58 am

The vast majority of things last surprisingly longer than you think. I know because I've been issued expired things for the last 6 years of work and still use them. They want you to throw shit out so you have to buy it again FROM THEM.

User avatar
TAB
* *
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:00 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: God has no favorites, why should I? There are so many, and so many different types of zombies, but here are some great ones that come to mind: "Evil Dead", "Re-animator", "Versus", and of course "Night of the Living Dead".
Location: The Redwood Forest

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by TAB » Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:06 am

In addition to water purification tablets becoming poison after their expiry, tetracycline as well becomes dangerous: "Minocycline, like most tetracyclines, becomes dangerous past its expiration date.[20] While most prescription drugs lose potency after their expiration dates, tetracyclines are known to become toxic over time. Expired tetracyclines can cause serious damage to the kidney due to the formation of a degradation product, anhydro-4-epitetracycline.[20]" -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minocycline
* Let it be known: Everything I say is only my own opinion except perhaps when I am quoting someone else.
Success is the realization that you are not only unique but also essential.
Ecoculture Village, a non-profit entity ~ rediscovering, rejuvenating, & reinventing
small rural communities… preparing, surviving, living!


LowKey
* * * * *
Posts: 4793
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:32 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Night of the Dead (original and remake)
Dawn of the Dead (original and remake)
Land of the Dead
Diary of the Dead
28 Days
28 Weeks
Resident Evil
Shawn of the Dead
Night of the Comet (cheese squared!)
Dead Alive (cheese cubed!!)
Location: In the Middle East, for my sins.

Re: The Real Shelf Life OTC meds

Post by LowKey » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:33 am

TAB wrote:In addition to water purification tablets becoming poison after their expiry, tetracycline as well becomes dangerous: "Minocycline, like most tetracyclines, becomes dangerous past its expiration date.[20] While most prescription drugs lose potency after their expiration dates, tetracyclines are known to become toxic over time. Expired tetracyclines can cause serious damage to the kidney due to the formation of a degradation product, anhydro-4-epitetracycline.[20]" -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minocycline
Actually, according to the last research/data that I'm aware of regarding tetracycline is that it does NOT in fact become dangerous past it's expiration date. The idea that it became toxic stems from a binder used in it's manufature up until the 1960's. That binder DID cause a toxicity issue as it degraded. Tetracycilne made after the 60's, and therefor without that binder, will not become toxic past it's labled expiration date.
“Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” Robert A. Heinlein

Post Reply

Return to “First Aid”