9 months ago
Last edited at 5:04AM on 6/15/2013
So the expiration date doesn't really indicate a point at which the medication is no longer effective or has become unsafe to use. Medical authorities state expired drugs are safe to take, even those that expired years ago. A rare exception to this may be tetracycline, but the report on this is controversial among researchers. It's true the effectiveness of a drug may decrease over time, but much of the original potency still remains even a decade after the expiration date. Excluding nitroglycerin, insulin, and liquid antibiotics, most medications are long-lasting . Placing a medication in a cool place, such as a refrigerator, will help a drug remain potent for many years.
Once bought an old bottle of aspirin that had a vinegar odor when I opened it. Took it back to the drugstore and asked at the pharmacy if it was safe to take. They said it was, but that the odor meant it was old and getting stale. They checked the expiration date, said it shouldn't have been sold, and gave me a new one. SO, if you open the aspirin and it smells like vinegar, it's getting stale but it won't harm you. Maybe just not be as effective.