The expiration date of most medicines is 12 to 60 months after manufacture, reports pharmacists further shorten the time a medicine can be used when they add their own "discard after" or "beyond-use" date to the prescription label itself.
From manufacturer to FDA to pharmacist, the underlying principle is maximum safety.
Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a military-requested study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). , Retrieved April 27, 2014, Jigsaw Health, Inc., 2014.
Barring the medications listed above, placing a medication in a cool and dry place, such as a refrigerator, will help a drug remain potent for many years. Fedder, Retrieved April 27, 2014, Yahoo Health and Lifestyles Network, 2014.
The FDA permits “reasonable variation,” meaning manufacturers are given a little leeway, so long as the any medication marketed in the United States contain between 90 percent to 110 percent of the amount of the active ingredient claimed on the label.“Just having the slight variation of 90 to 110 percent, well, it would be very difficult, from a manufacturing standpoint, to hone it down even more than that,” Dr.
Hence, the lines become blurry when assessing the effectiveness and safety of an ‘expired’ drug or supplement. This is the date at which the manufacturer can still guarantee the full potency and safety of the drug.The legal code adopted by the FDA also notes that manufacturers must account for storage conditions (and reconstitution conditions for certain drugs) in the expiration date.As a result of FDA rules, then, you will find a date, usually following the letters ‘EXP,’ either printed on the label or stamped onto the bottle or carton of drugs you buy, and in other cases, crimped into the tube of certain ointments you purchase.The expiration date is based on the fact that the ink s composition transforms over time.Air can work its way inside the cartridge and dissolve the ink carrier.