Always dispose of medication after the expiry date
The subject of “minimum shelf life” for food has been the subject of controversial discussion in the past. The widespread opinion is that food can, for example, still be consumed well after the specified date. In most cases, this is also true, because it is a best before date and not an expiration date. Food is usually still consumable after the specified date. This can almost always be found out quickly by a simple smell or taste test.
With animal products such as meat, fish or eggs, however, you should still exercise caution and rather take the trip to the trash can rather than not enough. But what about the expiration date for medication? It is difficult for you to tell with the naked eye or nose whether you can still use the medicine.
When assessing pharmaceuticals, sound specialist knowledge is required in order to be able to assess whether the medicinal product no longer has any effect after the expiry date or whether dangerous breakdown products can arise if it is exceeded.
Prof. Jörg Breitkreutz, director of the Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy at the University of Düsseldorf, agrees. Even if he admits in a Spiegel online article that he also took expired medication every now and then. The difference with him, however, is that he knows about possible risks. He also contradicts the opinion of many critics that the pharmaceutical industry in no way sets the expiry dates too low so that more profit can be achieved.
The fact is: The best-before date on food is not to be equated with the expiry date of medicinal products and medications should no longer be taken after the stated date of use in order to prevent possible damage to health. (fr)
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