When do you need to chuck out expired medication?

Most medicines are stamped with expiry dates, indicating the final date the manufacturer can guarantee the medicine to be at its full potency and effectiveness.

But what happens to a medicine after that date? Is it still safe to use?

Dr Deepa Maharaj Chairperson of the SMASA Regulatory & Technical Committee, explains details around some of the research conducted over the years which suggests that some medicine is still safe to use years after its expiry date.

She says it depends on the type of medicine.

It depends on the type of medicine that you are using and the way that you have actually stored it in your house.

Dr Deepa Maharaj Chairperson of the SMASA Regulatory & Technical Committee

You shouldn't' be using injection medicine, something that is solution based because that can be easily disrupted by the conditions that you are keeping it under.

Dr Deepa Maharaj Chairperson of the SMASA Regulatory & Technical Committee

Maharaj says medicines like paracetamol last much longer than the expiry date.

She has warned against using antibiotics after the expiry date, a well as heart medicines.

Definitely chuck it as soon as it has expired because you don't know the loss of potency and effect that medicine has undergone, what could happen is you could build up tolerance to it or you could not recover....

Dr Deepa Maharaj Chairperson of the SMASA Regulatory & Technical Committee

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio....

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