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Expired Drug Safety

Those expired medications in your home may actually be useful.

Using an expired drug is probably ok if you have a minor health issue such as a headache or sinus trouble. If your condition is serious, don't chance it. Many medicines - especially tablets and capsules - have a shelf life well beyond the date on the bottle, experts say. Manufactures guarantee their drugs will be safe and fully effective up until the expiration date, which is usually 1 to 5 years after it's produced. There are certain medicines, however, that should not be used beyond the expiration date - often because they treat chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes where 100% potency is crucial.

To help your meds stand the test of time, store them in a cool dry place away from sunlight and in their original containers.

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