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From The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
February 2, 2016

Drugs Past Their Expiration Date

JAMA. 2016;315(5):510-511. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0048

Healthcare providers are often asked if drugs can be used past their expiration date. Because of legal restrictions and liability concerns, manufacturers do not sanction such use and usually do not even comment on the safety or effectiveness of their products beyond the date on the label. Since our last publication on this subject,1 more data have become available.

There are no published reports of human toxicity due to ingestion, injection, or topical application of a current drug formulation after its expiration date. Renal tubular damage has been reported with use of degraded tetracycline in a formulation that is no longer available.2

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