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  • Dilemma re: expired medication

    I'll try to keep this brief & to the point;

    Around 3-4 years ago, I was prescribed a certain antibiotic ointment (not a standard rosacea treatment) as a long-shot, 'thinking outside of the box' attempt at treating my skin condition. I cashed in the script, but didn't use the ointment at the time (this was a time that I was juggling several treatment options).

    Fast forward to today. I now quite strongly want to try this treatment course. However; I'm no longer under (or in any contact with) the dr. that originally prescribed it, and my current dr. has refused to re-prescribe. I physically own two unopened, well-stored tubes of this medication, BUT.....they're two years past their expiration dates.

    So. I have a bit of a dilemma on my hands. This is definitely my preferred treatment option at this time, but it seems my choice is between using the out-of-date cream that I already own (not ideal), or trying to source via 'grey' market-type means (there's some listed on ebay, but obviously I'd be gambling...equally un-ideal!)

    Interested in whether any members have been in similar situation, or just have an opinion/advice to share...many thanks

  • #2
    It's a bit strange that you didn't include the name of the medication. Some antibiotics (specifically, the tetracycline class) turn toxic when they expire. The others don't. Making this question impossible to answer.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dryad View Post
      It's a bit strange that you didn't include the name of the medication. Some antibiotics (specifically, the tetracycline class) turn toxic when they expire. The others don't. Making this question impossible to answer.
      It's mupirocin - which will give a clue as to why my current doc is reluctant to re-prescribe.

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      • #4
        It's fine. I have one of those that I picked up in 2013 and I'd have no fears about using it. The issue with expired drugs is if they go toxic or not. If not, the worst that can happen is decreased efficacy. 2 years is nothing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dryad View Post
          It's fine. I have one of those that I picked up in 2013 and I'd have no fears about using it. The issue with expired drugs is if they go toxic or not. If not, the worst that can happen is decreased efficacy. 2 years is nothing.
          Hello. Do u know if erythromycin topical gel turns toxic or not if used expired?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Miaa View Post
            Hello. Do u know if erythromycin topical gel turns toxic or not if used expired?
            As far as I know, the only widely used antibiotics that turn toxic upon expiration are the tetracycline class. Erythromycin isn't a tetracycline. It won't hurt you, but if you find that the vehicle isn't to your liking you should replace it.

            Drugs can usually be used safely and effectively long after expiration, but if you're planning to keep them for a very long time, store them properly (not in the bathroom, away from heat, light, and humidity).

            I'd be far more worried about putting new poor quality cosmetics on my skin than a regulated drug from 2010.

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            • #7
              By the way doxycycline is a tetracycline, I don't know if anyone uses some topical form of doxycycline but I personally would shy away from using any form of it expired and I know a lot of us take it by mouth. I don't know if doxycycline becomes dangerous and it probably takes a lot of years anyway but out of an abundance of caution I wouldn't risk it with that one.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dryad View Post
                As far as I know, the only widely used antibiotics that turn toxic upon expiration are the tetracycline class. Erythromycin isn't a tetracycline. It won't hurt you, but if you find that the vehicle isn't to your liking you should replace it.

                Drugs can usually be used safely and effectively long after expiration, but if you're planning to keep them for a very long time, store them properly (not in the bathroom, away from heat, light, and humidity).

                I'd be far more worried about putting new poor quality cosmetics on my skin than a regulated drug from 2010.


                Thank you for ur reply

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