Ringing in the New Year is an exciting event. “Out with the old, and in with the new,” people say. It’s a time to throw off bad habits and take on better, healthier ones that will precipitate true and lasting change. You can apply this to many aspects of your health starting with your medicine cabinet. The New Year is a perfect time to go through those old medications and throw out anything expired. (You may even find medicine bottles that are so old that you cannot even recall why they were prescribed!)
While it is easy to tell when food has gone bad, it is not as easy to determine by sight whether medication and vitamins are due for replacement. Drug expiration dates exist on most medication labels, including prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) and dietary (herbal) supplements.
The expiration date on a medication is the final day the manufacturer guarantees full potency and safety of a medication. Since 1979, U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to post expiration dates on prescription products. For legal and liability reasons, drug companies will not make recommendations about the potency of drugs past the original expiration date. It is not advised to take medication past the expiration date as it may not be as effective.
Commit to a fresh start this New Year by tossing out old medication. While you’re at it, it’s also a great time to make sure you are up to date on your screenings. Is it time you schedule a colonoscopy? If so, I invite you to contact my office. For your convenience, you may request an appointment here.