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How long can some body take a medicine after the date of manufacture?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2397 Questions
Just a silly question, I continue to insist that the pharmacy I deal with leave the pills in the manufacture bottles. These bottles are sealed and they have desiccant in them and I always get 90 days worth of pills. Is this an unreasonable request? I continue to have problems with having my scripts filled. Thank you XXXXXXX
Posted Sun, 27 Jan 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 3 hours later
Hello and thank you for sending your question.

This is actually not a silly question. It is a very good question and I can try to help you with some information and recommendations.

Modern technology with production of medication has enabled manufacturers to produce pills and tablets which are generally very well preserved for up to three months.

I think in your case it is not necessary to dispense the tablets in the original manufacturer's bottle. As long as your tablets are stored at room temperature and there is no significant fluctuation in humidity or heat then the medication should be expected to have its therapeutic affect without any level of limitation.

Thanks again for sending your question. If you have any additional concerns regarding this matter I would happily discuss those with you.


Dr Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How long can some body take a medicine after the date of manufacture? 1 hour later
I guess it’s like a fine wine then but, I don’t keep my pills in a climate controlled cellar. It is going to be spring soon and my house is just typical ( I think ) and the temperature inside can vary from high 50’s at night and into the high 80’s during the day as we get closer summer. I do keep my medication locked up in a safe so it is out of the sunlight. I always worry about the count also. 4 pills twice a day is 360 pills and 5 pills a day is 450 pills, just to mention a couple of my scripts. It is so much easier to count bottles than to have them recount the pills again. I have been shorted in the past. As you can see you did not give me the answer I was expecting. Do you know if there is anywhere where the (any) manufacture has a recommendation? All medication cannot be the same. I would not unwrap my Maxalt 10mg tablets they are foil sealed. It seems to me that the manufacture produces the medication in bottles of 60 tablets to keep them fresh. So why would I want all 6 bottles 60 tables opened and dumped into a larger bottle? Just doesn’t make sense to me. Again thank you for your response. XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 3 hours later
Hello again and thank you for your question.

These medications have been studied over a long period of time and there is reliable data to suggest that even if you keep these bottles in a typical environment such as a home with a mildly fluctuating temperature as long as it doesn't get really hot or humid that the medication will maintain its potency. There's no data otherwise at this point to support Dispensing medications directly from the manufacturer.

One other option if you choose to explore it would be to ask the pharmacist to just give you 30 days of your medication at one time. This might be marksmanship but at least you can assure yourself that the medication will Not be on the shelf for an additional 60 days Before you use it.

You are correct that all medications are not the same. At this point I would trust with the pharmacist recommends as again I am sure your medication will maintain its potency if used in a timely fashion at home within a few months.


Dr Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How long can some body take a medicine after the date of manufacture? 39 hours later
I don’t expect a reply to this but I don’t trust what the Pharmacist recommends. They seem to make more mistakes then most people I know. They have given me the wrong medication, and their counts have been wrong and I don’t know of any recourse that can happen to them. I need to get my medication on 90 day refills due to lower cost. Insurance says I have to go to these Pharmacies. I did a quick internet search after I spent the money to send you the question and found that FDA has a safety announcement for Pradaxa 03-29-2011 saying that it should only be dispensed in the original bottle. This of course is not one of the medications I have been having problems with. But I doubt that my Pharmacy knows this. Anyway I am done with this conservation, and I will continue to fight my battle to have my medication dispensed in the manufactured bottle. I would much rather have 4 to 6 sealed bottles locked up rather than one large bottle that I can misplace. XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 1 hour later
Thanks again XXXXXXX

I wish you all the best.

Dr Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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