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Are expired Aspirin and Anacin still effective?

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Posted on Tue, 9 Aug 2016
Question: Hello my name is XXXXXXX XXXX and yesterday morning I took a pain pill that I got from a friend over a year ago(I don't know the name of the pill and he didn't remember either)and I also found out they had expired over a year ago.And I also took one asprin at the same time which was Anacin which I realized expired a year ago.I took them for basic soreness after doing hard physical work. He had the pain pills for a shoulder injury.Approx an hour later I got light headed and a little dizzy then a little bit later I started vomiting and continued to be dizzy and vomit all day into the night.I didn't know what was going on at first and the only difference from my daily routine was taking the pain pill and aspirin. I've takin pain medication threw the years with no issues,I race off-road motorcycles so I've broken some bones. I would appreciate any help with this. Thanks...
XXXXXXX XXXX
YYYY@YYYY
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
About expired pain medication

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

I am trying to figure out the time course of when your symptoms resolved. How long has it been since you became ill?

Some expired medications only result in them being less effective. But some medications can be quite harmful to take when expired, such as anything that has expired acetaminophen. This is the medication in Tylenol, and in some combination pain meds with narcotics. Expired acetaminophen can cause Fanconi's anemia and other problems. Without knowing what the medication was, it is hard for me to say what was going on.

If you are fully better and have no residual symptoms, then no worries, but if you still feel ill, you should definitely go in to be seen and have a complete blood count with peripheral smear, and liver enzymes checked.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions

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Are expired Aspirin and Anacin still effective?

Brief Answer: About expired pain medication Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, I am trying to figure out the time course of when your symptoms resolved. How long has it been since you became ill? Some expired medications only result in them being less effective. But some medications can be quite harmful to take when expired, such as anything that has expired acetaminophen. This is the medication in Tylenol, and in some combination pain meds with narcotics. Expired acetaminophen can cause Fanconi's anemia and other problems. Without knowing what the medication was, it is hard for me to say what was going on. If you are fully better and have no residual symptoms, then no worries, but if you still feel ill, you should definitely go in to be seen and have a complete blood count with peripheral smear, and liver enzymes checked.