Out of the 14 active ingredients, 12 were still at high enough concentration – 90% of the amount stated on the label – to qualify as having “acceptable potency,” the researchers found. These included:

  1. Acetaminophen (the pain reliever in Tylenol)
  2. Codeine (an opiate that treats pain and coughs)
  3. Hydrocodone (an opiate used to treat moderate to severe pain)
  4. Phenacetin (an analgesic that’s not used much anymore)
  5. Caffeine (a stimulant)
  6. Chlorpheniramine (an antihistamine used to treat colds and allergies)
  7. Pentobarbital (a short-acting barbiturate)
  8. Butalbital (a barbiturate that lasts for an intermediate period of time)
  9. Secobarbital (a barbituate used to treat insomnia)

10. Phenobarbital (a barbiturate that controls seizures and relieves anxiety)

11. Meprobamate (a tranquilizer to treat anxiety)

12. Methaqualone (a sedative and muscle relaxant known by the brand name Quaaludes)

The only active ingredients that missed that cutoff were aspirin and the stimulant amphetamine.

The expiration date on a drug is usually one to five years after it was manufactured. But those dates are often set arbitrarily, since the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require pharmaceutical makers to test how long the active ingredients will last, the researchers wrote.

They noted that the Shelf-Life Extension Program allows drugs in federal stockpiles to be retained for up to 278 months after their stated expiration date if tests show they are still potent. But some of the ingredients tested in this study remained good for 480 months – so far.

The research team’s obvious conclusion? “Our results support the effectiveness of broadly extending expiration dates for many drugs,” they wrote.

“The most important implication of our study involves the potential cost savings resulting from lengthier product expiration dating,” they added. “Given that Americans currently spend more than $300 billion annually on prescription medications, extending drug expiration dates could yield enormous health care expenditure savings.”

Expiration? Drugs May Last Longer Than You Think  was originally published on blackdoctor.org

« Previous page 1 2

Also On NewsOne:
20 Tweets Dragging Roseanne Barr To A White Privilege Hell
ABC's 'Roseanne'
21 photos
More from NewsOne