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Thread: expired hydrocodone

  1. Default expired hydrocodone

    Does anyone know if it would it be alright to take 8 yr. old hydrocodone? I have taken 5 yr. old hydrocodone in the past with no ill effects. I have horrible joint pain in both knees, that usually is manageable with advil. This winter it is getting worse than ever, and the advil, or tylenol is not working like it used to.

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
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    FYI, the expiry of a medication is 3 years from its manufacturing date. Since you mentioned that you too a 5 year old medication before and had no ill effects, the efficacy is much lessened. Much more with the 8 year old drug you have. If you're experiencing severe pain, I doubt if it will work this time for you.

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    When drugs decay (spoil due to age) not only does the amount of active ingredient go down, but the amount of breakdown products increase. I don't know what those might be in the case of hydrocodone, but they could be inconsequential or they could be seriously dangerous. This is one more reason not to take medicine that is much beyond its expiry date (and to ensure that you store it properly during the expected lifetime of the drug).

    I'd suggest contacting your local authorities on how to dispense of expired medicine. Many municipalities will collect and destroy it safely free of charge (rather than have it go down the drain and contaminate ground water, or leach from landfills, or be scavanged by animals from the trash can).

  4. Default Expired Hydrocodone

    A Pharmacy pointed out to me that the
    "expiry date" on medicines that can be kept without special controls
    (such as required refrigeration) is based on the minimal period of
    effectiveness in less than average conditions, e.g., hot and humid
    climates, exposure to light; that if medicines are kept in better
    conditions, they are usable past the expiry date - NOT ALL
    MEDICINES, of course.
    And let's face it, the producers are interested in selling; an early
    expiry date that can be justified is in their interest.
    Last edited by tinmuning; 01-08-2010 at 11:59 PM. Reason: removed link

  5. #5
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    I had asked my doctor the same thing a few years ago. His reply was that hydrocodone loses about 10% of its potency each year; so, anything over a year old will most likely not be effective enough for you. Of course, the best thing is to call your doctor's office and ask them directly.

  6. The first thing that came into my mind was... why the hell would you still keep an 8-year old med?

    Medicines, in general, should be good for 3-5 years, and even then, the medicine slowly loses its potency. I suggest you acquire new meds instead.


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