How Long Do ED Drugs Like Viagra or Cialis Last After Expiration? Still safe?

Herausgeber: chlamydien-frei.de | Erectile Dysfunction Drugs

So, you bought ED drugs at some point in time, but you haven’t used them for a long time—in fact, the expiration date has passed for quite a while.  While you’re holding the pills in your hand, you wonder if it’s a problem if you use them anyway.

Can you still use erectile dysfunction drugs when they are past their expiration date? From what science tells us, the answer is yes. Pills like Viagra or Cialis are safe and effective to use for years past the expiration date when they have been stored properly. They can be a bit less potent, but even this is somewhat questionable.

So, obviously, there seems to be a difference between expiration dates on drugs and when drugs actually expire from a functional perspective. But why is that and when can you take liberties with expirations dates? We’ll look at some facts and determine how to go about expired drugs if you come across them.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the following:

  • How do we determine expiration dates for drugs?
  • Is an expiration date equally important or all types of drugs?
  • Does this impact the use of ED drugs past the expiration date?

What you need to know expiration dates on drugs in general

Since 1979 it’s required for drug manufacturers to put an expiry date on products sold in the United States. In essence, this date only tells you that manufacturers will be able to guarantee the safety and full potency of the drugs before this date.

However, a lot of people wonder what this date really means when it comes to safety? How much leeway do you have when this date expires and what are the potential consequences if you do? What do you do when you come across expired medication? Let’s take a closer look.

How is this date determined?

In essence, it’s a very conservative estimate. Drug manufacturers can open themselves up to serious legal repercussions if they sell you drugs that are questionable when it comes to safety and effectivity. For that reason, they take a “better safe than sorry” approach.

This relatively short shelf life is also a good thing for these manufacturers since it ensures that hospitals – as well as private individuals – will have to restock their drug supply every few years. This means they will be able to sell more drugs. Conspiracy-minded people often point to this fact as a marketing ploy from the pharmaceutical industry.

This – almost mandatory – restock policy has some built-in advantages as well. It ensures that the newest, and best-tested drugs will find their way into your drug cabinet without a lengthy delay.

Because of that, we’ll have much faster access to the best prescriptions and over the counter drugs. If we would hold on to our medicines until they’d actually expire, most of us would probably own drugs that didn’t meet the highest medical standards we know today.

But how fast do drugs expire in reality?

The information about determining how much drugs deteriorate over time is mainly derived from a study that was conducted by the FDA for the military. They used to have a large supply of medicines in stock, which they replaced every few years. The research done by the FDA was to determine if this policy had merit.

What the FDA found was that the vast majority of drugs were perfectly safe and effective—even up to 15 years after the expiration date had passed. In short, the expiration date is not an indication of safety or effectiveness for most drugs. It’s just a way to be able to guarantee this from a legal perspective.

That’s not the same as a realistic indication of when drugs become unsafe or significantly less effective. There’s a difference between what a manufacturer can guarantee and what research uncovers in practice.

Most medical authorities will acknowledge that the vast majority of drugs (pills) are safe and effective for years after the expiration date. When in doubt – and when dealing with drugs that are not essential for your health – it’s usually not a problem at all to use them. Especially if you’ve always kept them under good conditions.

Is this true for all types of drugs?

No, you can’t just take this idea and slap it on every type of drug. There are a few exceptions to this “rule”, so always be cautious and think about what type of drugs you’re dealing with.

If you’re using drugs where dosage and effectiveness can be vital to your health, you should not be taking any risks with taking these past the expiration date. While they might still be safe to use, some drugs could become less potent over time. Imagine you’re using heart medication and because of shelve time, it has become less effective. You might be under-dosing without knowing it, which can be very dangerous.

The second group of medicines that can’t be kept long after they are expired are liquid based medicines. Liquids are a much better environment for bacteria to thrive. This, in turn, can cause medicines to go bad. This means you have to respect the date that was stamped on a lot more compared to dry pills.

Examples of such medicines are:

  • Insulin
  • Liquid antibiotics
  • Nitroglycerin

If you are taking medication that is prescribed because of serious health risks, then don’t ever take any chances and ALWAYS talk to your physician first if your medication has passed the expiration date.

Are ED drugs in specific safe to use after the expiration date?

As stated before, the vast majority of drugs can be used for years and years after the date that was stamped on the packaging. They will be safe and in most cases won’t lose any of their potency. So from a chemistry point of view, there’s no problem at all with using them.

But even if your ED drugs would lose some of its potency, this would not lead to any problems. It would simply mean you would have to take a little bit more for it to be as effective as prescribed to combat your erectile dysfunction.

The risks involved in underdosing ED drugs are virtually non-existent and safety is not an issue at all. If you’re taking pills like Viagra or Cialis there’s nothing to worry about. So if you’re ever wondering if you can take an ED pill with a date on it that has expired, the answer is yes. Feel free to take them and enjoy the benefits they can provide.

However, when you’re dealing with other drugs past their expiration date, contact your general practitioner. It’s not risky in most cases, but in general, it’s a good idea not to take any chances when it comes to medication. Even if science tells us there’s a really good chance it won’t be a problem.

Final thoughts

If you come across expired ED pills, most likely it won’t be a problem if you take them. You probably won’t experience any difference compared to your regular ED drugs. There’s no reason to think they will be unsafe or ineffective. This will be the case for most drugs in pill forms you have at home by the way, such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

Make sure you are more careful if you’re using drugs that can have a serious impact on your health. This is especially true if these drugs are administered in liquid form. For that reason – regardless of the type of drug you’re using – always consult your doctor before you start using expired drugs.

However, since most expiration dates are a very conservative assessment of when a drug will actually expire there’s no reason to panic if you take them by accident. Keep this in mind when you’re faced with relative harmless situations and keep in mind what a date on drugs means in practice.

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