Med Dates Matter - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Med Dates Matter

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Expiration dates are often over ignored when it comes to medication. When most of us open our medicine cabinets, we're bound to find expired medication. Instead of in your mouth, those pills should be tossed straight into the trash.

When it comes to a splitting headache or being sick, many peopel resort to medicine stored in their medicine cabinets. But when taking the medicine, checking the expiration date is one thing people often overlook.

The expiration date is a guarantee from the manufacturer that the medication is chemically unstable and safe. However over time, the drugs can lose potency. Pharmacist Ginger Pino of "Harvest Drug and Gift Pharmacy" says, old medication may not be what it used to be. Some drugs even metabolize into other things once they lose potency.

If the drug metabolizes into a different component, it can actually cause harm to the body. Liquid medication can evaporate, leaving more of the active ingredient. Outdated eye and ear drops could possibly lead to infection. When it comes to expired prescription drugs, it has a high change of causing fatalities.

The high costs of medication and the inconvenience of driving to the store contributes to people consuming expired drugs. In order to reduce the amount of expired medication, Ginger has some advice. She says "just buy it in the smallest package you can and then you'll know that even if you don't use it all that at least you didn't spend extra money buying it in a huge container."

In order to protect your health, be sure to check the expiration date and think twice before taking the medication. When coming across expired medicine, pharmacists highly discourage flushing it down the toilet since the chemicals may find their way into waterways and the environment.

Cynthia Kobayashi, Newschannel Six.