Question: I found some antibiotics in my medicine cabinet that are a year old. Are they still OK to take?
: As a general best practice, a medication, especially an antibiotic should be discarded upon no longer using. This is difficult to do sometimes with the realization of the high cost of medications and the thought of the possibility of using them again sometime further down the road if needed.
The truth is that an antibiotic would probably still be good to use after one year, although it may have lost some of its potency. The antibiotic would not be harmful to take, although antibiotics need to be taken for a certain time period, for example: 7-10 days, and if this duration is not followed, harmful results such as resistant bacteria can flourish. Actually, an individual should never have an antibiotic left over or remaining if it is taken correctly.
There may be some variations to this practice, but as always, if questions ever occur, please feel free to contact your health care professional for answers.
Dr. Scott Grassel, PharmD
Pharmacy Director, Payson Regional Medical Center
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PAYSON, AZ 85541
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