April 13, 2022


Sampson Asumadu, pharmacist at AdCare Hospital of Worcester, was recently interviewed by Optum on facts about expired medication.

The expiration date listed on medication is not like the expiration date on food items. Instead, the expiration date indicates the date at which the medication retains its full potency and safety. Over time, medications can degrade and lose potency, but some may in fact have a very long shelf life. But, for others, that is not the case.

According to Asumadu, medications that treat heart disease, for example, lose their therapeutic effects much faster than other medications, and taking that particular medication past its expiration date may not provide its intended effect.

Additionally, Asumadu states, bandages and topical medications are susceptible to losing their potency, especially if they are infused with antibiotics.

“It’s a good practice to clean out your medicine cabinet every year and throw away any unused medications,” he suggests.

The entire piece can be read at Optum.