First Aid Kit with expired meds?

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by Poeschel, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Poeschel

    Poeschel Supporter Supporter

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    Going through my first aid kit tonight, noticed all of my pill meds expired in 2015. A google search says their still safe to use with maybe a small loss of potency. What’s your take?
     
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  2. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    3 years may be getting a bit old. I try to replace them once they hit 18 months or so. You don't know how long it'll be until you need them or the next time you think to check them. Maybe @Medic17 will chime in.
     
  3. Poeschel

    Poeschel Supporter Supporter

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    As a follow up question. If I do replace them, where’s the best place to get individual packets? The ones I have came in a full med kit but I don’t want to buy more bandaids, gauze...etc.
     
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  4. Boondocks70

    Boondocks70 Supporter Supporter

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    One of the pharmacy boards put out a list of meds and their actual expiration rates a while back. It was an eye opener to say the least. Many have no known real expiration if sealed (but some do!). Most do not become dangerous, just lose some potency. The only criteria that is mandated by the FDA is that the meds have to be 95+% effective on the date the manufacturer chooses to put on label! It is often WELL within the margin of error in order to make money. As a medic, I'm sure I've dumped a lot of perfectly good stuff down the drain because it was a day after "expiring".
     
  5. Medic17

    Medic17 BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    @Poeschel
    As long they are not antibiotics (triple antibiotic ointment OK) or psych meds they should be GTG past their date for a while. Stuff that has to be refrigerated I follow the dates listed.

    Most Meds loose potency when they get old.
    (There are a few that become toxic but they are not common.)
    There is a resource manual that gives the expected breakdown of expired meds but I have only seen it when I worked DHS and that was many years ago.

    As a VERY general rule, common easy replaceable stuff I let go up to 2 years.
    Harder to get stuff I keep for up to 4 years.
    Providing it still looks good, packaging intact, and not stored in temp extremes.

    Meds that I keep in my truck I replace every 6 months.

    QuikClot does not expire per say.
    As long as it is in the packaging and it is not hard, it is good to go.

    Rescue Essentials is a good place to deal with for kit refills.
    I use them frequently. Either through their store on eBay or directly. I check both.

    Chinook Medical is another good option.

    If you have a REI that is local you may consider checking them out but they are very limited to
    Adventure Medical Refill Kits.
     
  6. plumberoy

    plumberoy Guide

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    Make my own for common stuff pain killers sinus meds etc make sealed containers from milkshake straws
     
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  7. Poeschel

    Poeschel Supporter Supporter

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    Thank you all for the feedback
     
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  8. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    I think, and I've read, that neosporin (or so-called triple antibiotic ointment) isn't much good after a year past the expiration date. I was using some that was over that age and I don't think it did much against infections of cuts. I replaced it with some new stuff and I think it works a lot better.
     
  9. WildMedGuru

    WildMedGuru Scout

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    Google around for military long term medication storage studies.
    I read once something about Ciprofloxacin tablets though lasting something like 10 years and still having effectiveness in controlled storage conditions

    I MYSELF will and have used meds a few years past exp date with no issues.
    All depends on what / packaging / storage conditions

    Multiple studies mostly show long term = less effectiveness when it comes to "pill form"
    Granted if it were something crucial like nitroglycerin or epi-pens, that are sensitive to rapid degradation anyway, I wouldn't waste my time much past their exp date.

    Liquids never last as long and can start to grow bacteria / eye drops are notorious for this

    Medic has a good point - VECHICLE STORAGE is brutal unless you live in the cold constantly - humidity and heat will degrade about everything in a vehicle, from tape to batteries, to meds.
    My personal take on vehicle meds: I've cut that down to 72hours worth of RX and a few EDC PRN (as needed meds) - this eliminates me from rotating them, as I just refill them on the fly day to day or weekly as they are used.

    I have noticed that bandages, and those packed away Band-Aids no one ever used will eventually go kaput - it wasn't that long ago, I was digging through a very old small kit I carried for ages, never realizing the Band-Aids inside were so old, that the adhesive has nearly dried up and were useless

    My newest rotational plan is every January, I try to rotate through all my kits / spare supplies and all meds.
    Using a sharpie to date small ziplocks of bandages or med bottles can really help keep exp dates in check much easier.
    Yeah, it can be time consuming and annoying, but it at least keeps things fresh and in check.
     
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