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 Supporter Supporter 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
     
  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.
     
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  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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  10. Janoy

    Janoy Tracker

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    Medicine and women share an important commonality. They don't necessarily go bad in most cases but they will stop making you feel as good. I've enjoyed the info you have all shared and I always get a lot of benefit from reading the forum.
     
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  11. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I have never worried about it and never had a problem.

    I don’t know of any that go toxic. If someone here does, please post evidence.
     
  12. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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  13. Gary V

    Gary V Scout

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    Like someone else said, I too make up my own packets from my home supplies. It's a whole lot cheaper then individual packets and easy enough to do. I save those little desiccant packets you get in various packaging like MREs for use like this and dry batches of them in the oven or in a food dehydrator first. I use the desiccant when I vacuum seal dehydrated food too.
     
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  14. Terasec

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    depends on meds.
    non life threatening comfort meds, not a big deal.
    but for life threatening issues like blood pressure, heart meds, etc.. wouldn't risk it
     
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  15. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    A decreased potency medication is better than no meds at all, especially in the field when no other option is available.

    I put this question to my doctor who told me that MOST common meds will retain effective potency for up to five years. After that, they should be replaced. Antibiotics should be kept up to date since they will degrade severely over time.

    Steve
     
  16. lopie

    lopie Tracker

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    as many have said, most are fine, even many antibiotics, but I read that doxycycline and other 'cline-type meds become deadly at some point. So, if you have doxycycline or x-cline meds, definitely verify.
     
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  17. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Old wives tales about tetracycline.

    So, what is the real question here? What meds would be in a first aid kit that would require replacement? Antibiotics? For an extended trip to nowhere, maybe, but for real... here?

    I am confused again. :33:
     
  18. 66drifter

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    simple OTC pain meds can be found in pre packaged single dose pkts hanging on racks behind the counter @ many truck stops
     
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  19. TRYKER

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    i think some things don't need a experation date, for example: the lancets (pin) for testing my blood sugar have an exsperation date them ??? like what........ they get dull???
     
  20. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    You can get over the counter antibiotics (amoxycillin) from www.valleyvet.com .

    It's marketed as Aqua-Mox, a antibiotic for fish and other veteranary use. I've purchased these a couple of times before and still have some on the shelf. I've compared them to the ones listed in the latest Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) and they are exactly the same and made by the same vendors as "people" medicine. They come in 250 & 500 mg sizes. The cost is around $35 for a bottle of 100 capsules.

    They also offer Cephalexin as "Aqua-Ceph". This is pretty much the same price as the Aqua-Mox.

    Even though these are sold as fish meds, they are identical to people meds. Carrying a small supply of these in a FAK would be a good thing to have available in case of an injury which might get infected before you could get to a doctor.

    Check with your physician for dosing information, explaining your possible need and circumstances.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018 at 11:17 AM
  21. DKR

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    Single pack meds can be had at Zee Medical, Red Flare and other 'adventure' supply outlets. If you have an REI locally, they offer refit kits as well.

    Old drugs?
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/drug-expiration-dates-do-they-mean-anything

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16721796

    and there is this
    Stability profiles of drug products extended beyond labeled - GHDonline
    https://www.ghdonline.org/uploads/drugs-Stability_Profiles-vencimiento.pdf
    The military study about extended potency LISTING etc is on line. Behind a password protected security wall. On a .mil site. I suspect the Big Pharma outfits insisted on it.

    I have an extensive kit as does my daughter (we both worked in hospital ERs for several years) so we buy the 100 packet boxes and split out the individual packets.

    A couple of bits of advice I pass on for this topic. DO NOT store OTC meds iin a baggie for your FAK. Officer Friendly and his K-9 companion Ballripper may not understand why you have all those pills in a biggie - you know, like low-level dealers carry....

    Also, if I do offer the share any of my OTC meds, they are packaged and labeled with the warnings. I tell folks, "Here, but read the label" Given the 'sue at the drop of a hat' mentality too often seen today.... Expired meds just adds to this potential issue.
     
  22. Ade

    Ade Tracker

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    Google SLEP. Stands for Shelf Life Extension Program. Done by the military a while back. I don’t remember a lot of details, nor do I have the time to look it up myself right now, but it’s a good place to start.
     
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  23. Paul Caruso

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    There was an interview with an authority on the subject on the Survival Podcast a few years ago. I believe he stated that all drugs are safe past their best before date. He stated that the case of being poisoned by tetracycline was dubious at best as the patient had multiple co-morbidities and was on other medications. As well, there have been no other cases of people being poisoned by expired meds of any sort.

    Of course, my memory is not the best of the subject because I heard the interview a few years ago so if I was to look into storing expired meds I would look into it a bit further.

    At the hospital that I work at we dispose of all drugs that are expired by any amount of time.
     

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