Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Shelf life of medications

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Pain Medications
Hello everyone. I was wondering what the shelf life of most Rx are. I have a rx for Ativan but I have had it since late 2006. Im starting to get anxiety from the pain and am wondering if this would even work or if maybe I should call my Dr and ask for a new rx? Any ideas? Thank you :)))


  • I believe the shelf life is one year. Not sure on this. You can also call and check with the pharmacist, but I am sure they will tell you not to take it.

    New or worsening anxiety should be discussed with your doctor anyway, so give them a call.

    Good Luck,
  • All of my bottles say to discard after 1 year of purchase date. They do not "expire" as food does, but they do lose their potency. But I agree with the others...check with your dr.
  • advertisement
  • Another thing to consider is that because this medication is 2 years old (at least), if you are requested to submit to UA for tox screen and it shows the Ativan in your system, you might be in violation of your PM's policies because they haven't written you a recent script for the Ativan-kinda like taking something you aren't supposed to-the doc could look at it as an old script you were supposed to discard when the script/refills ran out. May not be the case but I would definitely check with the Dr who writes your scripts. Better safe than sorry! :)
  • I have asked this question multiple times of Docs. I have been taking something as needed for almost 20 years now and have ammassed a pretty good stash of scrips.

    The anser that my docs alwys tell me is that:

    1. Have been stored in a cool, dry place
    2. Have not been in the sun or exposed to the sun
    3. Have been sealed(closed tightly) for the entire time

    They are just fine.

    I have taken vicodin, Flexiril, and Skelaxin that is over 4 years old and they have the same expected potency as brand new. In fact, I know how many minutes I have with any of my oral meds and the oldies are still goodies.

    I'm not saying just do it; it's a decision. For me it's a price and convenience decision. I have a small safe that I keep my meds in and I have the silicon dissecant packages that keep moisture away.... so I have made protectionary arrangements for my meds. That hels me feel better about keeping them for a very long time.

    I would never do this with an antibiotic though.

    Best of wishes,
  • From working in a pharmacy myself about 10 yrs ago. I used to have to go through all of the medications that we had on hand and look at the exp, date. The bottle that the pharmacy has and the bottle that is sent home with you usually are 2 different dates. Usually they expire 1 yr after you get your RX filled. Now this is generally a different date then waht is on the bottle. Usually there is a 1-2 yr exp date on the pharmacy bottle. They do tend to lose potentcy. If you feel that you need to start taking ativan again my suggestion would be, especially if you see a PM doc is to bring that bottle in with you to your next apt and let them know that they worked for you in the past and you feel that you need them again but since they were not prescribed by the PM doc you didn't just want to start taking them again. This will do a couple things for you
    1 ) show that you are honest wiht your PM doc
    2 ) show that you took them as an as needed basis since you have so many left
    3 ) Possibly get it ok'ed and a new RX from this doc.
    4 ) also it will build up the trust issue with your PM. Not that htey dont trust you but as a lot of us have posted or have experience we have to gain their trust it is not granted to us once we see them. So that is what I would do. And like I said bring the bottle in with you! That way they can see how many you have taken since you go the RX.
    Another good point about the UA was brought up. This is another reason why you need to ask your doc to either say go ahead and take the old RX or he will give you a new one. Dont take it until you make another apt or wait til your next one. If it comes up on your UA he may drop you. YES it is a med prescribed to you but not by him!!!
  • advertisement
  • Most of us here either have to go to another town a couple hundred miles away, or ask our family Dr or GP. My GP handles my medications. She is willing to because there are no pain drs here and she is one of the two drs that believe my pain is real. I actually have seen this GP for 7 years now, and I asked her awhile back if she would refer me to a PM dr, in the next town away, and she said, well I will be in control of your medications to make it easier for you and me. This way she is the ONLY one to prescribe my medications. The one thing she did ask me to do was to sign a pain contract, which I completely understand why those are used. There are no pill counts or UA's either. Went a little bit off topic, but I will just take the Ativan in with me to my next appt an talk with her in person
  • Honestly most medicines work to some degree for over a year, but it is probably around the six month mark that most drugs start to lose their effect to some point. Check with your doctor specifically about ativan though. Some of the side effects of ativan are actually overdosing, and many peoples addictions lead to their death. So you would never want to think they were less potent, and than overdose.
Sign In or Register to comment.