Thursday, November 8, 2012

Expired OTC Drugs

Living alone, I like to keep stocked up on medicinals since, when feeling miserable, I have no one to run to the store to buy me some sort of over-the-counter remedy. For some reason, I started looking at my OTC drugs last night and I suppose the good news is that I'm healthy.

First, it was the sinus pills which I like having since nothing will beat a sinus headache except those -- and mine expired in 2010.

Then it was the Nyquil -- nothing like it for knocking you out when you're sick and want to sleep. That expired in September.

Then it was the Mucilex -- sort of an expectorant, which expires this month. 

Then it was the cough medicine -- again, nothing substitutes when you're hacking your lungs out at night. Also expired.

I haven't chucked all of this yet -- who knows why? Part of it is the money. The Nyquil isn't even opened.  I think my modus operandi is I need to think about it some times. I was thinking that maybe I'll replace this all, one week at a time. So what are the essentials? I have aspirin. I have a few bandaids (picked up at a trade show years ago). I finally threw away a box of sterilized cotton that I had gotten after some sort of oral surgery. My God, it is STERILE COTTON. I have to keep that. So other than sticking it in my mouth after oral surgery, what else is it used for? Had some Bactine that expired and also some burn ointment that expired. Had burned my hand cooking, bought the stuff, and that was it for the need for burn ointment.

I had this idea once that I would buy a first-aid kit and then I would have little packets of everything I needed, but it all expired. Not as good idea as I thought.

Meanwhile, on other decluttering topics, Meredith is organizing her stuff to come home from Afghanistan and is semi-struggling with the future of her "appropriate for a Moslem country" clothes. I sympathize with the struggle. What if I'm posted in another Moslem country? she wonders. But I think sanity will prevail. She wrote that she looks bad in the baggy clothes and will not wear them and they'll sit in the back of her closet for years. I wrote her back that I can identify. After all, I'm the one with two-year old sinus pills in my medicine cabinet.


Mary Mc said...

I was told by a nurse at one of my doctor's that most medicine is good for about 6 months after the expiration date. It's not as if it will poison you, it just won't do the job, right? Or not? Your experience is an argument though for buying small containers.

Barbara said...

I think almost everything you have is probably still good. I think the expiration date are mainly marketing tools so you'll do what you're doing - and the companies will make more money. Bob got an allergy thing recently and all we had was some ancient Chlor-trimiton which expired in... (ready for this?)... 2006. It worked fine. If it were me I would keep the unopened Nyquil & other stuff -- the next time you get a cold or whatever, if it doesn't work you can always buy some more the next day. As Mary said, it won't poison you -- it will most likely work and you'll save the money of replacing this stuff every year.