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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:18 pm 
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I guess this same question could be applied to any pill actually. The strips are a different story as they are clearly sealed and dated with a certain expiration date. However, how does this translate over to the pills? Specifically speaking, the generic AN 415 to be exact. Will they last longer if properly stored? Or will they just degrade no matter what?

Is there any risks to taking a pill that may have expired? How much time needs to pass in order for something like that to happen?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:31 pm 
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There was a study years ago that assessed the potency of a wide range of medications, far beyond their expiration date. I don't remember details, but there wasn't much to remember beyond the fact that they all were fully potent for many years beyond their expiration date-- some for decades. Medications in dry form are very stable. Meds in solution, like insulin or epinephrine, are at all stable beyond their expiration date.

Buprenorphine is a very stable molecule, and it is probably every bit as potent as when it was packaged, even 5-10 years later. There are no breakdown products that are harmful. In general, things that make meds go bad are 1. heat, 2. moisture, 3. acidity or alkalinity, or 4. light. So keep your medication cool, dry, and dry, and it will last a long time.

Realized though as I typed that... there are few meds that one would accumulate or store, so the best policy is to either destroy or turn in any meds after the current episode of use. That's especially true of pain meds, as the temptation to use them increases if they are available. I've had a couple patients who were on buprenorphine doing well for years, tapered off, and then relapsed to leftover buprenorphine a year or so later.


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