reply to post by dizziedame
Hi, I just wandered in here via google, and I might be able to set a record here: Would anyone be brave enough to try Vicodin that was prescribed back
in March 1994? Yes, you read that right.
I have no idea what the actual manufacturer's expiration date was; the pharmacy just routinely put a no-refills after 6 months note on there. But I
can't imagine the expiration date wasn't sometime between 1994 and about 1997 at the latest; surely they don't date them so far ahead.
I did see an article at one point saying that some studies had shown that some drugs were just as safe and effective 7 to 10 years after their
expiration dates. (No, I don't remember when or where I saw that. It was a few years ago.) And I know that my parents, who are in their 80s and very
healthy, have always scoffed at drug expiration dates. So I usually don't hesitate to use expired meds, but they are usually just a year or two past
the expiration, at most.
This, however, is a such a long time after expiration. However, my husband just had oral surgery, and the surgeon insists he should be fine with only
Tylenol. Hubby usually doesn't want any meds (that's why he didn't take the Vicodin back in '94 when he was prescribed it after different
surgery), but he is so much pain. I have some Darvocet; he tried one of them and it didn't help much. This is a guy who is truly in severe pain if
Physicians are so paranoid about prescribing pain meds, it's idiotic. When I think of the surgery my husband had, and the fact that the only answer
is "Tylenol and salt water rinses," it's infuriating. Do they think he would become an addict if they gave him maybe a half dozen pills to get him
through a few days?
If the Vicodin would be no help, so be it, but if it might do the trick, I'd really like to see him get some relief. However, if it could have
degraded into some sort of toxic compound, it's obviously not worth the risk, so that's the question I've been unsuccessfully trying to answer.
The bottle has been moved around a little over the years, but it's always been stored in either a closed drawer or cabinet in the kitchen (never in a
bathroom). The tablets have no odor, and they look like nice, new pills - no powder in the bottle at all. So the question is: Is taking one tablet (or
starting with half, maybe) playing Russian roulette with a life-threatening emergency, or is it merely risking that he'll be in the same pain he
It's so frustrating that one cannot seem to find a straight answer to this question from any medical or pharmaceutical professionals. They just
robotically give the same responses: "throw it out if expired." Or "don't take it if not just prescribed for this," etc. I understand why they
say these things in general. But it seems to me the fact that we have had a bottle of Vicodin in the house for 14 years, and it's still here, is
convincing evidence that we are not drug seekers looking to misuse these. I do not know why this information should be withheld from intelligent,
responsible adults, so we could make informed decisions rather than gamble or suffer, but the current culture just doesn't seem to allow for them
simply to answer the question.
Any opinions welcomed. The comical thing is that if the answer is that it is too risky, I know I will still put them in the back of the cabinet and
probably wonder about taking them during some other painful crisis in the year 2019 or sometime.
My thanks to anyone who read this long post.