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Old 08-23-2019, 01:39 AM   #11
RyanW
 
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Without getting specific, my medication was perfectly functional 4 years past expiration date. So more than a few can last a bit for AtE emergencies.
Indeed. Like food, the expiration dates on medicine are not "the day after this date it is completely ineffective and/or totality toxic." It's basically the date after which the manufacturer will no longer guarantee the effectiveness/safety. Depending on the medicine and the storage environment, it could last longer or it could be ruined much quicker.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:50 AM   #12
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

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Indeed. Like food, the expiration dates on medicine are not "the day after this date it is completely ineffective and/or totality toxic." It's basically the date after which the manufacturer will no longer guarantee the effectiveness/safety.
And for medicines, typically dose. If you've got pills listed at 500mg and they actually provide 300-400mg, that's expired but likely still useful AtE.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

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Indeed. Like food, the expiration dates on medicine are not "the day after this date it is completely ineffective and/or totality toxic." It's basically the date after which the manufacturer will no longer guarantee the effectiveness/safety. Depending on the medicine and the storage environment, it could last longer or it could be ruined much quicker.
Likewise the sterility dates on dressings etc. - it won't magically become contaminated once that date passes (and would still be likely to be better than anything made AtE even if did).
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:39 AM   #14
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

There was a large study done recently on drugs the US military had lying around, they chose drugs with expiry dates from the late 40's to the mid 50's. They found examples over virtually every common drug, in supply cupboards and warehouses from the arctic to the equator, none of them showed any signs of degradation or loss of effectiveness. Our drugs are very stable, even in the face of considerable abuse.
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:47 AM   #15
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

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... none of them showed any signs of degradation or loss of effectiveness.
That's interesting. And useful...
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

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There was a large study done recently on drugs the US military had lying around, they chose drugs with expiry dates from the late 40's to the mid 50's. They found examples over virtually every common drug, in supply cupboards and warehouses from the arctic to the equator, none of them showed any signs of degradation or loss of effectiveness. Our drugs are very stable, even in the face of considerable abuse.
Admittedly that filters out more recent drugs, and likely many of the more specialised ones (since if you've got anything particularly interesting the military are going to discharge you), but it still means that basic antibiotics, painkillers and (I would suspect) anti-parasitic agents* can live for (was this study recent?) say fifty years with no significant degradation...

*trying to think of medicines the military might horde. Didn't we have at least one military medic around here somewhere?
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:12 AM   #17
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

When I left a job with supplementary drug coverage, in the last week I was covered my pharmacist dispensed all of my prescriptions she could get the insurance to cover, to tide me over to finding a new job.

For items I take day to day, including birth control, mood stabilizers, antidepressants, steroids, and immune suppressants[1], this was a three to six month supply and I didn't need to do anything special to store them other than the usual "keep at room temperature in the dark".

For items with occasional use, including an antibiotic, I had a one or two year recommended shelf life, depending on the drug. In particular the antibiotic had a two year shelf life, and as mentioned that's just the best-before date, not "poof, useless" or "poof, poison" date.

[1] I am absolutely one of those people who would be dead if timewarped more than about 80 years into the past, or in an ATE scenario.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:14 AM   #18
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

Its also worth noting in an AtE scenario that many drugs have alternate, "off-label" usages. They may not be nearly as effective as a more targeted drug, or may require a more annoying dosing schedule, or have potential side effects, but particularly with anything to do with brain chemistry at all, often side effects of one drug treat the effects of another condition. Which is useful if you have to take what you can find randomly.
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Last edited by Bruno; 08-23-2019 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:48 AM   #19
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

I fully agree. Basic antihistamine has helped lessen anxiety attacks for me. I doubt they would work if I didn't "suffer" their drowsiness side effect.

Playing what I call the medication roulette of side effects would make for a perhaps too gritty AtE scenario.
I suppose these dangers would make a knowledgeable pharmacist at least as important as a classic GP. They'd know more off brand uses for common shelf stable meds.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:30 PM   #20
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

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I fully agree. Basic antihistamine has helped lessen anxiety attacks for me. I doubt they would work if I didn't "suffer" their drowsiness side effect.
And for me the "drowsiness" helps with my insomnia (and my allergies, so... win-win!).
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