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Solving the Expiration Date Puzzle

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Q. I read your column about a person concerned about a prescription that was a couple of months past its use-by date. Whenever I receive a prescription from a pharmacy, I ask for the date on the bottle the medication was dispensed from so I can record that date on my prescription bottle and prescription documents. That way, I'm not constrained by the 1-year time frame most pharmacists put on the bottle.

I also save money because I'm not throwing away perfectly good medication and getting new prescriptions filled. I hope others find this helpful.

A. Thank you for the suggestion. If you make your request at the time you give in your prescription, the pharmacist can allow for the extra time it takes to note the manufacturer’s expiration date. In some states, pharmacists are legally required to display a one-year use-by date, but they are not forbidden to give you the additional information you request.

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I purchased nitro spray that had expired by the mfg label and the pharmacy placed a new expiration date on the container label of one year. What's up with that?

I refused to accept the nitro spray and later found out that the mfg has a five year expiration date. It would appear that I had been given a drug that had been on the shelf for over five years....

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