Medication Expiration Dates

Updated | Posted

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I think I know the answer to this but just confirming....

If a med (lets say an epi pen...) has an expiration date of 5/22, should we stop using it at the beginning or end of the month?

AdobeRN

AdobeRN

1,294 Posts

I have always done the end of the month. 

NutmeggeRN, BSN

Specializes in kids. Has 39 years experience. 8 Articles; 4,503 Posts

End of the month is what I use...and we all know that many meds are fine for much longer than their expiration date.

arlingtonnurse

arlingtonnurse

101 Posts

48 minutes ago, NutmeggeRN said:

we all know that many meds are fine for much longer than their expiration date.

Totally agree but we also all know how far that logic would go in excusing a med error... not far at all....

This was one of the reasons that I have always assumed it was the end of the month... but realized today I wasn't actually sure (my MA had thought the opposite, that all my 5/22 exp epis had already expired and we couldn't use them).  

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma. 5 Articles; 4,427 Posts

I say end of the month, too. Of course, the real trick is getting parents to bring in a new, unexpired med.  

Keeperofbandages

Keeperofbandages, LPN

Specializes in School Health. Has 8 years experience. 129 Posts

In my district, we have to go by the pharmacy label's expiration date.

NutmeggeRN, BSN

Specializes in kids. Has 39 years experience. 8 Articles; 4,503 Posts

3 hours ago, Keeperofbandages said:

In my district, we have to go by the pharmacy label's expiration date.

I think the OP is asking for when it says 5/2022...  is it May 1 or May31?

CommunityRNBSN

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 4 years experience. 785 Posts

I bet there's a customer-support number listed on the instruction sheet that you could call and ask.

cadenza0123

cadenza0123, MSN, RN

Specializes in Adult Cardiac, School Nursing. Has 1 years experience. 15 Posts

I've always assumed that if the month is listed, the med is good through the end of the month. I read an article recently a study that was done on epi-pen efficacy after expiration and the general consensus is that it is stable up to 7 months after it expires.

Granted, like arlingtonnurse said above, it probably would leave you on the hook if an expired med was administered, unless you could prove that you attempted to contact the parents multiple times for a new one and never received a reply. 

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 17 years experience. 5 Articles; 10,923 Posts

Quote

If a manufacturer drug bottle lists an expiration date as a month and year (e.g. 3/2023), the expiration date is the last day of the listed month, per the USP (United States Pharmacopeia)

I have never used the first as the expiration of meds or supplies unless the day was explicitly printed on the package.