Home Medicine How Long Does Walgreens Hold Prescriptions

How Long Does Walgreens Hold Prescriptions

by Dan Hughes
How Long Does Walgreens Hold Prescriptions

How Long Does Walgreens Hold Prescriptions

For many of us, going to the doctor is akin to going to church — there’s an air of anticipation as we walk through those heavy doors into their sanctum sanctorum. We know what we’re coming for, but all those questions about our health can be overwhelming. And then that doctor’s assistant asks you if you want your blood drawn so she can run some tests on the spot, and suddenly you feel like you have no idea where to start.
But thanks to the magic of modern pharmaceuticals, most people don’t need to go to a physician at all these days. They can simply pick up a prescription from any corner drugstore or supermarket and get relief from whatever ails them without having to talk to anyone. The only problem with this convenience is that sometimes pharmacies forget to fill your prescription until too late. So how long do prescriptions generally stay valid? It depends on the type of medication.
Here’s some information on the length of time that various types of medicine remain effective. In general, prescription drugs expire based upon the following schedule, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
Non-controlled Drugs – These are medicines such as over-the-counter cold remedies, pain relievers, laxatives, etc., that carry expiration dates printed directly on the bottle. Expiration dates usually range between “expiration date” and “expires on.”
Over-The Counter Drugs – OTC drugs such as decongestants and antihistamines last anywhere from 30 to 90 days depending on the product and dosage strength.
Prescription Drugs – For pills, capsules, liquid forms and topical ointments, FDA regulations require manufacturers to print an expiration date right on the packaging. This date ranges between “manufacturer’s license expires,” “do not use past,” and “use before.”
All drugs sold in retail outlets must be handled with care. If possible, you should read labels carefully to determine whether certain products still contain active ingredients. You may also wish to check out the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Consumer Information website.
To learn more about taking care of medications properly, see the links on the next page.
While most prescription medications are considered safe enough to take orally, some are deemed unsafe when taken intravenously. That means you shouldn’t even consider giving them to someone else who might suffer allergic reactions or overdoses. Such potentially dangerous drugs include epinephrine (EpiPen), insulin, oral contraceptives, barbiturates, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin and morphine.

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