What Happens If You Use Expired Steroids
When you’re sick or injured, it can be frustrating and difficult to find a cure — especially when your body isn’t responding to traditional treatments. The pharmaceutical industry has been working tirelessly to develop new medicines for diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and more, but there are some who would rather use what they already have in their homes. This practice of “prescription re-fill” is becoming increasingly popular as people search for alternatives to expensive drugs on the market.
If you’ve ever filled a prescription at an urgent care clinic or pharmacy, you know how convenient this method can be. Pharmacies and clinics often have large quantities of different medications available due to bulk purchases from wholesalers. These pharmacies also typically offer extended hours so patients don’t always need to make appointments during normal business hours. However, while these factors make refilling prescriptions easier than buying them brand new, many medical experts warn against using expired medication. According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), taking expired medication could put a patient at risk. In fact, the agency states that expired medicine is unsafe to take, even if it was once considered safe.
The problem with expired medication is its age. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes in a statement on the topic that the effectiveness of a drug may decrease over time, but much of the original potency still remains even a decade after the expiration date. Also, older drugs might not work as well because our bodies change as we get older. For example, birth control pills lose effectiveness as ovulation periods become less predictable. So, if you were prescribed an oral contraceptive 20 years ago, but now need it again, it might not be as effective since you haven’t taken one recently.
But does that mean you should never use expired medication? Not necessarily. Here are some guidelines from the NIH:
* If you have any doubt about whether expired steroid medication will harm you, consult your doctor before using it.
* Do not buy or sell unused or unopened bottles of medicine unless you are certain that you’re getting exactly what you paid for.
* If you think you took a bottle of medicine past its expiration date, contact your health professional immediately.
While it’s true the effects of expired medicine may be worse than fresh medication, it’s important to note that the risks associated with such practices aren’t nearly as severe as other illegal activities like purchasing street drugs. There have only been rare reports of serious illness related to expired steroids. And, according to the FDA, most cases of side effects occur with dosage forms containing ingredients other than the active ingredient. But, just to be sure, check up on your own symptoms and see a physician if you experience any adverse reactions.
It’s worth noting that some countries do allow limited sales of expired medicine, although not all jurisdictions permit this. Some places require pharmacists to verify the validity of a prescription before filling it; others simply ask for proof that the product hasn’t been tampered with. Countries that implement rigorous policies include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
In order to avoid issues with expired products, consumers should keep track of the dates stamped on pharmaceuticals. With today’s technology, keeping records of your prescriptions and doses is easy. Smartphones are great ways to stay organized, too!
There are several types of steroids used in the treatment of various ailments, including:
Corticosteroids – Corticosteroids are hormones produced by the adrenal cortex that regulate inflammation and immunity. They reduce swelling and improve healing by slowing down the rate of cell division. Common uses for corticosteroids are asthma, arthritis, allergies, skin conditions, kidney disease, eye disorders, rheumatic fever, organ rejection, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis and tuberculosis.
Prednisolone/prednisone – Prednisolone is a synthetic derivative of prednisone, which reduces the severity of inflammatory responses in the airways and lungs. Its primary function is to suppress excessive immune activity.
Methylprednisolone/methyprednisolone – Methylprednisolone is a short-acting form of corticosteroid hormone used to treat allergic diseases and autoimmune disorders. Methyprednisolone has higher anti-inflammatory activity than methylprednisolone.
Dexamethasone/dexaatlepisole – Dexamethasone is another type of corticosteroid hormone. It’s commonly used to relieve pain, prevent infection, treat swelling and enhance wound healing. Dexamethasone relieves pain and reduces inflammation in osteoarthritis. It also prevents tissue damage caused by radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Amphotericin B – Amphotericin B is a polyene antifungal agent that works by binding fungal membrane cholesterol causing leakage of potassium ions, disruption of membrane integrity and ultimately death. It is used primarily for treating infections caused by fungi or protozoa.
Antibiotics are known as bactericidal agents, meaning they kill bacteria. Antibiotics are usually classified based on spectrum of activity. Broad-spectrum antibiotics affect both Gram positive and negative organisms, whereas narrow-spectrum antibiotics target specific groups of microbes. When choosing an antibiotic, look for ones that have been shown to address the particular strain of microbe you have. Penicillin is an example of a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Neomycin sulfate, kanamycin, gentamicin and amikacin are examples of narrow-spectrum antibiotics.
Many antibiotics are derived from natural sources. Examples of common antibiotics found in plants include berberine, cephalosporins, tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, clindamycin, lincomycin, neamine, netilmicin, omadacyl, oxytetracycline, penicillin G, puromycins, streptomycin, tylosin, vancomycin, virginiamycin, bactrim, chlorella extract and grape seed extract.
Some antibiotics are made synthetically. Example of synthetic antibiotics includes fluoroquinolones, ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid, norfloxacin, sparfloxacin, trimethoprim, nitazoxanide, paromomycin, tilmicafen, trovafloxacin, enrofloxacin, lomefloxacin, orbifloxacin, garenoxacin, sarafloxacin, sitafloxacin, danofloxacin, flumequine, quinupristin dalfungin, telithromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin, dirithromycin, josephitespirone, mefloquine, pyrazinamide, ethionamide, cycloserine, thiostrepton, fusidic acid, mycostatin, amphotericin B complex, griseofulvin, clotrimazole, ketoconazole, itraconazole, terbinafine, naftifine, imiquimod, retinoic acid, isotretinoin and silymarin.
Most antibiotics are metabolized by the liver, while others are excreted into urine or feces. Most antibiotics are eliminated through the kidneys. Because antibiotics can cause diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramps, they are given with food to minimize gastrointestinal problems. Although antibiotics can help fight infections, they can also contribute to bacterial resistance. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to resistant strains of microorganisms that are harder to treat.
Some research suggests that probiotics (live microorganisms that provide beneficial effects on intestinal flora) could possibly restore microbial balance in the gut and help maintain healthy digestion and absorb nutrients. Probiotic supplements contain billions of live cultures, including Lactobacillus plantarum 299, which may help alleviate constipation symptoms.
As you can see, there are plenty of options out there for anyone looking to combat sicknesses without resorting to dangerous and potentially harmful substances. Keep reading to learn how homeopathy treats illnesses naturally.
Homeopathic remedies come in pill, liquid and topical versions. While modern medicine generally relies on chemical compounds, homeopathy aims to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself through the administration of small amounts of highly diluted substances. Homeopaths believe that the right combination of molecules can trigger the innate intelligence of the human body to produce the desired result.
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