Aulis (aulis) wrote in myprescriptions,

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from watertorture -

"I have wellbutrin samples that expired about 2 years ago (some time in 03, i forget the month it says) - now i want to try these out again and really don't want to go to my doctor to ask for some (she's away now, anyhow, and i have them here and feel like why make an appointment if i just want to test out the samples and i have them?) - now, do they just lose potency as they expire? Or does some weird chemical warping happen thus making them dangerous as opposed to just weaker?"

Walgreens #1 -" It most likely won't hurt you, it just probably won't have any effect since they expired two years ago."

Walgreens #2 - "They probably won't have any effect."

Walgreens #3 - "They wouldn't be as effective. I don't know if they'd hurt you or not, I'd call Poison Control to find that out, but I know they wouldn't do that much to help you."

Walgreens #4 - "They're expired, so I wouldn't take them."

Walgreens #5 - "We'll never recommend anyone to take any medication that's outdated. It's kind of like food. Sometimes it's alright to eat it if it's past it's expiration date, other times it's not. So I can't really tell you."

CVS #1 - "Yes, you can still take them. That's fine."

CVS #2 - "I definitely wouldn't take anything that's expired, especially two years ago. Two months ago, maybe, but two years? No way."

CVS #3 - "The pharmacist says not to take them, because she has no idea where they've been stored or anything like that."

CVS #4 - "We tell our customers not to take medicine if they got it over a year ago. I doubt they'd be harmful, but I wouldn't recommend it."

CVS #5 - "The pharmacist says that you definitely shouldn't take them."

CVS #6 - "They definitely wouldn't be as effective, and I wouldn't even risk it, it isn't worth it."

CVS #7 - This lady was cracking up....she sounded like a little kid, actually. " shouldn't take expired medicine. Don't do that." (laugh, laugh)

I would of called more, but the verdict seemed pretty clear. My impression is that taking two-year expired Wellbutrin won't seriously harm you, but it won't do much for you either.
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It isn't normal practice for a pharmacist to tell you weather or not to take expired mediciation. There's an exparation date for a reason. Different drugs have different reasons for expiring. Usually, the medicaion wouldn't hurt you, but as hte pharmacist said at Walgreens #3, they wouldn't be as affective. Was this Welbutrin XR? If so, they wouldn't be effective at all.
For the record and according to the Department of Health and Human Services, wellbutrin loses its potency after one year. But it is not a time bomb. Nothing will explode after the expiration date. You just won't experience any effects.


September 26 2008, 01:11:31 UTC 8 years ago

Some medicines just lose potency. Others, particularly antibiotics, should NOT be taken far past their expiration date. I haven't had any side effects (that I know of) from Wellbutrin expired for a year, but I suppose it's always a risk you'll have to consider.
It may become more potent, believe it or not. I had a bottle four years past expiration date and it had a VERY noticable stimulant effect on me, MUCH MUCH more than when it was new.
I agree it may become more potent. i just took some that's 5 months old and wow. very stimulating.
Most pharmacist will tell you not to take them because they have zero experience with drugs. The FDA is so stringent on drug policies that 2 to 4 years after a medicine expires it is still OK to take just less potent. If it feels more potent after many years then there may be some kind of decomposition that is occurring that yields a more powerful substance. Or there could be some kind of oxidation/reduction reaction going on. If you leave sudafed to oxidize for a while the pseudoepehdrine (no longer used) will turn into methicathinone, a powerful stimulant found in the QAT leaves chewed in Yemen and East Africa. Too bad you just couldn't let it sit and reduce for a while ;)