The Hazards of Taking Expired Medications and Skipping Routine Care

The Hazards of Taking Expired Medications and Skipping Routine Care
Oct 01, 2019
Navarro Medical

A doctor writing a prescriptionTaking expired or outdated prescriptions can seem like a good way to avoid the time and added expense of a trip to your primary care physician's office when you have an ongoing health issue that you do not expect to change. However, there are some significant cost-saving benefits associated with following your doctor's recommended follow up appointment plan. In this article, you can explore how to save time and money by following your treatment plan with current healthcare screenings and medications as well as avoid some of the hazards associated with taking expired prescriptions. 

Improved Formulas
First and foremost, if the reason behind taking the medications is to treat a diagnosed illness, then you want to make certain you have the top-recommended medication for that particular illness or symptom. As new studies are produced on the effects of both current and recently released medications, your doctor may have learned of something more effective at treating your specific health concerns since your last visit. If something can help improve your health better than your old prescription with fewer or lessened side effects, that alone would be worth the effort to seek your physician's advice in a current screening.

Improved Results
Along with not wanting to miss out on any health improvements that other medications may offer, you may also find your expired prescriptions are not as potent as they once were. Medication potency and safety can degrade over time, hence the required expiration date pharmaceutical companies include with each label as mandated by the FDA. While studies have shown that medication is often still good past the expiration date, there is no way to know if your expired medications are in fact both 100% potent and as safe as before the expiration date without lab tests. 

Improved Treatment Plan
Your body is always changing, which means missed appointments with your primary care physician may result in a treatment plan that is no longer the most effective strategy for your health. If you have been more active recently, had a change in diet to be more nutritionally balanced, lost weight, developed new symptoms, or experienced other health-related changes, your prescription levels may need altering. Just one of these factors can often lead to a change in strength and quantity for some medications. Therefore, assuming your expired medications are still effective and safe to take, you may need to come in for a health screen to verify they are the correct dosage, brand, and volume for your current healthcare needs.

Improved Cost Savings
It may seem as if prescription fees and insurance costs are always on the rise. Fortunately, there are some drugs that may be purchased with no out-of-pocket fees for those with insurance. Moreover, as mentioned above, your prescriptions could be reduced after a visit with your physician or changed to a less expensive brand. Thus, scheduling regular routine care visits with your physician plays a critical role in saving you time and money.

Best of all, your primary care physician may have learned of some non-pharmaceutical treatments that could help heal your body or lessen the illness symptoms. Such treatments have been known to help the body heal enough to reduce or potentially eliminate the need for specific medications. Even if there are no other benefits, non-invasive treatments can have a positive impact on the way you feel and perform in your daily activities.

Improved Overall Health and Longevity
Without the recommended health screenings, it can be difficult to diagnose serious health issues. Many of these illnesses may be more treatable when caught early enough. However, not all diseases produce clear symptoms, and outdated medications could be masking the symptoms. The damage of such illnesses often worsens over time, if left undiagnosed and untreated. Following your doctor's advice with your health screenings and follow up appointments can be your best advantage in preventing and winning the battle against these costly health threats.

In conclusion, you may be concerned about the financial cost of switching medications plus a trip to your doctor's office. It is true these are possible upfront expenses you pay, depending on your insurance. However, the potential of extra fees incurred by a trip to your physician's office for a health screening along with any newly prescribed medications are far outweighed by the price you pay in the long run for symptoms that may have been reduced, managed or eliminated with an updated treatment plan including a set of treatment options that better meet your current health needs.

Bookmark & Share