Brits taking risks with out of date medicines
Thousands of people are putting their health at risk by taking medicines which are out of date, experts have said.
Researchers from over-the-counter medicine manufacturer Care found that 62 per cent of British adults have products in their cabinets which have passed their expiry dates and could be dangerous.
On top of that a quarter of the 5,000 people surveyed said they had knowingly taken out of date medicines because they'd not had anything else, while seven per cent did not think medicines had expiry dates.
"It is extremely worrying to hear so many of us are taking out of date medicines," Dr Sarah Jarvis, a GP based in London, said.
"Just like food that goes off, medicines past their expiry date can deteriorate and make you ill. You need to be particularly careful with your eyes, nose or a wound as these areas are especially prone to letting in bacteria."
English Pharmacy Board member Sid Dajani added: "The danger is what they don't do for you - anti-seizure drugs resulting in fits, people with asthma suffocating because their blue inhaler doesn't work or pregnancy tests showing a false negative because the active HCG reagent is too old."
He said that people should always check the use by date before taking any form of medication and any products which are found to out of date should be taken back to your local pharmacy, where they can be disposed of safely.
On top of not checking expiring dates, 40 per cent of people said that they do not read the products safety information leaflets and 12 per cent said they often just guess what dosage they should take.
Care spokeswoman Leanne Doughty said: "It is essential that families hold on to the packaging and patient information leaflets to ensure safe, effective dosage - and to check their medicines are in date."