8. Eye Drops
When it comes to your vision, you may want to exercise additional caution. Bottles of eye drops come with expiration dates printed on them. Unopened eye drop containers are safe and effective within this time frame. Eye drops contain preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria that could infect your eyes. However, opened bottles are still at risk of contamination through normal use. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends discarding opened bottles of eye drops within three months to prevent introducing bacteria to your eyes.
For the diabetic patient, maintaining good blood glucose control is important for treatment of the disease. Unopened insulin vials are safe and effective for use up until their expiration dates. The American Diabetes Association states that opened vials of insulin must be used within one month in order to ensure proper blood glucose levels. Before injecting insulin, inspect the vial. Become familiar with your type of insulin, as some types are clear while others are consistently cloudy. Do not use insulin that has clumps, appears suddenly frosty, has developed precipitation, or has changed in color or consistency.
Sublingual nitroglycerin is a medication that patients dissolve under the tongue in order to quickly treat chest pain called angina. Since nitroglycerin is a volatile substance, it can lose potency more quickly than other medications. Therefore, expiration dates should be strictly adhered to. Nitroglycerin tablets should be kept in a dark, tightly closed bottle to avoid exposure to air and light. Keep your nitroglycerin in the original bottle and discard within three to six months after opening the bottle. Periodically, hold the bottle up to the light, and if you notice the tablets have crumbled or changed in appearance, it is time to replace them.Related: 11 Medications That Cause Memory Loss