Pills and stuff

Am I wrong in assuming that medicine in capsules (i.e. mainly powdery form) lose their medicinal properties faster than the ones in solid forms (regular pills, capelets, etc.) once the expiration date has passed?

And what is the situation after the expiration date has come and gone? Are there any actual dangers to your health if, for example, you take medication X six months to a year after, or is it only basically that the product loses its effectiveness and becomes more or less useless the farther you are from that date?

I would guess that, as far as danger to your health is concerned, a prescription drug would potentially have more harmful effects than a simple aspirin.

I don’t know of any reason that an encapsulated drug would lose potency faster than a the same drug in tablet form.

The things that will affect potency are:
bright light (some drugs only)

For most drugs, the only effect of past-expiration date use is loss of potency, That is not true for all drugs, though; tetracycline decomposes into something moderately toxic (will make you ill, but no permanant consequences).

Sue from El Paso

If I could throw another one in here: What about putting vitamins or things like aspirin in the freezer? Does that slow decomposition? Or is it rather negligible in terms of the expiration date?

The moon looks on many flowers, the flowers on but one moon.

I’ve heard that some medicine gets weaker some get’s stonger and some get’s dangerous. Now just as a disclaimer don’t go telling all your friends that some guy on the SDMB told you to leave those codeines out in the sun to make them stonger. (just take them now)

Formerly known as Nec3f on the AOL SDMB