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The date after which a consumable product such as food or medicine should not be used because it may be spoiled, damaged or ineffective.Expiration dates are especially important in the case of medications, since the expiration date provides the only indication about whether the product can still be safely used, unlike food items where there is often visible indication that its “best by” date has passed.The expiration date is the final day that the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of a medication. pharmaceutical manufacturers are required by law to place expiration dates on prescription products prior to marketing.Drug expiration dates exist on most medication labels, including prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) and dietary (herbal) supplements. For legal and liability reasons, manufacturers will not make recommendations about the stability of drugs past the original expiration date.
The fact is there are very few cosmetics that are labeled with ‘best before’ dates because the majority of products are known to last more than 30 months.
However, manufacturers have the responsibility to determine shelf life for products as part of their responsibility to substantiate product safety.
Expiration dates are required for over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
Taking an expired medication that is less effective may have serious consequences because it may not be able to control the underlying condition as well as an unexpired medication would.
In some cases, the FDA may extend the expiry date of a medication if there is a shortage of it.
The expiration date of a drug is estimated using stability testing under good manufacturing practices as determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).