So I have a fair bit of leftover biotin supplements that I sort of forgot about and really want to start taking them. The problem is, they expired in December of 2011. I really don't want to throw them out but also don't want to get sick. Does anyone have any experience with expired supplements? What would you do?
asked byLily_7 (231)
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on May 29, 2012
at 08:47 PM
I have absolutely nothing scientific to back this up; it is my opinion only. I would still use 'em! If it were, say years past the expiration date, I wouldn't do it, but we're only talking a few months. Plus, biotin is usually a pill or tablet, right? I might be a little more wary with gelcaps or oil-based supplements, like fish oil or flax. (Especially if it hadn't been refrigerated properly). You're probably okay with biotin.
I have a feeling expiration dates on supps are like those on foods -- stored properly, I don't think things go bad anywhere near as fast we're led to believe. Then again, full confession: I think I inherited my dad's iron stomach. I've eaten some questionable stuff and have never gotten sick.
Seriously though, if you have a container of yogurt that "expires" on June 1, does that mean it magically turns to poison on June 2? ;-) Same is probably true with supplements...but use your best judgment.
on May 30, 2012
at 04:05 PM
All food products are required to have expiration dates. It doesn't mean that they go bad the next day. I can only think of a handful of exceptions where the product actually becomes harmful after expiration (tetracyclines comes to mind). Usually, the manufacturer can no longer guarantee the quality after a specific date, the maximum time being about five years. Your supplements are probably ok to take if they have been properly stored.
on May 30, 2012
at 02:30 AM
Seriously? Biotin is like $10 a bottle. An extra $10 is cheaper than a whole day puking. Chuck it, get a new bottle. On a side note, my buddies that worked in GNC said supplements are good 6 months after experation date. Not sure how much merit that holds but they used to use expired or returned Supp all the time.
on May 29, 2012
at 10:01 PM
What you want to start searching for is the half-life (breakdown rate) and the breakdown products to find out whether there are possible health problems associated with the result of degraded biotin.
on October 28, 2014
at 07:13 PM
I found a box of 6 bottle of Juvenon which contains biotin, L-carnatine and lipoic acid that got forgotten in my storage room for 2 years. Bummer...I paid $40 a bottle for those things! So I called the company and talked to a customer service/ sales person. He said that since they were 2 years past the expiration date...I should throw them out and order new.
Wow that is $300 with shipping! So before taking his opinionated non-factual advice...I did the google and the first web site I came to was the website of Dr Weil who has an informed and professional bit of fact to offer for my consideration. This guy was not selling anything and had nothing to gain by misleading me.
Answer (Published 7/9/2012)
With a few specific exceptions, it is generally safe to use drugs that have passed their expiration dates. We know this thanks to a study carried out some years ago by the FDA at the request of the Department of Defense, which maintains enormous stores of drugs of all kinds for use by the military. Defense authorities wanted to know whether the drugs in its warehouses were potent and worth keeping after their expiration dates had passed. The study showed that 90 percent of more than 100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, were perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration dates.
Since 1979, the FDA has required drug manufacturers to test their products to see how long they last and then affix an expiration date to the packaging. Manufacturers don’t keep testing their products indefinitely to see when they reach a point where they no longer work. Instead, they perform accelerated testing in harsh conditions of heat and moisture or use normal condition testing for a year or two, and if a product remains effective after the time is up, they stamp a corresponding expiration date on it. Based on what the FDA learned when it investigated military drug supplies, the pills you take should retain their potency years beyond those dates. That goes for both prescription and non-prescription drugs.
The exceptions I mentioned above include the antibiotic tetracycline, which should never be taken past the expiration date because of a danger of kidney damage. Other drugs that degrade quickly are nitroglycerin, insulin, and liquid antibiotics. In addition, EpiPens used as emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions lose potency past their expiration dates.
You can help prolong the efficacy of your medications (and dietary supplements) by storing them in a cool, dry place. Don’t keep them in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom or in the kitchen where they will be exposed to heat on a regular basis - the bathroom gets hot and steamy with each shower, and the kitchen can overheat whenever you cook or bake.
The same general rules on proper storage apply to any products bearing expiration or "sell by" dates. For example, eggs graded by the USDA usually are okay to use four or five weeks after the sell-by date stamped on the carton as long as they're kept refrigerated. After that, eggs begin to dry out.
Be sure to check the expiration date on your sunscreen, too - if there isn’t any, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that you can assume the product is good for three years, providing that it hasn’t been exposed to high temperatures.
Here is a general rule to follow when considering whether to take pills past their expiration date: if the drug is for a serious medical problem, it’s best to get a fresh supply.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
so there you go...after checking all the warnings I could find for each of the ingredients... boitin, L-cartinine, lipoic acid etc...I took the capsules, I feel great, and I lived to fight another day of ignorance and the sin of presumption.
I wanted to include the link but I just joined and don't have enough points yet.