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I use soluble paracetamol, very occasionally, for a sore head. The box of 50 tablets I have has now gone past its expiry date (April 2010) but is still only half-used. So, what happens to it now?

Should I chuck out the rest?
Must I take it to my local chemist for safe disposal?
Can I just keep on using it?
Does it go off?
Does it lose effectiveness?
Does it turn toxic?

Or, is it just a marketing ploy to make me buy more?

TheOctoberMan
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Can I just keep on using it?

Yes.

Does it go off?

No

Does it lose effectiveness?

Possibly, but used 10 year old ordinary one and only realised later that they were out of date.

Does it turn toxic?

Well I'm still here :-))


Slarti
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Thye hsould be fine for a while, but when you do finish them buy a smaller packet next time!
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Thye hsould be fine for a while, but when you do finish them buy a smaller packet next time!

You can't buy more than 16 tablets at a time now without either a prescription or a consultation with the pharmacist to explain why you neeed such a dangerously large quantity.
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Sorry - that should read "2 packets of 16"
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Paracetamol is dirt-cheap anyway, so stop agonising over it. Just buy some more. 16 tablets costs about 15p.
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Paracetamol is dirt-cheap anyway, so stop agonising over it. Just buy some more. 16 tablets costs about 15p

True though the price depends a bit on the shops you have access to but the OP has a valid point about what you do with unused over the counter medicines.

It seems to me that they definitely shouldn't go to landfill and they definitely shouldn't be flushed down the toilet. So it seems to me that they should be handed in at a pharmacy. My understanding is that any pharmacy will accept drugs for safe disposal. I once helped an elderly friend clear out unused pills and potions and lotions. Her doctor was a keen over-prescriber of the 'old-school' of family doctors and the untaken results filled two carrier bags. I took them to my local pharmacy where they were accepted without quibble even though none of the contents had been dispensed there.

Lynn
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You can't buy more than 2 packets of 16 at a time now without either a prescription or a consultation with the pharmacist to explain why you need such a dangerously large quantity.

You are right for tablets that you swallow whole, but apparently for soluble tablets there is no such restriction. It seems you are less likely to overdose on something that takes a while to dissolve and froths up all over the place in the process, anyway!

I will buy less next time, but I have quite a few to get through before then!

TheOctoberMan
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You are right for tablets that you swallow whole, but apparently for soluble tablets there is no such restriction.

Hmmm, the legislation seems to apply to 'solid doses'. DAK what a 'solid dose' is? I'd have thought soluble paracetamol were solid at the point of sale?

It seems you are less likely to overdose on something that takes a while to dissolve and froths up all over the place in the process, anyway!

Couldn't you just swallow them (without dissolving them) anyway?

Stompa
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You can't physically drink enough liquid to overdose on soluble paracetemol.

Mind you, I guess you could still just swallow them but maybe the fizzing in your tummy would make you throw up.

You also cannot overdose on Brufen so can still buy that in 100.

Mel
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Mind you, I guess you could still just swallow them

Yes, that's what I meant.

but maybe the fizzing in your tummy would make you throw up.

Quite possibly!

Stompa
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Couldn't you just swallow them (without dissolving them) anyway?

Mmmmm well I imagine they'd start to dissolve the instant you put them on your tongue and would taste pretty yucky ** It wouldn't deter someone who really wanted to die but the gag reflex might make it difficult for even a very determined or desperate person to get enough down but it definitely wouldn't be the best approach to an already sore head : - )
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It wouldn't deter someone who really wanted to die

Someone who really wanted to die would be a complete fool to take paracetamol. It takes a week to kill you.
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GalacticHero

Paracetamol is dirt-cheap anyway, so stop agonising over it. Just buy some more. 16 tablets costs about 15p.


More likely as they are dispersible they would cost about a £1. I'm cheap, I'd continue to use them for the next 5 years or so.
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