The shelf life of drugs - the time taken from manufacture to expiry date is referred to as the drug’s - is an often dicussed topic at Exit workshops. It is general knowledge that most drugs will be subject to some form of degradation over time. This may be brought about by chemical, physical or microbial breakdown. This is why all drugs now include an ‘expiry date’.
Clearly, while a drug does not become ineffective after the stated expiry date, the loss of potency of a drug over time is something that drug companies are careful to notify their customers about. Just to be on the safe side. Despite the caution of drug manufacturers in this area, research shows that many drugs remain highly effective for many years after their expiry date.
For modern medicines, expiration dates are usually set for two to three years after the date of the manufacture of the drug. This is the case for veterinary liquid Nembutal which has a shelf life/ expiry date stamped on the side of the bottle. However, Exit research has shown Nembutal to be very effective many years after the formal expiry date.