Expired Tramadol

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/19/2010 7:58 AM (GMT -6)   
   Ok here is the situation. My nephew, knowing I am very short on money, gave me a bottle of Tramadol he no longer needed. His doctor changed his meds. When I read the bottle, It says "Discard by 9/21/2010. Are these pills still good?  There are probably 100 pills or better still in this bottle. Its 50mg like I take.
       Can I still use these or do I need to discar them And If I can, how long after the date on the bottle? Thanks

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 8/19/2010 8:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I wouldn't worry too much about taking them if it was me. I'm no pharmacologist, but I can't imagine there isn't a good bit of leeway in true expiration, the way there is on weight limits on bridges.

But to be sure, ask your pharmacist!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 705
   Posted 8/19/2010 8:04 AM (GMT -6)   
This is tricky and iffy, so I will just say this
I have a drawer of old meds that I have kept along the route, If I have needed a muscle relaxer or a pain reliever that I have had prescribed to be before and it has an expired date, I've taken it and its been fine. I'm not doctor but I think for me..they have worked, maybey not as strong, but it has gotten me thru on a pinch.
Do you have a script for these and just have not gotten them filled?
Taking it one day at a time.... 

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 8/19/2010 9:04 AM (GMT -6)   



     Good morning. It is good to hear from you. I am terribly sorry to hear you are having a hard time with money. The cost of health care and perscription medication is mind boggling these days. But, I must say that I would caution you against taking someone elses meds. It is never a good idea, even if the medicine in question is something you would normally take from your doctor.

     In your introduction post, you mentioned wanting to take 1 and half tramadol 3 times a day, instead of 1pill 4xs per day as perscribed. Did you decide to do that?

    Here are some ways you can save on perscription medication

~~> www.yourrx.com

~~> http://needymeds.org

~~> http://www.pprax.org



TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
Chronic Pain Moderator

spinal soldier
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 8/19/2010 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   
if anything it will not work well or not at all but expired pain meds wont hurt you.
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008

current Rx: MScontin 30mgs 2x, dilaudid 8mgs 4x p.r.n., soma 3x, Arthotec 75mgs\200mcgs 2x, neurontin 300mg HS, vistaril 25mg 3x prn, wellbutrin 150mg 2x(ADHD),Adderall 20mgs 2x(ADHD)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 8/19/2010 1:03 PM (GMT -6)   
While I have a hard time condoning the use of someone else's medication, I also know what it's like to be broke and to have a need.

You don't need to worry about the expiration date...the pills slowly lose their potency after the date listed, but the word there is "SLOWLY", so they'll pretty much be at full strength right now. If this is EXACTLY the same drug you've taken before in the EXACT same dosage, then I would say go ahead this one time because you're in such need, but DO NOT make this a habit - the getting drugs from someone else. It's just not a good routine to get into.

Your overall health is as important as the health issues specifically bothering you. Taking medication prescribed for someone else is always dangerous....so you really are putting yourself at risk. Be careful....we'd like to have a whole and complete you, not a messed up even more you.

DX: Fibro, Severe Myofascial Pain, Chronic Pelvic Pain, IBS, IC-PBS, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (both wrists), FAI, Reynauds, Opthalmic Migraines, Severe Hot Flashes, Physically Unable to Vomit due to Nissen Fundoplication Surgery, Extremely tiny and scarred veins (hard start for IV's)

Meds: Oxycontin, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Cesamet, Flexeril, Clonidine plus Vit. D and Multi-vitamin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/19/2010 1:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, TnWorkingMom,
Welcome to the chronic pain forum of Healing Well. I have to agree with Dani on this that it's dangerous in many ways to take someone else's medication. I know how tough it is re: affording prescriptions, as I am no longer working, am single, waiting on SSD, and have no prescription insurance.

Because my income is so low I am getting all my name brand medications free through the various pharmaceutical programs. That one of the links Dani gave you, www.pparx.org. They'll link you to the pharmaceutical program for each medication, but you will need to have a doctor's script, and in a lot of cases for pain meds (& even some other meds) some require they be sent to your doctor's office. The applications are different for each drug company, but they're doable and the meds are free.

Now as far as generic medications I use the card you can easily print out from
Dani listed that, also, but add the word "card" after Rx to get directly to the site. You don't even need to put your name in, just print out the bar coded card and take it to the pharmacy. But first use the medication finder and pharmacy location tools to find the closest pharmacy to you AND the cheapest price. I have found that it varies by medication, too. I was going to WalMart for my oxycodone 5/325's and assuming that because WalMart was the cheapest for that medication, they'd be the cheapest for everything. NOT TRUE! Surprisingly some of the main chains are cheaper for certain other medications. My cousin is a pharmacist and explained it kind of along the lines of supply and demand. For example, a lot of doctor prescribe the dose I'm getting for a variety of short and long-term conditions, so it's in demand, and the price is lower. But all you have to do is go up to the 10mg strength, which is used less often, and CVS becomes the cheapest! And there are vast differences between the drug chains for each medication, too. It may be something you have to work out with your PM doctor if you have a contract to use only one pharmacy, but if you explain why, and you can even take a print out of the prices at the stores, he/she may understand. You will probably end up using the same pharmacy/store for the same medication, but if you have several medications you may use a few different stores. My PM understands my financial condition and is ok with this.

Let me tell you and anyone reading this I have saved tons of money buying my medications. Just buying the 5/325 oxycodone - the price at some of the chains is approx $75; the price at WalMart is $25 for the same amount. But again, CVS is the cheapest for some other things.

Try to use these resources rather than someone else's medication, which is illegal. And if a doctor finds out you're doing this, you may never get good pain management assistance again. Instead, it's better to ask the doctor to work with you on less expensive medications. Check and see what the generic ultram (tramadol) costs. I'll bet it's not much if you search that discount site for prices in your area.

Hope this helps some. Good luck!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 8/19/2010 9:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you ever gotten a free voucher for Ultram? If not, just tell them you're a new user & print out the coupon to take to the pharmacy with your script.


Hope that helps!

PS -- If you are gonna use someone else's meds, at least let your doctor know. My mom did that some years back when she was tight on cash & her doc was okay with it as long as she was taking it as he directed & not just doing whatever she wanted to do. Fortunately, Ultram is not a controlled substance so I don't think you can get into trouble with the law, but you could definitely get into trouble with your doc if he finds out you did it behind his back.

Post Edited (Frances_2008) : 8/19/2010 8:10:19 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 8/20/2010 1:06 AM (GMT -6)   
The discard by date is meant to ensure full potency until at least that date. Many pharmacies just add a year to the date you filled the prescription so the pills may have an even later expiration date than the one on the bottle. They don't instantly go bad or lose potency.

You can get over 135 tramadol at CVS for $9.99

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 8/20/2010 10:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Aside from using someone's else's medications, which others have cautioned  about already, taking medications after their expiration date can cause problems . Some medications can loose their potency, which means that they won't be as strong as they were while still within their life expectancy, but others increase in potency and can also have the additives in them break down or otherwise go bad and can cause an overdose.
It is never a good idea to keep medications past their expiration date. Any one having medications past their expirations, previous prescriptions that they didn't finish,  should take them to their pharmacist to dispose of.
Also , anyone who is in pain management needs to keep in mind that taking old prescriptions, even ones previously prescribed to you, can get you into serious trouble with your PM, just as going to another doctor can. Most PM's feel that if you take an old or previous script that they have given you, or another doctor has given you, that you are violating your contract and that can get  your dismissed from PM altogther. Be careful guys, I don't want to see anyone get into trouble.
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..9/08- adding bilateral ulnar neuropathy with severe compression to the mix. They want me to see a surgeon for ulnar nerve surgery, but I'm not biting.
I've seen enough surgeons over the last few years.
Avascular necrosis of left wrist- maybe hips too
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