Are Your Expired Prescription Drugs Still Good?
The pharmacy and the manufacturer may have different expiration dates for your prescription drugs. In some cases, manufacturers have expiration dates up to two years later than the pharmacy date. A spokesperson for the FDA cautions people to always accept the pharmacy expiration date to ensure safety and effectiveness. However, tests by the Defense Department have found that drugs may last up to 10 years past their expiration date, if kept unopened in a cool, dry place.
According to an article by NPR, there have been no reports to the FDA about adverse health effects relating to outdated drugs. However, before you choose to take expired drugs, consider that prescription drugs are often taken for serious health conditions, and you cannot be sure that the drugs have been kept in "ideal conditions" throughout their shelf-life. Following the simple advice of the FDA and erring on the side of safety by following the package date may not be as kind to your wallet, but it is the healthy and wise option.
Hallucinations in the Hospital
Hospital delirium affects a majority of elderly, intensive care and post-surgical patients, according the the American Geriatrics Society
. The cause is often unclear, but may be related to pneumonia, surgery, infections, and catheter insertions. One possible reason, according to a Harvard medical professor Dr. Sharon Inouye, is that doctors may give incorrect medical doses to older people.
Furthermore, geriatricians say delirium is often misdiagnosed. Patients often remain quiet, not showing their delirium, and then are released from the hospital, only to be readmitted again later. Although it is often difficult to do so, being an informed patient is one way to reduce the chance of delirium. The following would be a prudent thing to say to a loved one in anticipation of the possibility of delirium: “if I become delirious or start hallucinating, or doctors start calling me confused, please check into over-medication, medication interactions, and any disorienting changes like frequent sleep interruption.”
Shrek and Dora are Selling Junk Food to Kids
A recent study in the journal Pediatrics found that 50 percent of children say that food with a cartoon character on the package tastes better, and that most children will choose a snack with a cartoon character on it before a plain package. The snacks with cartoon characters on the packaging tend to be junk food such as candy and chips. Many parents that are trying to buy healthy snacks have to contend with their kids trying hard to convince them to buy the junk food package with characters such as Sponge Bob on it.
The study makes clear what food marketers have known for decades. The question now is whether the results of the study should be used to regulate this type of marketing to children. What’s your method for getting children to eat healthy snacks?
Snack Shopping Tip:
To appease children while shopping for snacks, bring stickers of their favorite cartoon characters and place them on your healthy snack purchases.