A Jos-based Pharmacist, Mrs. Rotkang Okunlola, has advised consumers to always check the expiry date on drugs, beverages, packaged foods, and cosmetics, before purchase.
Okunlola, who gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Jos, observed that most people never cared to check expiry dates on items upon purchase, adding that such attitude could be risky.
She said all drugs had unique formulations consisting of active and inactive ingredients geared toward treating specific diseases.
“Once a drug is developed, manufacturers determine the length of time the drug would last without deteriorating; if the medication is used within its shelf-time, maximal efficacy and safety of the drug are expected.
“When such drugs are expired, most of the time, the chemical composition of these drugs changes after the expiry period, and so the said products are no longer the same.
“This means the individual is consuming a rather different product, which would be toxic, whereby some of the metabolites of the drug end up damaging some vital parts in the body,” she said.
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The pharmacist also said that expired beverages and canned foods were highly harmful, if eaten, as the preservatives used in those foods could become toxic and harmful to one’s health.
She, then, cautioned people against purchasing expired cosmetics as such products could also inflict harm on users.
She also advised that people should not purchase any item that had its production and expiry date tampered with.
NAN sampled the views of some people on expiry dates on items before purchase and found that some of them hardly checked such details.
Mr. Adam Musa said he hardly checked expiry dates on items before he purchased them, stating that he was unaware that expired items could be harmful to him.
Similarly, Grace Pam said she hardly checked the expiry details on items before she purchased them.
But Ayuba Bitrus said he usually checked the expiry dates on any items before purchasing them as he was aware that once an item expired it had lost its efficacy.