Holistic Health Viroqua
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Viroqua, WI 54665

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Health Care News & Updates          

February 14, 2011

Labeling Change for Medications

A patient called me from the hospital, where she was for a few days due to an emergency. The pharmacist there had confiscated her Chinese Herbal Medicine prescription because he thought it was expired. I knew it wasn't! The date on the bottom was prefaced by "mfg" instead of "exp". Because the pharmacist is trained to look at the date, he missed the rest of the description. The date was the date of manufacture, not the date of expiration. Once explained, the medicinal in question was acceptable for the patient to use in the hospital.

Many of the Chinese Herbal Medicine prescriptions in capsule or pill form now have DATE OF MANUFACTURE stamped on them, rather than date of expiration. Instead of "ex (date)" it may say "mfg (date)" on the bottom of the bottle or on the label. This means your prescription will have a date on it that is past, not ahead on the calendar.

These products have a shelf life of at least 3-4 years and often up to 5-6 years. Companies that I do business with have examined and tested their products to verify the sustained quality and effectiveness of the contents. I have numerous times over 20 years kept and used Chinese Herbal Medicine prescriptions for myself that were at least 5 years old. The aroma, taste and effectiveness was undiminished.
Modern processing and packaging allows potency of the medicinals to be maintained long term.

You will still find products with "exp date" on them. Some companies have not made the label change yet and some companies are in between selling medicinals with expiration dates and with manufactured dates.

Being aware of this change prevents needless waste of medicine that is still quite safe and effective. Be sure to tell your health care practitioners of this if they have reason to look at your Chinese Herbal Medicine given to you by prescription, by your certified acupuncturist.

Be well, be happy, be safe and have fun!


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