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Pharmacology/Sulfur ointment

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Question
A couple years ago I bought a jar of Sulfur, USP 10%. It's intended for topical use on the skin and is a yellowish thick ointment. The expiration date is 01/2014. I know some things are still good, or as effective, way past the exp. date. Would something like this still be good after then or does sulfur break down and lose its effectiveness?

Answer
It's really not about the drug breaking down (though that could happen as well) the primary concern in something like this is that they cannot guarantee that there will not have been growth  of micro organisms in the ointment beyond the use by date.  I can't recommend you use it past the expiration date.  If it were the end of the world and it was the last jar maybe then BUT you should really think about what you are keeping it for - if you have already had it FOR YEARS you probably don't need it anyway.

Do the safe thing and pitch it when it expires - if you haven't used it up by now you won't use it anytime soon.

Joshua

Pharmacology

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Dr. Joshua Cappuccilli

Expertise

I can answer most questions involving medication use, side effects, adverse effects, interactions and how drugs relate to specific disease states. No one can answer all questions; I will respond as such if I cannot provide an answer. I will provide resources / references for the information that I use to formulate the answer given.

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I am a Doctor of Pharmacy currently practicing in Florida in a retail pharmacy.

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California Phamacist Association American Pharmacy Assocaition

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BA University of South Florida PharmD University of Florida APhA Medication Therapy Management certification

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