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» Hello Frugal's Forums Archive 2001-2006 » Patriots and Survivalism » Survival Medicine » Povidone-Iodine expiration

Author Topic: Povidone-Iodine expiration
Flying Squirrel

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I have Povidone-Iodine solution which has an expiration date of September 2001. Is this solution still viable?
Reasonable Rascal
1 Acorn Squirrel

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Expiration dates are mandated by federal law. By the same law no item which carries one may exceed 5 years dating. IOW If I stamp this item with an expiry date it may be no longer than 5 years from the date of stamping. (paraphrasing the law of course). Manufacturers are free to short date items as they see fit, either because of checmical deterioration, because he corporate atty's tell them to for liability reasons, or just to get slow use items pulled from the shelves and replaced with new purchases. Terumo does this with IV catheters, for instance.

Aside from performing a chemical analysis on the solution, IMO so long as it is not seperated into 2 distinct layers it will do the job. It should be reasonably well mixed in equal proportions. Once seperated I honestly do not know if you can successfully remix it with anything other than a paint shaker.

The quick and dirty answer is this: If it is still sealed and unseperated I would use it without hesitation. Only if opened would I be wary later, because Iodine is chemically active and you could lose some of the Iodine molecules over time through exposure. In reality it is very likely potent for several years to come yet provided you store it in a cool dark place.


Hari Seldon

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Is it a CERTAINTY that povodine will SOME DAY seperate, or is this a supposition?

If it is a supposition, then darkening, bleaching out or clouding of the solution could also be signs of expiration.

Reasonable Rascal
1 Acorn Squirrel

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Pretty much a certainty, Hari. I have a 4 oz bottle sitting right beside me that is expiry dated Aug 93. Came out of a First Aid Kit, Individual I stripped out to make a custom kit for a client.

This ia actually Scrub as opposed to solution. Scrub contains sudsing agents whereas Solution does not.

The bottle is seperated into two distinct layers, lighter at the top, much darker on the bottom. Approximately 40/60, light vs. dark.

Iodine outgases at ambient temperatures. Once opened and exposed to air it begins to deteriorate. it is important to keep Iodine solutions tightly capped until needed for this reason. Chemically Iodine is a Element, atomic number 53, symbol *I*. It is highly reactive and has some metallic properties in its pure form.

Iodine is dissolved in a solvent such as alcohol. It dissolves poorly in water. The seperation indicates that the elemental Iodine et al are seperating out of solution, thus the concentration is no longer viable. Normal 10% solution contains 1% elemental Iodine evenly distributed. When it seperates it is no longer well distrubuted and can be concentrated to a very undesirable level.

The normal shelf live given by most manufacturers is 2 years. Please note that stated and actual practical shelf lives are two different animals.

The following info on the actions of Iodine are copied from:

Povidone-iodine is a broad spectrum topical microbicide. Its mode of action involves the release of free iodine from the povidone-iodine complex in response to microbial challenge. The free iodine is released at a sufficiently low concentration to minimise the usual side effects associated with conventional iodine preparations (Iodine Tincture and Lugol's Solution), while
retaining the nonselective antimicrobial properties of iodine. Povidone-iodine is rapidly cidal for all classes of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa, in vitro.

Please note the *in vitro * caveat. in vitro means outside the body. in vivo means internal. The actions in one do not always equal the actual under the other condition.



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