4.6. The difference between the expiration date and the refill through date


  • Expiration date – the date on the actual container, or one year after medication with no date, was filled.



  • Refill through date = is variable and determined by the prescribing authority



  • Labeling requirements for over-the-counter (OTC) medications include in the original manufacturer’s bottle with the resident’s name, OR Labeled by the pharmacy;
  • Prescription labels should be clear and concise and abbreviations should be discouraged for client safety in medication administration;
  • It is recommended that all agencies have a list in place of what they consider approved and unapproved medical abbreviations;
  • You cannot alter a medicine label.


NOTE: Medication Labels cannot be altered, they must be re-written.
  • Directions on medication labels from pharmacy are checked against the MAR.
  • If there is a discrepancy between the information on the MAR and the medication label, check the order in the resident’s record. (The label on medication cannot be changed by anyone. If the licensed practitioner changes the dosage on prescribed medication, a new prescription must be filled by the pharmacy. The old medication cannot be administered and must be discarded per agency policy.)

The prescription from the licensed practitioner, the label on the medication, and the information on the MAR must match exactly.