What is Albuterol?
Albuterol is a bronchodilator that makes breathing easier by relaxing and opening airways in the lungs.
It is also known as Proventil HFA, Centolin HFA, and Accuneb.
Does Albuterol expire? That is the question I will answer in this article.
You can find it in three forms:
- An inhalation aerosol – This form is offered under several brand names and a new generic. It is suitable for both toddlers above 4 and adults.
- An inhalation powder – This type is available under just one brand name and is for children above 12 years.
- A nebulizer solution – This form is available for children aged 2 years and older, as well as adults.
The FDA approved the first generic metered-dose albuterol sulfate inhaler earlier in April of 2020 to meet rising demand particularly during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Uses of Albuterol
Albuterol is mainly used for treating and preventing symptoms of lung illnesses like asthma and COPD. These could range from wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and chest tightness.
The medication can help prevent onset of asthma symptoms every 4-6 hours or as needed. Intense exercising might trigger asthma symptoms. Under such circumstances, albuterol should be taken 15-30 minutes before exercise.
Does Albuterol Expire?
Yes, the majority of albuterol inhalers have a one-year expiration date. Existing evidence shows that an inhaler’s potency lasts for a minimum of 12 months after the written expiration date.
How long do albuterol sulfate inhalers last before they expire? The majority of inhalers have a one-year expiration date. The manufacturer cannot guarantee that the medicine will be safe or effective after that date has passed.
- Albuterol will expire after about a year.
- Expired Albuterol may not be harmful if stored properly but it may not help when you’re facing a severe asthma attack and need a lifesaving medication.
Most prescription drugs have an expiration date, which is common knowledge.
The expiration date can indicate when they are no longer as effective as they were when they were first prescribed.
The expiration date for Albuterol and other asthma drugs is usually one year after they are removed from their foil pouches. The expiration date is frequently printed on the canister.
Doctors recommend that you take current, non-expired medication. Asthma, on the other hand, can be fatal.
You could experience serious health repercussions if you don’t use an inhaler. As a result, if you only have an expired inhaler on hand, it is generally advised that you use it until you can obtain a fresh prescription. After the expiration date, the effectiveness may be endangered.
You must read and follow the instructions for safe storage and use, just as you would with any other drug.
Can You Use Expired Albuterol?
Yes, you can use Albuterol that has expired. The majority of drugs used in rescue inhalers are safe to use for up to a year after they have passed their expiration date. However, how they were stored throughout that year has a big impact.
Inhalers are frequently carried in purses or backpacks. This could indicate they’re more susceptible to fluctuations in temperature or humidity.
To be safe, throw away any expired albuterol inhalers or obtain a new one from your doctor or drugstore. After all, you shouldn’t take chances with ancient medicine when it comes to breathing.
What is the shelf life of Inhalers?
When talking about expired inhalers, it’s not about their chemical components that will make you sick when they expire; it’s about their effectiveness.
Although an expired inhaler will not help you breathe as well as an inhaler that has not expired, it can still be effective.
Can expired albuterol hurt you?
Although an expired albuterol will not cause harm to you or produce any side effects, it may not give you with the same level of effectiveness and relief. It’s normally okay to use an inhaler past its expiration date, according to Parsons, but you should be aware that it won’t be as effective as it was previously.
How to Store Albuterol and Inhalers
The following suggestions can assist in extending the shelf life of an inhaler and ensuring that the medication remains effective for as long as feasible. While following these recommendations will not prolong the expiration date, they may help to guarantee that the medication is safer for longer if you must take it after the expiration date has passed.
1. Store in a cool, dry place
Temperature storage should be kept between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (15 and 30 degrees Celsius).
Inform your pharmacist if you leave your medicine in the car while temperatures fall below 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) or rise to above 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).
While it may not be a big deal at first, the longer the inhaler is exposed to these severe temperatures, the more likely it is that it will begin to degrade.
2. Protect the canister
Because the canister is under pressure, it may rupture if a hole is punched in it. To keep your inhaler safe when carrying it around in your purse or backpack, place it in a smaller, padded bag.
3. Keep it in a safe place
After using your inhaler, always make sure to reinstall the protective cap. If the cap is removed, it is possible that the canister will be damaged.
Albuterol solutions should be kept refrigerated or at room temperature to maintain their effectiveness. It is recommended that albuterol inhalers be stored at room temperature.
Both items should be kept out of the bathroom and away from sources of extreme heat or moisture.