Did you know?
Every year, pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, and even individuals throw away billions of dollars’ worth of medicines because of the expiration dates stamped on bottles and packaging.
A recent research from Allen9 found that hospitals alone throw away medications worth more than $800 million each year.
What is Amoxicillin Used for?
Amoxicillin is a prescription antibiotic that is used to treat a wide range of illnesses caused by bacteria. This drug belongs to the penicillin class of antibiotics. Its mechanism of action is to prevent bacteria from growing.
This antibiotic is exclusively effective against bacterial infections. It will not be effective against viral infections (such as common cold).
Does Amoxicillin Expire?
Yes, amoxicillin expires after about 1-2 years from the date of manufacture. This is for tablets and capsules that are properly stored. If you’re prescribed amoxicillin suspension, it has a short shelf life of 7-10 days after being made.
How long will Amoxicillin last?
Amoxicillin capsules and tablets expire after about 2 years. Once the medication container has been opened post-manufacture, the expiration date of Amoxicillin or any other drug is no longer guaranteed.
Drug goods sold in the United States often have an expiration date that ranges from 12-60 months from the date they are manufactured.
Manufacturers will usually not offer recommendations concerning the stability of their drugs after the expiration date indicated at the initial stage for legal and liability reasons. However, for the majority of drugs, the manufacturer picks an arbitrary date, usually one to five years after manufacturing, to assess drug stability.
Shelf life of Amoxicillin Suspension
Amoxicillin suspension will last about 14 days before expiring because it is mixed with water.
In the event that your doctor prescribed amoxicillin in a liquid form, it’s likely that your pharmacist prepared it by mixing a powdered form of the antibiotic with distilled water.
Powdered versions of amoxicillin have a shelf life of around two to three years.
It is best thing to do is to keep amoxicillin suspension refrigerated in order to minimize degradation and maintain stability.
Is it Safe to Take Expired Amoxicillin?
No, it is not safe to take expired amoxicillin or other medication. The United States Food and Drug Administration warns against taking medications including amoxicillin after their expiration date. Taking expired amoxicillin could be harmful due to the large number of unknown variables.
For example, the way a drug is stored before it is delivered to you, its chemical composition, and the date of manufacture can all have an impact on the potency of a drug.
When it comes to dosage forms, tablets and capsules tend to be the most stable after their expiration date.
When medicines that are available in solution or as a reconstituted suspension and that require refrigeration (such as amoxicillin suspension) are used after their expiration date, they may not have the strength that is required. Loss of potency can be a serious health problem, especially when an antibiotic is being used to treat a serious infection.
Additionally, antibiotic resistance may develop if you use drugs with low potency.
Can I take Expired Amoxicillin?
No, you should not use amoxicillin after it has expired. Below are some of the reasons why you should not take expired amoxicillin:
- Since amoxicillin is a molecular compound, its structure will degrade after being stored for a long time.
- It’s impossible to tell whether the potency will hold up over time due to a lack of data on chemical stability of expired drug. You risk poisoning from a resultant compound that may be difficult to manage.
- Amoxicillin deterioration or chemical change cannot be detected through your senses of sight or smell.
- In the event that amoxicillin has gone bad, it will not deliver the therapeutic effect you require.
- Amoxicillin is a popular antibiotic. However, even while it may not be dangerous if it is used after expiration date, it may have lost some of its effectiveness. If it is not as successful in treating infection-causing microorganisms as previously thought, it may potentially assist these bacteria in developing resistance to the drug. That means that whenever you require amoxicillin in the future, it may have little or no effect on your condition.