In our recent question and also answer, the pharmacist discusses even if it is or no it is safe to use expired NyQuil.

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I was looking around in my medication cabinet last night because that something to help with my cough and also I found an old party of NyQuil. That is expired, yet not by much. Is it still it s okay to take?


Key points

In general, using expired medications should be avoided as they might not be together potent or effective as they as soon as were Expired NyQuil has actually not been shown to degrade right into harmful components, but expired products may have actually lost potency with time As NyQuil is relatively inexpensive, it is encourage to replace any type of expired product through an in-date one

In a general sense, it is no recommended to take any medication past the noted manufacturer expiration date, and also this includes NyQuil.

Now, it"s very uncommon the an expired medication will certainly "go bad" and also cause physics harm and also there space no reports (at the very least that I might find) the expired NyQuil leading to harm. However, there absolutely is a opportunity that that will have actually lost potency end time, do it less effective.

Expired Medications

Taking a medicine that has actually lost potency could, that course, have serious consequences. Let"s to speak you take blood press medication. If the doesn"t work as well as it should, you"re putting yourself at danger for an adverse outcomes (i.e high blood pressure).

for a medication like NyQuil, if it has lost potency over time, friend may discover that the doesn"t relieve your symptom (e.g. Coughing, runny nose) and an in-date product. Certainly not together dangerous as expired blood press medication, however it still isn"t ideal.

In most cases, if you room able to change your expired medication, friend should. This is certainly the instance for a drug favor NyQuil, which is readily available.

With most expired medications, consisting of NyQuil, the is practically impossible come tell if lock havelost potency over time without some type of testing or analysis. Most drugs present no outward signs (with part exceptions, prefer aspirin).

How are Expiration dates Determined?

This every leads to the concern of exactly how expiration days are actually established in the very first place.

A manufacturer because that a given drug will execute stability exam on their products so can determine the proper expiration date.

These stability tests will be performed for a limited time period, usually 2 to 3 years. After this period of time, there isn"t any type of data to indicate whether or no the medicine is stable. In other words, the expiration is significant for yet long the manufacturer has actually data for.

While manufacturers could theoretically carry out stability test for longer periods of time, castle don"t really have any kind of financial inspiration to carry out so.

In addition, most medication is consumed within a couple of years" time anyway, so longer tests room unnecessary.

walking Bad?

Aside indigenous the reality that medication can degrade and also lose potency in time (making them much less effective), the is vital to keep in mental that part expired medication could be fully dangerous come take. Now, that is unusual that a drug would certainly degrade into harmful components, as pointed out earlier. However, part drugs carry out undergo noticeable changes.

If you have ever before opened a bottle of aspirin lengthy past that is expiration date, you may notice it smells choose vinegar. This is due to the aspirin (salicylic acid) breaking down and producing acetic mountain (vinegar). In its entirety though, it would certainly be very rare because that an expired medicine to degrade into components that space actually harmful to you.

The bigger problem is a ns in in its entirety effectiveness and also contamination. If a slim loss in efficiency may not be a big deal for a drug choose NyQuil, there may be significant consequences with other drugs.

I offered the instance of a blood pressure medication above, with one more example being antibiotics. If you space taking one because that an infection and also it is not as potent together it once was...there is a danger that it might not fully eradicate her infection, placing you at hazard for complications.

As second point, some medications (generally liquid-based) room at threat of coming to be contaminated v bacterial growth as preventive (used to limit bacterial growth) room only reliable for so long.

The takeaway suggest here is that as soon as your medicine is past the provided expiration date, friend don"t know if it will be for sure to take, or as effective as it as soon as was.

Final Words

Having said all of the above, the is crucial to point out that data indigenous a number of studies indicate that that takes a significant lot of time because that a medicine to in reality degrade come the suggest where it has lost a huge percentage that its initial potency.

One that the largest studies commissioned concerning medication expiration days was done in the 1980s and concerned the experimentation of medicine stockpiles offered by the military. They discovered that the vast bulk of medicine still had approximately 70-80% potential after 10 year if save on computer in the initial container! This caused the development of the FDA Shelf Life expansion Program (SLEP).

Going back to expired Nyquil, that most likely is for sure in regard to it not causing harmful side effects.

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It will likewise probably administer a similar level of efficiency to non-expired products because it is i can not qualify to be significantly degraded but, as debated in the sections above, there is just no means to definitively know. Because Nyquil is available over the counter and also is reasonably inexpensive, the makes much more sense to buy a non-expired replacement.