You may store Ibuprofen in your medicine cabinet, but it probably doesn’t belong there. Expiration dates are a lot like best-before dates on packaged foods. They indicate how long the drug will remain at peak quality and not pose any risks to you or your child after you use it. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be wrong on some drugs. The expiration date is typically printed somewhere on the bottle or packet, but also on the secondary packaging such as a foil strip or sealed pouch—anywhere that’s visible and won’t be removed until after the container is opened. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about Can Ibuprofen Expire? (Expiration Date, Safe Dosage, and Storing).
Can Ibuprofen Expire?
Yes, ibuprofen can expire. The drug’s expiration date is the date past which the drug’s potency is no longer guaranteed, and the drug may become less effective or lose its potency entirely. The expiration date is marked on the bottle of ibuprofen. Once this date has passed, it’s not safe to take the medicine. You should replace it with a new bottle.
How To Check The Expiration Date?
1. Check The Expiration Date When You Buy Ibuprofen
When you buy ibuprofen from a store, you will find an expiration date printed on the package. Expiration dates are often represented by the letters “EXP” followed by a number. The number represents the month and year that the medication expires. If your ibuprofen bottle does not have an expiration date printed on it, you should return the pills to the store where you bought them and ask for a refund. If you have a small child in your household, make sure that you check the expiration date on the ibuprofen bottles before you buy them. Most children’s ibuprofen products have a longer expiration date than ibuprofen sold for adults. Expiration dates are important for safety reasons. After a certain amount of time has passed, the ingredients in the drug begin to degrade. While you may still be able to take the drug, it may not be as effective as it once was. Expiration dates are also important if you are storing your ibuprofen over a long period of time. You need to make sure that you don’t buy too much ibuprofen at a time that it won’t last you for several years. If you have a large number of ibuprofen pills, you may want to divide them up into smaller bottles for easier storage.
2. Look For A Lot Number On The Bottle
When you are checking the expiration date on a bottle of ibuprofen, you should also look for a lot number on the bottle. The lot number will appear on the label near the expiration date. It is important to check the lot number and expiration date on the bottle because there are certain risks associated with taking expired ibuprofen. The longer that your ibuprofen is left at room temperature, the more likely it will be that bacteria will grow inside the bottle. If there is no lot number printed on your ibuprofen, you should return the pills to the store where you bought them and ask for a refund.
3. Finding The Expiration Date On The Label
There are various ways to find the expiration date if it is not printed on the label: – Some brands have an imprint of the date on the bottle. If you can’t find the expiration date anywhere on the bottle, you can also try to find it on the label, as long as it is not torn off. You can also try to find it in the box that the ibuprofen came in.
4. Check The Expiration Date Through An Electronic Tool
You can use an electronic device to determine the expiration date of your ibuprofen. Some expiration date tools are designed specifically for medicine, while others are general labeling devices. Expiration date tools can be found in the pharmacy and online. Some pharmacies may even offer to conduct an expiration date check for you free of charge. If you can’t find an expiration date tool in your local pharmacy, you can also use a general labeling tool to determine the expiration date. If your ibuprofen passes all of the above tests, but you are still unsure if it is expired, you should abandon the pills and purchase a new bottle.
5. By Smelling It
If your ibuprofen pills smell like vinegar, it is likely that they are expired. Although ibuprofen is a very stable drug, it is still exposed to heat and humidity in the air. This can cause the drug to break down and lose its effectiveness after a certain amount of time has passed. Expired ibuprofen pills will smell like vinegar because they have been oxidized. If your ibuprofen smells like vinegar, you should not take it. If you smell something else, like fishy or musty odors, you can conclude that it is not expired.
6. By Visually Examining It
There are some visual signs that indicate your ibuprofen pills are expired: – Discoloration: As the drug breaks down over time, it can turn a dark brown or black color. – Cloudiness: As the drug breaks down, it can become slightly cloudy. – Broken or wrinkled packaging: If your pills are in wrinkled or broken packaging, they may be expired. This is because many manufacturers do not reseal the packaging if the expiration date has been reached. If your ibuprofen pills pass the above visual inspection, but you are still unsure about their expiration date, you should abandon the pills and purchase a new bottle.
How Long Does Ibuprofen Last After Expiration?
- It’s hard to tell if a drug has gone bad just by looking at it. And drug manufacturers don’t test their products after the expiration date has passed.
- That’s why you’ll probably see “EXP” stamped on the package and not “EXPIRED.” What’s the difference? “EXP” is short for “expiration,” while “EXPIRED” means the drug is no longer safe to use.
- If you’re not sure if your drugs are still good, check their packaging for the manufacturer and batch numbers. These are important details for pharmacists and other medical professionals to trace the source of the drugs and their expiration dates.
Is There a Safe Dosage of Ibuprofen After Expiration?
- Knowing the expiration date doesn’t mean you should toss your drugs once that day has passed. Drugs have a long shelf life and a long safe use period. Ibuprofen has a long shelf life of two years and a long safe use period, so don’t toss it after that date.
- Many drugs need to be kept in a specific environment — at room temperature, in a specific humidity, in a specific light level, etc. — to retain their potency. Most of the time, you can’t tell if a drug has gone bad just by looking at it.
- And drug manufacturers don’t test their products after the expiration date has passed. That’s why you’ll probably see “EXP” stamped on the package and not “EXPIRED.” What’s the difference? “EXP” is short for “expiration,” while “EXPIRED” means the drug is no longer safe to use.
Storing Tips for Keeping Drugs You’ll Discard Anyway
- If you have a drug you know you won’t be using soon and that has passed its expiration date, it’s best to discard it. If a drug has gone bad, it could do more harm than good — especially for a child. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Most drugs have an expiration date stamped on the container. If you won’t use them before that date, it’s best to discard them. If you’re not sure, check with your pharmacist. He or she may have more specific guidelines.
- Forget about the expiration date. Don’t open a drug until you’ve already used it. If you do open a drug before its expiration date, throw it away immediately. Put your drugs in airtight containers that are child-proofed and clearly labeled with the name of the drug, the dosage, and how to use it. Store them at room temperature in a safe place away from heat, light, moisture, and dust. Keep them away from pets and children.
Drug manufacturers only recommend that you use a product until its expiration date. They don’t recommend that you throw out an expired drug because it’s still safe to use. So if you have an expired antibiotic drug, keep it. If it’s been in your medicine cabinet for a year or longer, though, you should discard it to avoid growing bacteria. You don’t know how long it’s been sitting on the shelf, and it might have been exposed to too much sunlight. And since it’s expired, you don’t know what’s in it or how effective it is. That’s just too much room for error if you’re treating a serious or chronic condition.