What’s the shelf life of amoxicillin?
The shelf life of ampicillin is approximately five years from manufacture to expiration. However, this does not mean that it will no longer work or even deteriorate over time. When you buy brand name drugs like these, they are usually manufactured to last for many years.
However, there are some things that you need to keep in mind when using them. These include:
Do not use the medication if it has been opened or if it was opened recently. If your doctor prescribed the medicine, do not use it until its expiration date.
If you have taken any other medications within two weeks before taking ampicillin, discard those medicines too. They may cause side effects similar to those of ampicillin.
You must dispose of unused medicine properly. Do not throw away used tablets or capsules. Store them in their original container in a cool, dry place such as your refrigerator. Keep all unused medicine out of the reach of children and pets because they could get into the medicine and become ill with a similar illness as ampicillin can cause.
Amoxicillin is available only through prescription from your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider. When you get amoxicillin, read the instructions before taking it and follow those instructions carefully. If you have any questions about when you should take the medicine or how much to take, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not stop taking this medicine until your doctor tells you to stop.
What Is the Expiration Date of Amoxicillin?
Drugs have an expiration date on them that is required by law. This law is in place to protect the public from drugs that may not be safe to take anymore or may not even work anymore. The expiration date on a drug is the manufacturer’s suggestion of when the drug should be disposed of.
The expiration date has nothing to do with whether or not the drug will still work though. It has more to do with whether or not the drug will still be good and not have any unintended side effects. If you have drugs that are past their expiration date, you should still throw them away. But, if the drug is past its expiration date, it does not mean that it will not work anymore.
In fact, many times you can take a drug years after the expiration date and it will still work just fine.
How Long Do You Keep Amoxicillin?
You should never keep a drug past its expiration date though.
Amoxicillin will still work years after the expiration date, but why risk it?
If you have some that is expired, then you should dispose of it.
But how do you know how old your amoxicillin is?
It may not even be in a bottle, the pharmacy may have given you tablets or capsules that are not in their original container.
You could check the manufacturing date on the bottom of the bottle with the drug name and the lot number. For example, if the bottle says, “Amoxicillin 500 mg, lot #12345 M9201”, then you would need to check the bottom of the bottle for a manufacturing date that reads something like this: “M920129”. The last set of numbers in that example, “29”, is the year the drug was made. In this case, that would be the twenty-ninth year of the 21st century, or 29 years after the year 2000.
So in this example, the drug was made in 2019. If the last set of numbers is a year prior to the current year, then the drug would be expired.
“How to Dispose of Unused Drugs”
Some drugs can be dangerous to aquatic life, so never dispose of drugs down the drain or throw them in the trash. Always dispose of them in the same way that you would dispose of medications that are no longer needed.
Sources & references used in this article:
Stability evaluation of amoxicillin in a solid premix veterinary formulation by monitoring the degradation products through a new HPLC analytical method by P Perez-Lozano, E Garcia-Montoya, A Orriols… – … of pharmaceutical and …, 2006 – Elsevier
Suitability of Amoxicillin–Clavulanic Acid for Administration via Prolonged Infusion by S Fawaz, B Dixon, S Barton, A Mohamed… – Drug Design …, 2020 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Evaluation of frequency of paediatric oral liquid medication dosing errors by caregivers: amoxicillin and josamycin by …, F Brion, O Bourdon, S Prot-Labarthe – Archives of Disease in …, 2016 – adc.bmj.com