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Can You Take Expired Amoxicillin

by Dan Hughes
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Can You Take Expired Amoxicillin

Can You Take Expired Amoxicillin

It’s common knowledge that medicine loses its effectiveness with age. But what about medicines that have already expired?
When something goes bad after opening, there may be nothing wrong with it physically (though some people might disagree). It could simply contain less active ingredients than when it was new. Or perhaps the expiration date on your bottle has passed. In this case, should you still use your medication?
The short answer is no. Here are just a few reasons why taking expired amoxicillin is never recommended.
Amoxicillin is a molecular compound and will degrade over time. There’s no stability data to determine if the potency will last over time. You can’t determine amoxicillin degradation or chemical change by sight or smell.
You can’t tell if an expired pill contains enough of the drug in it to treat whatever condition you’re suffering from. If you don’t know how much of the active ingredient remains, then you shouldn’t assume the dosage is correct for your needs. This isn’t true for most other medications, but with antibiotics, you need to make sure you get as much of the right amount into your body as possible so bacteria doesn’t develop resistance to it.
If you’ve taken expired amoxicillin and developed side effects, you probably didn’t receive enough of the medicine to cause them. In fact, even though it’s been years since you took it, it’s possible that your symptoms disappeared once the dose diminished. The same holds true for any other medication — the more effective it becomes, the more likely you’ll need to up your intake. And if one drug stops working, you can switch to another without worrying about whether the old one would work anymore.
In rare cases, bacteria have become immune to the antibiotic effect of amoxicillin, which means it won’t kill them anymore. But it also means there are very specific circumstances where it’s OK to stop taking the medicine. For example, if you’re allergic to penicillin-derivative drugs, you should avoid using amoxicillin because it interacts badly with these allergy treatments. However, if you aren’t allergic to penicillin itself, and instead have a reaction to sulfites like those found in wine, you can safely continue to take amoxicillin.
Your doctor can help you figure out if you can take expired amoxicillin, depending on your situation.
As we mentioned earlier, expired amoxicillin does pose health risks. Even worse, it can actually harm you when used incorrectly. Check out our guide to understanding your prescription labels for details on what to do when a medication expires.
Is expired amoxicillin really harmful?
No! Not all expired medications are dangerous. Some things deteriorate quickly and lose their usefulness before ever being thrown away. Others expire naturally, and you can keep them around indefinitely if they’re stored properly.
But you must follow the instructions on the label carefully. If you mix up the doses, take too many pills at once, or consume expired medication without consulting a pharmacist first, you run the risk of overdosing yourself or underdosing others who depend on you for their healthcare.
How long does amoxicillin stay good in the fridge?
Depending on the type of food it’s stored in, refrigerated amoxicillin can remain usable for several months. That said, it’s best to check the package every couple of weeks and throw out anything past its expiration date.
Expired amoxicillin is generally safe to eat or drink. While it certainly wouldn’t hurt anyone, it’s unlikely that you’d end up consuming enough of it to trigger any negative reactions. Just remember that it’s not supposed to be consumed raw, and you should dispose of it immediately if you accidentally swallow any pills.
Will drinking alcohol affect my amoxicillin?
Yes! Drinking alcohol while taking amoxicillin can increase the chance of liver damage or serious stomach problems. So please avoid doing both together.
What happens if I forget to take my amoxicillin?
Some people choose to skip their morning dose of amoxicillin in order to save money, but this can lead to missed opportunities to fight off infections. Your doctor may prescribe a different course of treatment based on whether you forgot to take it or not.
However, you can always try to catch up later in the day. Keep in mind that you may experience unpleasant side effects if you miss multiple doses, so make sure you take advantage of your next opportunity to start again.

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