Does Oxycodone Expire?

We will give you the support and guidance you need to get started on the road of long-term recovery.

Get Help with Addiction Treatment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Oxycodone is a highly addictive medication. Even short-term use can lead to physical dependence. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 1.9 million Americans had a prescription opioid use disorder in 2019.

Yes, like all medications, oxycodone has an expiration date. The expiration date is usually printed on the label of the medication bottle. The expiration date indicates the date until the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of the medication.

After the expiration date, the medication may lose its potency, effectiveness, and safety. It’s important not to use expired drugs, including oxycodone, as they may not work as well, may have unpredictable effects, or may even be harmful. Additionally, oxycodone has retained its potency levels years after expiration. According to the DEA, it’s recommended to dispose of expired medications properly and to always check the expiration date before taking any medication.

If you or someone you love has a substance use disorder, Guardian Recovery is available to help. We are dedicated to providing the most comprehensive and individualized medically monitored detox program. To learn more about our programs, contact us today.

Start Healing Today!

Choose recovery and take control of your life, it’s the path to a brighter future filled with health, happiness, and fulfillment.

What Happens to Expired Oxycodone?

The expiration date is typically printed on the packaging of the medication and is usually about 2 to 3 years from the date it was manufactured. Once the expiration date has passed, the effectiveness and safety of the drug may be compromised, and it is recommended to dispose of it properly.

When oxycodone expires, its chemical composition may break down and change, affecting its safety and effectiveness. Expired medication may not work as well as it should or may not work at all. In addition, the expired drug may contain harmful byproducts that could cause adverse reactions.

Expired oxycodone can also increase the risk of adverse effects, such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and breathing difficulties. In some cases, taking expired medication may even be life-threatening.

Do Painkillers Have Expiry Dates?

Yes, all painkillers have expiry dates. The expiry date is usually printed on the label of the medication bottle or packaging. The expiry date indicates the date until the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of the medication.

What Happens if You Take Expired Oxycodone or Painkillers?

If you take expired oxycodone or painkillers, the medication may not work as effectively as a fresh, unexpired dose. In addition, taking expired medication may have unpredictable effects on the body or cause adverse reactions.

Additionally, there are other consequences if medication is not disposed of properly. Here are the following consequences of not disposing of expired medications.

Consequences of Expired Medications:

  • Reduced Potency – Over time, the active ingredients in oxycodone can break down and lose their potency, making the medication less effective in treating pain.
  • Risk of Toxicity – When oxycodone expires, it may produce harmful substances that can cause toxicity and other adverse effects when ingested.
  • Increased Risk of Side Effects – Taking expired oxycodone can increase the risk of side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, and respiratory depression.
  • Legal Implications – Taking expired oxycodone without a prescription or taking it in ways not intended by a healthcare provider can lead to legal consequences. According to the DEA, possessing expired controlled substances, including oxycodone, can result in criminal charges and penalties.

Are Expired Painkillers Safe to Take?

According to the FDA, taking expired painkillers is not recommended as they may be unsafe. When a medication expires, the drug’s chemical composition can change over time, altering how it works in the body. The medicine may also start to break down and develop harmful compounds that could be dangerous if ingested.

Expired painkillers may not relieve pain as effectively as a fresh, unexpired dose, or they may have unpredictable effects on the body. Taking expired painkillers could also result in adverse reactions or even be harmful. In some cases, expired painkillers could cause toxicity, leading to serious health problems.

It’s essential to dispose of expired medications properly and not use them beyond their expiration date. Many pharmacies and community organizations offer safe medication disposal programs to help people dispose of expired or unused medications safely and responsibly. If you have concerns about taking expired painkillers or any medication, it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider.

Complimentary Insurance Check
Find Out Today!

"*" indicates required fields

Name
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Expiration Dates Are to Guarantee 90% Potency of Medication

It is generally not accurate to say that expiration dates are meant to guarantee 90% potency of the medication. Expiration dates are determined based on stability testing. They are intended to indicate when a drug is expected to retain its potency and purity when stored under appropriate conditions.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires drug manufacturers to conduct stability testing to establish an expiration date for each medication. This involves testing the medication at different temperatures and humidity levels to determine its stability and potency. The expiration date is then set based on the data obtained from these tests.

While the FDA requires drug manufacturers to demonstrate that their products meet specific potency and purity standards throughout their shelf life, it’s important to note that the expiration date does not necessarily guarantee a particular potency level. Instead, it guides consumers and healthcare providers to determine when a medication is no longer considered safe or practical.

Potency of Oxycodone & Other Pain Medications May Decrease Over Time

Yes, the potency of oxycodone and other pain medications can decrease over time. Over time, the active ingredients in these medications can break down and lose their effectiveness, which may result in reduced potency. This can happen even if the drug is stored correctly and has not reached its expiration date.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that people not use any medication after its expiration date, as the medication may have degraded and not work as intended. In addition, taking expired medications may increase the risk of adverse effects, including toxicity and other harmful reactions.

Military Study Shows Drugs 90% Of Drugs Are Fine to Use Even 15 Years After Expiration

While there have been studies, including some conducted by the U.S. military, that suggest certain medications may retain their potency for years beyond their expiration date, it’s important to note that these findings are not universally applicable to all drugs and do not necessarily mean that all expired medications are safe to use.

For example, a U.S. Department of Defense study found that certain medications, including some antibiotics and pain medications, retained their potency and efficacy for years beyond their expiration date when stored under optimal conditions. However, the study also noted that other drugs, such as nitroglycerin and insulin, may degrade quickly and should only be used up to their expiration date.

Exceptions

There may be certain exceptions for taking expired medications under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Sometimes, a healthcare provider may determine that taking an expired medication is appropriate if there are no other viable options and the potential benefits outweigh the risks. This is known as “compassionate use” or “expanded access” and is typically reserved for serious or life-threatening conditions.

In addition, some medications, such as certain types of vaccines, may still be effective after their expiration date but should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional. It’s important to always consult with a healthcare provider before taking any expired medication or using it for purposes other than what was prescribed.

Our Locations 

Our Facilities & Teams Transform Lives

Changing lives by providing comprehensive support and rehabilitation, empowering individuals to overcome addiction and regain control of their health and well-being.

Contact Us to Learn More

At Guardian Recovery, we remain dedicated to providing our clients with a comprehensive program of oxycodone detox that focuses on much more than physical stabilization. In addition to emphasizing physical recovery, we tackle mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. While prioritizing a safe and pain-free cocaine withdrawal, we offer individualgroup, and family therapy sessions, case management services, relapse prevention training, and aftercare planning.

Contact us today if you or your loved one is ready to begin an entirely new way of life and commit to long-term recovery. As soon as you call, we start developing a plan of action that begins with an initial pre-assessment. This assessment helps us determine the most appropriate level of care for each unique case. We identify potential coverage options if our medically monitored detox program is a good fit. We work closely with most major regional and national insurance providers. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation insurance benefit check.

SELF-ASSESSMENT:

Do I have an Addiction issue?

Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

(1)(2)(3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3922864/ (4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590612/ (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5513686/ (6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257708/ (7)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2564331/ (8)https://www.indi.ie/fact-sheets/fact-sheets-on-sports-nutrition/518-the-truth-about-alcohol-and-exercise.html (9) https://thesleepshopinc.com/alcohol-and-sleep/ (10)https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/why-does-alcohol-make-you-pee-more (11)https://diabetes.org/healthy-living/medication-treatments/alcohol-diabetes (12)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338356/#CR25 (13)https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa25.htm (14)https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking

Get Local Help

Helpful, Recovery
Resources

Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave

L.M.H.C.

Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Picture of Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

More About Author
Guardian Recovery

Check Insurance Coverage

Find out today what options are available to you. Fill out the form below.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Do it for YOU, Do it for LOVED ones

Live a BRIGHTER Future Today!

Guardian Recovery is here to assist you in your journey of healing.

Do it for YOU, Do it for LOVED ones
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Live a BRIGHTER Future Today!

Guardian Recovery is here to assist you in your journey of healing.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Do it for YOU, Do it for LOVED ones

Contact Alumni Services Today!

Guardian Recovery is here to assist you in your journey of healing after coming to one of our facilities.

Your Name
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Stay in touch ALUMNI

Join our alumni newsletter to get up to date information on events, news, and more.

Name
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Personalize Your Experience

Allow us to guide you to the information your looking for.

Begin HEALING Today

Check Insurance Coverage

Find out today what options are available to you. Fill out the form below.

Do it for YOU, Do it for LOVED ones

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
24/7 Help: (888) 693-1872