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Ciprofloxacin - Have cipro for UTI. Expired year ago? Safe to take?

9 Answers

beany1204 31 Oct 2018

Hello y'all! I understand that normally the best thing to do, would be to call the doctor, and get a new prescription... However, not everyone has insurance to go to the doctors OR get a prescription. On top of that, not everyone has the money to pay for the doctor visit, and/or the prescription! So sometimes, when those people get really sick, they may feel that taking expired medication is better than taking no medication at all! I speak from experience. I have MANY health issues, am on SSDI, but due to my recent divorce I currently have NO insurance while waiting for Medicaid and Medicare to quit playing around and cover me.. I have run out of my heart medication and everything... I now have bronchitis, NO money for a prescription, and found in my Ma's room an expired script for Cipro that I would LOVE to take, if someone would answer the question straight enough to let me know that it MAY not help as much as a new script, but it DEFINITELY would NOT hurt anything!!!

Votes: +0
shell2013 29 Nov 2016

Expired drugs a year ago I would say do not take. It has been too long. If you have a UTI get to a doctor. I just got out of hospital for a bad UTI. Do not play around. See the doctor.

Votes: +0
KarenDB77373 29 Nov 2016

I started taking an expired cipro from 04/2015 last night because I knew for sure I have a UTI. I get them at least every 2 years which leads to a severe kidney infection. I was skeptical but decided to take it out of desperation since the doctor's offices were close for the evening. I woke up feeling much better after taking the 2nd dosage I feel almost 100%. The pain is gone but I still feel a tad icky from the infection.

Votes: +0
chernoph 27 May 2013

By Mistake(oversight)I have taken 500 mg tablets of cipro,twice daily for 5 days, expired nearly an year ago, for paranychia and have personally found it to be quite effective without any side effects. I would like to know if anyone else had any side effects using expired cipro.

Votes: +1
Inactive 12 Nov 2012

Provided that you have a known UTI, and you have enough Cipro to cure the infection, there is nothing wrong with the medication. I posted a question/article about how long prescription medications last, as they did a study.. The answer was many years, provided that the medicine has been kept in a cool dark place, and hasn't been compromised. Makes me angry that I have thrown away so many bottles of good medicine.

Votes: +1
Inactive 12 Nov 2012

Hello E. Hang in there. Hope you have a good one. I do not friend (simply my own way of navigating through the site) but do understand. Say hello to that governor :-0) (I am a die hard republican but lean more to the center) There you go! Take care now

Inactive 12 Nov 2012

Hey P, many thanks. Glad two people back me :). I totally understand your politics... both of them. Actually, I started following same here on DC a few months back. About that gov though...

endlessPred 5 Nov 2012

Actually one needs to be sure it really is a UTI. I recently had what I thought was one but it turned out to be bladder stones. Hurt exactly the same, same urgency and so forth. Get the urine test to be sure. Not all bacteria are killed with this antibiotic.

It takes a full round of Cipro to get rid of the infection. Less than that leaves you open to a resistant bacteria. Then the scenario told above by another writer can be really possible. Never worth risking your kidneys.

Votes: +2
angel1662 5 Nov 2012

hello adoyle2000,
I have yrs ago, had meds that I didn't throw out/after I was finished my dose I would just forget to throw them out of course I kept all my meds in a lock box so no one could get a hold of them for u never no what reaction another person will have on a med that works well for u... back to your ? I in my opinion would call a pharmacist and tell them the experation date, and what they were being taken for, but to my knowledge, from what I have heard, after a yr, they tell u to throw the meds out for they lose there potency for one, and I don't no what else, but guess what I sure were be on the phone finding out before I took one, but me being me, I wouldn't after a yr... good luck... call pharmacy so u don't regret a mistake that u could have clarified by a single call...

Votes: +1
Inactive 4 Nov 2012

I've been told by a pharmacist that the medication wouldn't be dangerous to use but would be less effective. Urinary tract infections lead to bladder infections which lead to kidney infections. Lose your kidneys and you're on dialysis then death. Wouldn't risk it - get the prescription filled for the Cipro and ditch the expired ones. Regards - ElizaJane

Votes: +0
lillybart 12 Feb 2015

Dialysis then death??? That doesn't say much to the thousands of folks blessed with kidney transplants!!! I've been on dialysis and received a kidney, and that was over fifteen years ago and I'm still doing great..

Inactive 13 Feb 2015

You would want to go through all that just by taking an expired prescription? I imagine you went through dialysis, being sick for a long time, Major surgery and now need to take anti-rejection meds the rest of your life?And you are one of the fortunate ones - there are many people who don't get a kidney. I say go to the doctor, get the right medication for your infection and treat it effectively. There's too much at stake to take chances on an old medication.

Judgeandjury 17 March 2015

Lillybart didn't say anything about "wanting to go through all that", nor anything to indicate disagreement with your advice against taking expired Cipro for a UTI. The point made was that "Lose your kidneys and you're on dialysis then death" is an incorrect statement. And Lillybart was right to make that point. Relying on the effectiveness of expired Cipro is a bad idea, so there's no dispute on that point. However, to state that "dialysis then death" is the only outcome of kidney failure shows a profound misunderstanding of the realities of modern renal medicine. Users of this site shouldn't be subjected to such abject misinformation.

Inactive 17 March 2015

My opinion - and to a question that was asked some three years ago by the way - is that medication, and illnesses can have drastic effects. As having survived 4 separate times in the past 34 years being at death's door over illnesses and medications not performing like the 99.95% as they and my body should have acted - my answer to this question stands. A medication that works as intended for 99% of it's users still has 10 people out of every thousand who are left still sick. Or an illness that most likely will pass without problems - or side effects - still some are left with unresolved issues. I know - I have lived it! It is well worth the money to pay cash to go to Urgent Care, have a urine specimen tested and get the appropriate medication - and get better. Cause you do Not Want to live what I have lived through. Are you ok with this answer now? Will this suffice? It was people like you that I started donating my free time elsewhere.


There's always a critic in the crowd. Can you answer all the questions here all by yourself? If you can do a better job I am sure there are hundreds each day that go unanswered. Feel free to do a better job. EJ23

Judgeandjury 17 March 2015

There was never any issue with any of your points about the safety or effectiveness of medications, so by writing a paragraph about all of that, you're really just arguing something that everyone here (including me) seems to agree upon. And you're ignoring the actual disagreement here. You've obviously had some real experience with these matters and are offering very solid advice about medication safety. The fact that people are still reading your comments more than two years later confirms this. In fact, anyone with any medical knowledge and/or sense would probably agree with everything you wrote in both of your comments, except for the part about kidney failure leading only to "dialysis then death." And that part is not a matter of opinion. It is factually incorrect, and I would hate for any of my kidney patients to read it (and believe it) when most of them actually have better outcomes in their future.


So there's really no need to feel defensive and repeat all of your points that we already agree with. No one here has objected to anything but the one point about kidney failure, and I for one appreciate the rest of what you've stated. It's simply good, sensible medical advice, and that's valuable, so thank you.

kaismama 3 Nov 2012

I would say the chance that it would work is risky. Why do you have cipro anyway? If its left over after the infection, it shouldn't be you should have taken all of them at the time. And if you have less then enough to do a full course its not a good idea to take them anyway. See a doc.

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cipro, urinary tract infection, ciprofloxacin

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