I have a bottle of 5/325 hydrocodone APAP oral tablets prescribed to me on December 8, 2011. I kept them in their original orange bottle with the lid fastened on. Another thing, they were in a closed drawer in my bathroom roughly 10 feet from the shower. I was wondering if they would cause any serious damage if I were to take 2 pills, and how the humidity could affect the acetaminophen in the tablets. (Or if the humidity affects it at all). I have no history of any liver or kidney problems and I am a healthy 145 lb. male. Looking for serious, professional answers, personal experiences, useful links, anything to help. Thanks guys! :)
Safe to take expired Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen?
- 15 Jul 2014 by GriffinDelta
- 18 September 2018 (4 weeks ago)
- pain, acetaminophen, hydrocodone, prescription, expiration, toxicity, tablet, pill
Added 15 Jul 2014:
I was also wondering if dropping in a few PillowPak humidity reducers could possibly absorb some of the moisture. How would that affect the tablets?
I have taken pain pills that were that old which worked fine, but the humidity is a problem to the potency of pills. So like the others said, the pills may not have the same potency, but don't take more than the allotted dose to compensate for that since you don't know how much the efficiency of the pills has occurred.
Never store any medications in a humid place. Good luck.
I have been taking expired meds for years and years. I've been taking baclofen dated 2005 for the past 3 days. It seems to work. I think expiration dates are just precautionary. If the meds are stored in a relatively dry, cool place, I think they're fine. My girlfriend is a nurse, and she thinks that expired meds can cause liver damage. But I haven't read anything about that in my research.
The answer is: It's never safe to take pain medication that has expired or effected by unsuitable storage conditions and/or that has experienced exposure to elements surrounding the medication's found location and was not properly sealed or protected.
But if it has been properly stored in the proper container in a consistent environment, and is PRESCRIBED FOR YOU SPECIFICALLY* or has been, shall it be taken in it's directed dose or your known dosage.
*To avoid allergic reactions or risk of negative side effects to the medication.
I just read elsewhere on this site that it was found that some drugs are shown to be therapeutic for 12 to 66 months past the expiration date. Basically the expiration date is the date that manufacturers guarantee full potency. It sounds like you did everything right except the possibility of humidity issues. I keep all my prescriptions except for what I have packed for the wheel in a portable safe in my closet that way I don't have to worry about my god children getting into them while they are visiting.
Having checked extensively online it appears that most expired meds simply are less effacious. I missed the pharmacy closing time this evening and was unable to pick up my prescription for Hydrocodone/acetaminophen. Had a half a bottle of Percocet, same strength but two years past expiry date. Called my surgeon's office they said no problem I could take them. I have had no ill effects but must stress that they have definitely lost their strength, Pretty useless at reducing my post surgery pain. Intend to take two every six hours now untill I get my new prescription.
If pills are in a gel cap or any kind of liquid form, use by expiration date. If in pill form, they do not expire. That's right, they're good indefinitely. I've been told this by several doctors, pharmacists, and someone who owns a big pharma company. Good luck getting any of them to actually admit that. lol If they do they usually say they'll lose strength. They do not. I personally have taken pills that are a decade old. They worked just fine and strength was the same. They should be stored in a cool dry place, but even if they weren't--they're not going to hurt you.
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