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Allergy medicine like Claritin, Zyrtec, and other antihistamine tablets generally expire after about two years. alekso94/Shutterstock
Allergy medication expires, however it may still be effective for up to 2 or much more years after the expiration date.Liquid allergy medicine, such together nasal sprays, tend to expire previously than antihistamine tablets, and they will lose effectiveness more quickly after expiring.
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Yes, allergy medication will expire eventually. However, relying on the type of medication, you might still get some relief ~ the expiration date has passed.

Over-the-counter and prescription antihistamine tablets tend come stay reliable longer 보다 liquid medicines, such together corticosteroid sleep sprays.

Here"s what you should know around when the different varieties of allergy medication expire and how long after they might still be efficient to take.


When perform antihistamines expire?

Antihistamines, one of the main species of allergy medicine, have the right to be safe to usage after the expiration date.

For over-the-counter drugs like Claritin and Zyrtec, the listed expiration dates are typically about two and a fifty percent years after manufacturing. Expiration days for prescription antihistamines are about one year, follow to new Jersey-based pharmacist Kristin Frank.

OTC and also prescription tablet computers are similar in makeup, and also therefore can last the exact same amount the time. However prescriptions, by law, cannot have actually longer 보다 one-year expiration dates.

All allergy medicines are regulation by the FDA, which takes a strict, no-leeway stance on expired medicine for utmost safety and also effectiveness. But a 2012 study in the JAMA internal Medicine Journal discovered that expired medicines, consisting of antihistamines, deserve to remain reliable for decades.

The researcher studied the active ingredients in a set of decades-old drugs. Twelve the the 14 medications tested, consisting of the antihistamine, retained full potency for at the very least 28 years. For this reason why execute antihistamines have actually a one-to-two-year shelf life?

According come Frank, manufacturers suggest expiration dates based on how lengthy the active ingredients deserve to stay potent. Manufacturers submit this research, which determinants in storage variables favor heat and humidity, when using for drug approval to the FDA.

By the moment drugs with consumers, they could have been stored in problems causing energetic ingredients to deteriorate, such as extreme temperatures, according to the FDA.

"The active component of the drug, the part that creates the body"s response, would certainly slowly failure over time and also make the ineffective," claims Frank. "Taking expired medicine then becomes prefer taking a placebo. It probably won"t aid you."

That"s why after ~ the expiration date, the manufacturer won"t insurance efficacy. However overall, antihistamines have the right to still be reliable for year after their expiration date. Simply keep in mind that as soon as you obtain two or three years past expiration, there"s a higher chance the it"s no longer effective.


Liquid allergy medicine and also nasal sprays expire earlier

While most antihistamines are tablets, corticosteroids room in fluid form, and also used to treat symptoms favor itchy noses, sneezing, and nasal congestion.

Corticosteroid nasal sprays have the right to be over-the-counter, prefer Flonase, or by prescription, like Nasonex. They contain preventive to store the liquids new longer.

Prescription liquid medicine expiration dates are no much longer than one year, by law, although periodically the manufacturer sets the shelf life at six months or earlier. Expiration days for over-the-counter liquids room usually about two years.

And liquid allergy medicines shouldn"t be extended as far beyond their expiration dates as tablets, open minded says.

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Frank says nasal sprays, as well as liquid forms of antihistamines, can last because that one year beyond the bottle"s expiration date. After that, the efficacy dwindles. "Like tablets, these drugs won"t be unsafe once expired," candid says. "They"ll just come to be ineffective."

To expand the potency of liquid drugs choose nasal sprays, Frank suggests keeping them in ~ room temperature. "Storing in a room that"s also warm, in sunlight, or colder like a refrigerator would certainly make the go bad faster," she says.