Learn something new every day More Info The risks of using expired eye drops include ineffective treatment of vision or other eye problems, inflammation and irritation of the eyes and, in the worst cases, infection. The specific effects depend on what the drops are intended to treat and how much time has passed since their printed expiration date. Most patients report little to no side effects from using drops that have past their prime, but a lot of this depends on whether the drops have ever been opened.
Partially used bottles that have expired are often more dangerous and have more risks than those that are still sealed in their original packaging, though it should be noted that ophthalmologists do not ever recommend using eye medications that have passed their expiration date.
There are two main types of eye drops: prescription and over-the-counter. Both versions will expire at some point, and their expiration dates are usually set at least in part according to how long the chemical suspension is expected to be effective.
Manufacturers typically print an expiration date on the labeling or packaging of the bottles that can be a year or more in the future, but in most cases the shelf life is about four weeks from the moment they are opened. Oxygen exposure can cause the drops to become unstable, and over time can lead to evaporation.
The liquid may look about the same a few months in, but may actually contain different proportions of active and inactive ingredients than intended. This risk is particularly serious for prescription products that are formulated to treat conditions like glaucomachronic dry eyes, or allergies. Using old eye drops might not treat these conditions at all, or might treat them only partially.
Partial treatment can make ailments last longer and sometimes actually get worse over time. Irritation and inflammation can also happen with drops that are unstable or weakened. This is most common with prescription drops, but is also possible with even basic saline solutions depending on how long they have been expired.
Once the composition of the medication changes, it is no longer ideal for the surface of the eyeball. Higher levels of chemicals, salts, or other additives can cause redness and swelling.
The eyes are some of the moistest parts of the outside of the body, and as such they can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
Patients are usually instructed slowly squirt the drops onto the eyeball, usually just beneath the lid. The dropper is never meant to touch the surface of the eye or its fluids, but contact is nonetheless made in many cases.When was the last time you looked at the Expiration Date on your bottle of Eye Drops?
So if I forget, i s it safe to use expired Eye Drops? Eye Health Doctors agree preservatives in opened Eye Drops only keep them sterile for 28 days. Once that period is over, opened Eye Drops can lose potency and even become contaminated.
Unopened Eye Drops can equally go bad after their expiration date, so Eye Doctors suggest tossing them out if they cross the expiration date. In this post, I will be discussing the 5 Reasons why you should discard expired eye drops. Karen SmithDoctorate of Nursing Practice. Optometrist, Dr. He also explains why Medical Practitioners do not recommend patients take Expired Medications. Check out this video to get an understanding why Expiration Dates are important. Expiration dates are labeled on your eye drops to ensure potency and safety.
Anne Sumers. Make sure you use your eye drops within 28 days, or 28 days before the expiration date. Once Eye Drops are opened or get closer to the expiration date, oxygen slowly breaks down the active and inactive ingredients inside.
Expired Eye Drops can contain unstable ingredients which could lead to eye swelling, redness, irritation and inflammation. To help identify if your Eye Drops have been compromised, Dr. Harris gives us this important advice. According to Dr. To avoid an eye infection, Dr. Are expired eye drops safe to use? The answer is no.Read our important medical disclaimer. Can you tell me the standard recommendation for the shelf-life of over-the-counter eye drops once opened?
My drops both have expiration dates of about 14 months from purchase, but it states nothing about once it is opened. Are they safe to continue using after several months? Eye drops, once opened and used, risk being contaminated with the normal bacteria that live on your eyelids. Most bottles of eye drops contain preservatives which limit bacterial growth but not entirely. The older the bottle, the greater the chance that it has been contaminated, and the longer time the bacteria has to grow.
A good rule of thumb is to throw away any opened bottle of eye drops after 3 months. Never share eye drops—eye infections can be spread this way. Never use someone else's prescription eye drops. Some people mistakenly think that all eye drops are alike, and they are not—some treat dry eyesome treat bacterial or viral infections, and some treat inflammation or glaucoma or fluid in the eye.
Ask a New Question. Not every question will receive a direct response from an ophthalmologist.
However, we will follow up with suggested ways to find appropriate information related to your question. Medical disclaimer. Find an Ophthalmologist. Academy Store. MAR 10, Question: Can you tell me the standard recommendation for the shelf-life of over-the-counter eye drops once opened? Answer: Eye drops, once opened and used, risk being contaminated with the normal bacteria that live on your eyelids.
General Eye Health.
Travatan Z has expired 2yrs unopened will it work?
Ask an Ophthalmologist. Browse Answers. Question Required. Email address Required. Enter a Valid email address. Close Submit. Related Are there eye safety concerns for our self-defense product? Does near-work cause nearsightedness?
What is the difference between depth perception and stereopsis? Advanced Search. Free Newsletter Get ophthalmologist-reviewed tips and information about eye health and preserving your vision.
Popular Questions. Loading, please wait Most Viewed content is not available.In this article, we will be discussing about the expiry date of eye drops. For most of them, these queries arise in their mind because some eye drops can be expensive and it is costly to replace the expired but unopened eye drops.
The eye is one of the most important organs; hence it is necessary to take proper care. Using anything and everything on this sensitive organ can lead to permanent damage; one can also lose the vision because of negligence.
Always be attentive when using any product or medicine on your eyes. Never use an expired product; it can put you in danger. Every medicine has an expiry date printed on them; even the eye drops have one. It is always better to use the eye drop before the expiration date. NO, you should not be using eye drops after expiration date; because it can cause inflammation, itching, and swelling.
Once the eye drops expires, it can degrade to form harmful compounds; and these harmful compounds can cause serious damage to eyes. Hence it is advised not to use expired eye drops. Are they any other precautions to be taken to use eye drops apart from not using the expired one? The risk includes how much time has been passed since the eye drops are expired. So never use an expired eye drop. Once the eye drops reach expiration date, even if the bottle is unopened it expires.
Do not take any risk, just discard it and buy a new one. If you mistakenly end up using an eye drop which is expired, then immediately wash your eyes thoroughly with cold water; do not rub your eyes. If there is redness or irritation, then consult an ophthalmologist eye specialist without any delay.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign in. Log into your account. Forgot your password? Password recovery. Recover your password. Get help.
I have unopened bottle of timolol maleate with expiration date august 2013..seal has not been?
Do eye Drops Expire? By Anna. January 29, Beauty Club Eye Care. Some of the often asked queries regarding eye drop expiry dates are Do eye drops expire? Can I use unopened but expired eye drops?
Eye Care Community. Do eye drops really expire? Nancy T. Is an unopened bottle of Systane that's 1. At least until I can get to the store for a fresh bottle? Answer Question. Read 8 Responses. Follow - 3. I used a 2 year old unopened bottle of systane in my eyes this morning I'm on a trip to Washington DC. The expiration date has nothing to do with the medicine efficacy it is an inventory control thing.
Thanks, Dr. Hagan, and I hope you have a good trip. Off to the torture of instilling eyedrops Our flight is 4 hours delayed and we may get stuck in Washington DC tonight. Flying in the East is difficult. JCH MD. Flight delays are rotten. I'll just wish you good luck, then. Thanks Dr.
Just the information I was looking for. No information on their site. This is one of those situations that I can't say their okay to us. All I can say is that the expiration date is an inventory date after don't sell not the date the produce becomes inactive. I can't tell you to use them but I can tell you that if I had 4 units of systane ultra unopened with an expiration of March I would not hesitate to use on myself JCH MD.
Notify me of new activity on this question. Join this community. Ask a Question. Top General Health Answerers.
Expert Activity. Didn't find the answer you were looking for? In this unique and fascinating report from Missouri Medicine, world-renowned expert Dr.Last reviewed by Editorial Team on August 26th, This are saline containing drops which are used to deliver medication to eyes via ocular route to administration. This eye drops are available in single unit dose and multi dose unit systems. This are available as both with preservative and preservative free.
Eye drops are available in wide range with respect to condition being treated. According to this eye drops contains number for medicinal categories like:. Yes, eye drops do have date of expiration on it. Because of its active ingredient which has its own shelf life which degrades by the time. But the fact with the eye drops is that once it is opened it should be used within a particular time period because once opened rate of degradation of the drug increases.
Some of unit dose eye drops which are preservative free or have preservation should be used all at a time because this are highly sterile and once its opened chances of contamination are at peak. Shelf life is the length of time that a commodity may be stored without becoming unfit for use, consumption or sale.
Although all eye drops contains preservative to inhibit contamination once opened, this will not prevent contamination indefinitely.
But some eye drops contain preservative and are multi dose system. According to most ophthalmologist they have strong recommendations for disposing of eye drop bottles no longer than three months after opening. Eye drops that contains no preservative are usually packaged in single use tubes. Therefore unit dose has to be used at once and multi dose unit with three months of its opening.
Eyes are the one of the most sensitive part of the body. So, if one use an expired eye drops their may be reported side effects ranging from mild, moderate and major. Eye drops are the one the most unstable products that has very short shelf life and are quickly regarded.
But still its recommended to use within 28 days of opening the eye drops because after that time it becomes unfit for use. Commonly people get confused between the terms shelf life and date of expiration. But their are some exception about different dosage forms like eye drops are recommended to be used within 28 days of opening it. Therefore, eye drops might have long expiration date but once its opened must be used within 28 days or else should be discarded.
Eye drops have preservative in them to ensure the sealed product remains sterile until the expiry date. The reason behind the caution of using within 28 days because of microbial contamination. Ones eyes, skin, and fingers will all be carrying bacteria every time they come in contact with the opening of the eye drop container, potentially getting into the product.
Products like eye drops will have a preservative in it designed to inhibit microbial growth inside the dosage, but the protection only lasts for certain period of designated time.
One is a general rule for how long the eye drop inside can stay relatively free of microbes. Once the shelf life gets over the microbes start growing inside, now it increases risk of using this eye drops which potentially provides infection to the eyes. Side effects is a broad term that may vary from person to person depending upon various conditions. Side effects may vary from mild, moderate to major effects.
The usuall side effects that are reported in by its use are:. Eye drops should be generally stored in a cool and dry place and for some drugs like Xalatan latanoprost it should be stored in fridge but it should not be frozen. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before using eye drops.
This is because some eye drops can be absorbed into the bloodstream via eye. The drug can be minimized from getting into the bloodstream by pressing the tear duct while putting the eye drops. The tear duct is present at the corner of the eye closest to nose.Why do I taste my eye drops? How to prevent systemic absorption of eye drops.
Yes, their are different kind of applicators are available to aid eye drop application easy for some people like old age people and others. Autodrop is one of its kind which helps solve problems encountered by various eyedropper users, who involuntarily blink or who sometimes just miss the eye.
The eye drop bottle is fitted or clipped into the autodrop.Join us at 1 p. Learn more. However, for people taking medications for chronic or life-threatening illnesses — such as heart conditions, seizures, COPD or severe allergies — a drug that's not completely effective can be downright dangerous, she says. Here are some answers to common questions that may help you stay out of harm's way when it comes to ingesting and discarding expired medications.
Are they still good? They won't make you sick, but they may not be strong enough to fight off infection, which can be harmful. Over time, antibiotics stored at home can lose up to 50 percent or more of their strength, meaning they may not be able to halt a potentially life-threatening bug that's invading your system. Plus, if you're taking leftover antibiotics from a past illness, you won't have a complete dose to knock out all the bacteria.
As Amy Tiemeier, associate professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, points out, not taking a full dose allows the most drug-resistant bacteria to remain in your body. You then risk getting the same infection again and needing a stronger drug to knock it out, which could mean more side effects and pricier antibiotics. Yes, absolutely. Oral nitroglycerin NTGa medication used for angina chest painmay lose its potency quickly once the bottle is opened and should never be taken after the expiration date.
Similarly, insulin, used to control blood sugar in those with diabetesmay stop working after its expiration date.
Another must-toss once the expiration date has passed: inhalers. As with inhalers, EpiPens are used in life-threatening situations like anaphylaxis, so using an expired one is a major health threat. Lastly, using ophthalmic eye drops past their expiration date could be dangerous because of the high risk for bacterial growth.
You could risk losing your vision from contaminated drops, Tiemeier says. The expiration date is the one legally required to be on the original large container the pharmacist receives for dispensing drugs. The "discard after" or "do not use after" date on bottles or packages given to patients is often for a shorter time — generally a year after dispensing — because of safety reasons once the drug is no longer being stored at the pharmacy.
Some states even require pharmacists to add this date. Drugs such as nitroglycerin and insulin have even briefer "use by" windows: nitroglycerin's is typically six months; insulin's is 28 days from the first use, says Atayee.