Can i take expired tylenol?

Are you feeling down in the dumps and are wondering if you can take that old bottle of Tylenol sitting atop your medicine cabinet? Well, keep reading to find out whether or not it’s safe for human consumption.

What is Tylenol?

Before we dive into whether expired Tylenol is safe, let’s first understand what this drug even does. Tylenol (aka acetaminophen) is a popular over-the-counter pain reliever used to alleviate headaches, menstrual cramps, arthritis pain, toothaches and fever. It works by blocking certain chemicals in your brain which helps reduce overall pain.

The Shelf Life of Tylenol

Like many medications on the market today, Tylenol comes with an expiration date stamped somewhere on its package or container. This date serves as a guideline for when the drug might start losing potency or become unsafe for consumption.

According to manufacturers’ guidelines, unopened bottles of extra strength 500mg tablets should be good up until three years after their production date, whereas regular strength tablets expire after two years. That said, once opened containers have been exposed to air inside them will cut their shelf life significantly according to some web-medical sources.

It’s worth noting that taking outdated medication may still work effectively but won’t be as effective. Moreover, overtime these drugs could contain toxic contaminants known as Degradation products resulting from chemical breakdowns rendering them useless .

Herein lies the question: Is it okay then use expired medication?

Let’s explore below!

Can You Use Expired Medication Safely?

As long as we keep our medications properly stored under normal circumstances at room temperature without exposure from moisture extremes such as heat , cold/humidity light especially if those variations of heat expose any form causing condensation so no one will make our dorm smell weird! things like Amoxicillin , heart and seizure meds (or nitroglycerin treatment for chest pain), anticoagulants, diuretics might be tough to swallow after a year or so. That being said, it’s been found using expired medications is generally safe for most people.

That doesn’t mean you should go taking dad’s Tylenol from his truck glove box that has no date on it next time you have a headache though!

How Do You Figure Out If Your Medication Is Expired?

Again seeking expert advice (Ask your pharmacist). Most medications will clearly show an expiration date on its container/packaging not harder than reading the directions for use! It’s always wise to err on the side of caution and simply dispose of any medication past its expiration date.

If there isn’t one, then either sort by newness when ordering again — manufacturers are required by law to include this info somewhere— or kindly ask your local pharmacy if they can help identify actual dates that potentially could fall outside those guidelines we mentioned above earlier.

Unused prescriptions at home especially over two years old shouldn’t be taken but responsibly discarded via drop off systems like who states: “Prescription drug take-back programs allow consumers of prescription drugs in America opportunities to properly discard their unused dangerous substances through fast turn around efforts provided freely using already existing service locations across our country.”

So Can I Take Expired Tylenol

The short answer? Technically yes, as long as it hasn’t changed color form smell texture which would indicate possible bacterial contamination nor visual things such as spilling some pills out . Here are some factors you need to consider before popping open an old bottle:

  • When did the medication expire?
  • Has the drug packaging been damaged?
  • Has the pill changed color, consistency or developed a strange odor/flavor?
  • What type of medication is it?

Risks Associated with Taking Expired Medication

Although taking expired Tylenol or any medication generally isn’t harmful, there are risks associated with doing so:

  • Decreased effectiveness of the drug
  • An increased risk of side effects such as nausea and vomiting
  • Possible bacterial contamination


In summary, if you’re feeling under the weather and debating whether to take an old bottle of Tylenol, it’s better to play it safe. While taking outdated medication may still work effectively, why risk ingesting something that has a chance of actually making things worse? No joke here – no pain is worth risking your health over! So before popping pills from that 2009 Costco run again: check for expiration dates on packaging first. It’s also always good practice when in doubt to consult medical professionals like your doctor or pharmacist.They will be able to offer relevant counsel on safety precautions necessary dependent upon individual cases.

Stay healthy folks!