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Allergy medicine like Claritin, Zyrtec, and also other antihistamine tablets generally expire after about two years. alekso94/Shutterstock
Allergy medication expires, however it might still be reliable for up to 2 or much more years ~ the expiration date.

You are watching: How long is claritin effective after expiration date

Liquid allergy medicine, such as nasal sprays, often tend to expire previously than antihistamine tablets, and they will shed effectiveness an ext quickly after expiring.
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Yes, allergy medication will expire eventually. However, depending upon the type of medication, you might still acquire some relief after ~ the expiration date has passed.

Over-the-counter and prescription antihistamine tablet computers tend to stay reliable longer than liquid medicines, such together corticosteroid nasal sprays.

Here"s what you need to know around when the different types of allergy medicine expire and how long after they might still be effective to take.


When perform antihistamines expire?

Antihistamines, one of the main varieties of allergy medicine, can be safe to usage after the expiration date.

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

OTC and also prescription tablet computers are similar in makeup, and therefore have the right to last the exact same amount the time. However prescriptions, through law, cannot have longer than one-year expiration dates.

All allergy drugs are regulation by the FDA, which takes a strict, no-leeway stance on expired medication for utmost safety and also effectiveness. However a 2012 examine in the JAMA internal Medicine Journal found that expired medicines, including antihistamines, deserve to remain effective for decades.

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

According to Frank, manufacturers indicate expiration dates based upon how long the energetic ingredients can stay potent. Manufacturers send this research, which determinants in warehouse variables choose heat and humidity, when applying for medicine approval come the FDA.

By the moment drugs reach consumers, they might have been stored in problems causing active ingredients to deteriorate, together as too much temperatures, according to the FDA.

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

That"s why ~ the expiration date, the manufacturer won"t insurance efficacy. Yet overall, antihistamines have the right to still be efficient for year after your expiration date. Simply keep in mind that once you acquire two or 3 years past expiration, there"s a greater chance the it"s no much longer effective.


Liquid allergy medicine and nasal sprays expire earlier

While many antihistamines are tablets, corticosteroids space in liquid form, and also used to treat symptoms choose itchy noses, sneezing, and nasal congestion.

Corticosteroid sleep sprays can be over-the-counter, like Flonase, or by prescription, choose Nasonex. Castle contain preventive to store the liquids new longer.

Prescription liquid medicine expiration dates are no longer than one year, through law, although sometimes the manufacturer to adjust the shelf life at 6 months or earlier. Expiration days for over-the-counter liquids are usually about two years.

And fluid allergy medicines shouldn"t be stretched as far past their expiration dates as tablets, open minded says.

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Frank states nasal sprays, as well as liquid creates of antihistamines, deserve to last because that one year past the bottle"s expiration date. ~ that, the efficacy dwindles. "Like tablets, these drugs won"t be unsafe when expired," candid says. "They"ll just end up being ineffective."

To prolong the potency of fluid drugs favor nasal sprays, Frank says keeping them in ~ room temperature. "Storing in a room that"s too warm, in sunlight, or colder like a refrigerator would certainly make the go poor faster," she says.