How long does liquid amoxicillin last in the fridge?

Quick Answer

The shelf life of liquid amoxicillin depends on several factors, but generally it can last around 14 days when stored correctly in the refrigerator. Liquid amoxicillin should be discarded after 14 days even if it has been stored properly in the fridge and the bottle is not opened. Once opened, the amoxicillin suspension should be used within 14 days.

How Long Does Unopened Liquid Amoxicillin Last?

Unopened liquid amoxicillin that has been properly stored can last around 14 days past its expiration date in the refrigerator. However, amoxicillin degrades over time, so it’s best to use it as soon as possible after purchasing. Here are some general guidelines for how long amoxicillin lasts when unopened:

– Store brand liquid amoxicillin: 12-14 days past expiration date
– Name brand liquid amoxicillin: 18-20 days past expiration date

The expiration date marked on the bottle of liquid amoxicillin is an estimate of how long it retains full potency when stored correctly. Even before the expiration date, amoxicillin may start to slowly lose potency. For this reason, it’s best to start using a new bottle of amoxicillin suspension within a couple weeks of purchasing it.

Proper storage extends the shelf life. Make sure to store liquid amoxicillin at room temperature, away from excess moisture and heat. Refrigeration can help extend the shelf life by slowing down degradation.

How Long Does Opened Liquid Amoxicillin Last?

Once opened, the shelf life of liquid amoxicillin is reduced. Opened amoxicillin suspension should be discarded after 14 days, even if stored properly in the refrigerator. Here are some tips for getting the maximum shelf life once a bottle is opened:

– Store opened amoxicillin tightly sealed in the refrigerator between 35-40°F (2-4°C). Do not freeze.
– Make sure to wipe off the mouth of the bottle before resealing to prevent contamination.
– Write the date you opened it on the bottle so you can keep track.
– Don’t use if it has changed colors, smells strange, or has particles floating in it.

The amoxicillin deteriorates faster once exposed to air, light, and bacterial contamination. Never use amoxicillin past the 14 day opened bottle guideline, even if some is left. Leaving amoxicillin suspension out at room temperature speeds up how quickly it loses efficacy. Discard any unused portion after 14 days.

How to Tell if Liquid Amoxicillin Has Gone Bad

Here are signs that opened or unopened liquid amoxicillin has gone bad and should be discarded:

– **Change in color:** Amoxicillin suspension is meant to be a pinkish color. If it turns yellow, brown, or more cloudy, it has deteriorated.

– **Change in consistency:** The suspension should be somewhat thick and shakeable. If it’s runny, too thin, or not able to be mixed up, toss it.

– **Strange odor:** Liquid amoxicillin has a slight medicinal smell when fresh. If you notice strange odors like sour milk, throw it away.

– **Particles:** You may see some pinkish-white sediment at the bottom of the bottle that shakes back up, but black, fuzzy, or floating particles mean it has gone bad.

– **Expired:** If the date on the bottle has passed 14 days for an opened bottle or the expiration date for an unopened bottle, the amoxicillin is no longer good.

– **Stored improperly:** Heat, moisture, and freezing temperatures all shorten the shelf life, so improper storage voids the expiration date.

When in doubt, do not use discolored, smelly, or expired liquid amoxicillin even if some is left. Always store it properly in the future and mark opened bottles with the date.

Does Amoxicillin Lose Potency After the Expiration Date?

Yes, liquid amoxicillin does start to slowly lose potency after its expiration date, even if the bottle is still sealed. The expiration date is the final day the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and expected shelf life.

The active ingredients in amoxicillin, primarily amoxicillin trihydrate, begin degrading after the expiration date. The amoxicillin loses potency and effectiveness over time. For the best results, liquid amoxicillin should be discarded on the expiration date, especially if it has been stored improperly in heat or moisture.

However, unopened amoxicillin stored correctly in the refrigerator may still retain some effectiveness for up to 2 weeks after the expiration date. After that point, too much degradation has occurred and the antibiotic properties cannot be relied upon.

With opened bottles, the amoxicillin degrades even faster as it’s exposed to air and light. So follow the 14 day guideline after opening no matter the original expiration date. Do not take expired amoxicillin in any form.

How Does Heat Impact Liquid Amoxicillin’s Shelf Life?

Exposing liquid amoxicillin to heat speeds up its degradation and shortens its shelf life. Leaving amoxicillin suspension in hot environments above 77°F (25°C) causes the liquid to lose potency very rapidly.

Here’s how heat impacts the shelf life:

– At room temperature around 68-77°F (20-25°C), amoxicillin may lose around 5-10% of its potency per year. Opened bottles degrade faster.

– In temperatures from 77-86°F (25-30°C), potency drops much more rapidly. Unopened bottles can lose 30% potency in just a couple months.

– Exceeding 86°F (30°C) drastically shortens shelf life. Unopened amoxicillin stored at 95°F (35°C) may be completely inactive in just weeks.

Always avoid storing amoxicillin anywhere hot, such as in the glove compartment of a car or near a heat source. Refrigeration between 36-46°F (2-8°C) helps extend shelf life significantly by protecting it from heat degradation. Keep it as close to 36°F (2°C) as possible. Discard immediately if you suspect it has overheated.

Does Freezing Amoxicillin Ruin It?

Freezing liquid amoxicillin is not recommended and can decrease the shelf life. The amoxicillin suspension was not designed to be frozen and thawed. Freezing causes changes to the stability and composition that makes it more likely to degrade and lose effectiveness faster.

However, briefly freezing accidentally likely won’t completely ruin the amoxicillin right away. The bottle will need thawed fully in the refrigerator before trying to shake and resuspend the amoxicillin. But any leftover amoxicillin that has been previously frozen should not be relied upon after the expiration or 14 day opened bottle date.

Never intentionally freeze amoxicillin suspension. And do not use if you suspect it has been left frozen anywhere, like in a freezer or car in winter. The improper freezing can hasten degradation and change the color, smell, and consistency so it’s unusable. Always store amoxicillin in the fridge compartment above freezing temperatures.

Tips to Extend the Shelf Life of Liquid Amoxicillin

Here are some tips to get the maximum shelf life out of your liquid amoxicillin:

– Purchase a new bottle shortly before needing to start the course of amoxicillin to get the freshest possible.

– Store unopened bottles at room temperature below 77°F (25°C) away from moisture and direct light.

– Refrigerate unopened bottles for longer shelf life but avoid freezing.

– Once opened, immediately refrigerate the suspension. Store between 35-40°F (2-4°C).

– Keep unused amoxicillin in the center of the fridge away from the cold walls to avoid freezing.

– Seal bottles tightly after each use. Wipe the rim clean before resealing.

– Mark opened bottles with the date opened and discard after 14 days max.

– Don’t use if expired, discolored, has particles, or smells strange.

– Avoid contamination by not touching dropper to mouth or hands. Use as prescribed.

– Don’t mix with food or other medications in the bottle.

By buying high quality amoxicillin from the pharmacy, storing properly, and being aware of expiration, you can optimize the shelf life and ensure the amoxicillin retains full potency.

What are the Side Effects of Taking Expired Amoxicillin?

Taking expired amoxicillin or amoxicillin that has lost potency can potentially cause decreased effectiveness and more side effects.

Some possible side effects of degraded or expired amoxicillin can include:

– Treatment failure from lack of antibiotic efficacy

– Recurrence or worsening of the original infection

– Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

– Allergic reaction in those sensitive to penicillin (rash, swelling, shortness of breath)

– Superinfection as bacteria become more resistant

– Dizziness, headaches, and confusion

– Changes in tooth discoloration in children under 8 years old

– Interactions with birth control pills or other medications

Always talk to your pharmacist or doctor if you have taken amoxicillin that you think may have been expired and are having concerning side effects. Never take amoxicillin that is past its expiration date or has been stored improperly. The reduced efficacy increases your risk.

Does Amoxicillin Interact With Other Medications?

Yes, amoxicillin can potentially interact with other prescription or over-the-counter medications. Some significant interactions to be aware of include:

– **Blood thinners:** Amoxicillin may enhance the effects of drugs like warfarin and increase bleeding risk.

– **Birth control pills:** Amoxicillin may reduce effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Consider backup methods.

– **Probenecid:** May slow excretion and increase levels of amoxicillin in the body.

– **Allopurinol:** May increase likelihood of skin rash.

– **Certain diuretics:** Decreased excretion of amoxicillin could increase side effects.

Always inform your doctor about any medications you are taking. Read medication labels carefully and ask your pharmacist questions about potential interactions with amoxicillin or other antibiotics. Pay extra attention if taking blood thinners, birth control, or probenecid.

Some antacids and supplements can also impair absorption of amoxicillin if taken together. Make sure to space out dosing appropriately. Check with your doctor before taking any new over-the-counter medication or supplement while on amoxicillin.

Does Amoxicillin Need to Be Refrigerated When Traveling?

It’s best to refrigerate liquid amoxicillin during travel to maintain its potency and shelf life. However, a short time spent traveling at room temperature below 86°F (30°C) generally will not impact the effectiveness significantly.

Here are some tips for traveling with liquid amoxicillin:

– When driving, use a cooler with ice packs to keep the amoxicillin bottles as close to 36-46°F (2-8°C) as possible.

– In warm climates, wrap bottles in foil inside the cooler to protect from light damage.

– During flights, keep the amoxicillin in your carry-on bag. Do not check it into luggage hold.

– Use insulating neoprene travel bottle holders to stabilize temperature. Avoid freezing.

– At room temperature, try to keep bottles away from direct light and heat exposure.

– Limit travel times to less than 2 weeks to prevent excessive heat degradation if refrigeration is not available.

– Shake the bottles periodically to maintain the suspension during travel.

– Once arriving at destination, immediately refrigerate again.

With proper precautions, short term travel without refrigeration should not significantly impact the drug. But for trips longer than 2 weeks, try to bring a travel fridge or ice cooler to maintain cool temperatures. Monitor drug for any changes in appearance.

Is Amoxicillin Safe for Dogs or Cats?

Amoxicillin is sometimes used as a antibiotic for dogs and cats, but only under the direction of a veterinarian. Never give pets amoxicillin or any human medication without first consulting your veterinarian.

For dogs, amoxicillin may be prescribed to treat bacterial infections that cause skin problems, urinary tract infections, respiratory disease, or other illnesses. The most common dosage for dogs is 5-10 mg per pound every 12-24 hours.

For cats, amoxicillin may be used more cautiously to treat certain bacterial cases of respiratory infections, skin wounds, or abscesses. A typical feline dose may be 62.5-250 mg total per day.

Amoxicillin can be given directly by mouth, blended into food, or through injection. Your vet will provide complete dosage instructions and monitor for any side effects. Never increase dosage or duration without your vet’s guidance.

In general, amoxicillin is safe for dogs and cats when given properly under veterinary supervision. Make sure to keep the medication refrigerated and away from pets until use. Seek immediate vet care if your pet experiences any unusual reaction. Do not use leftover or expired human amoxicillin for your pet.

Key Points

– Unopened liquid amoxicillin generally lasts around 14 days past expiration when refrigerated.

– Once opened, use within 14 days before discarding the remainder.

– Heat, freezing, and humidity decrease shelf life. Refrigerate between 36-46°F (2-8°C).

– Inspect for changes in color, smell, consistency, or particles before use.

– Take note of any side effects if taking expired or improperly stored amoxicillin.

– Always consult your pharmacist or doctor for proper storage and drug interactions.

– Refrigerate during travel when possible and avoid excessive heat exposure.

– Only give amoxicillin to pets under the guidance of a veterinarian.

The Bottom Line

With proper refrigerated storage and awareness of expiration dates, liquid amoxicillin can retain its potency and effectiveness for up to 2-3 weeks. Make sure to refrigerate unopened bottles by the expiration date and opened bottles within 14 days maximum. Monitor for any changes in drug appearance, smell, or side effects. Discard amoxicillin that has expired or been stored improperly at high temperatures in order to get the full treatment benefits and avoid potential risks.

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