Expired Oxycodone?

Comments Submitted Says:

I found 4 year old expired oxycodone in my medicine cabinet and I would like to know if its still safe to take? I don't know much about medicine so I'll just write what the label says: OXYCODONE W/APAP 5/325 TAB MCK subsituted for percocet and the pill has a 512 stamped on it?

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Verwon Says:

If you are asking if it becomes dangerous as it ages, the answer is no. It does not, however, these medications will lose potency over time, so it may no longer work as well as it did when it was new and may have no efficacy left at all.

Taking more, to try to relieve pain can be dangerous, since these also contain Acetaminophen and too much of that can be toxic, to the point of being fatal.

The wisest idea is to properly dispose of them and see your doctor for a new prescription if you need help with pain.


Do you have any other questions?

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jon dunst Says:

Folks.... there is absolutely no evidence to suggest Morphine or any of it's cousins in the Opiate family degrade over appreciable amounts of time. Most likely , if stored in a cool , dry place, the shelf life is somewhere in the 90-200 year range! Expiration dates are nothing more than a ploy by by the FDA to scare the consumer into buying more drugs as big pharma has a hand in most of what the FDA decides . Dont beleive they are "expired" when it comes to Opiate meds. Antibiotics need to be somewhat fresh, however, so they use that as a pretext for all meds.

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Sailor6 Says:

That is a totally ridiculous and misleading statement. You should check your facts better and stop spouting garbage!

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Dee Says:

I found a bottle of 11 year old MS Contin, 30mg. I take up to 6 10/325 norco a day, but I'm out. So two questons. Is it dangerous to take this med being that it is so old. And is 30 mg safe to take considering my high usage of norco.? I'm basically just trying to avoid detox. The time release factor doesn't go "bad" does it?

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Frozen Says:

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I can attest to the fact that oxycodone degrades over time. I have recurrent renal stones, and as many of you know, asking for a script for pain meds is like telling someone else's child that they almost had a sister - it elicits outrage. I took matters into my own hands and found a friend who had an old script for 5-325 oxys filled in 2012. Took two and got nothing. Took two with a big old glass of organic grapefruit juice - nothing. I am 125 lbs soaking wet and very pharmacologically sensitive. Sorry to say, oxycodone can degrade over time.

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Frozen Says:

An important addendum on my previous post. It seems that the oxycodone gas begun to take some a decent (though not as intense as fresh pills) effect at the hour twenty mark. The only reasonable explanation i can come up with is that i am actually experiencing the effects of oxymorphone, the first pass metabolite of oxycodone. I cannot think of an alternative mechanism by which these effects would be mediated.

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AuntPoobie Says:

I took a 5 year old OxyCodone last night. While it helped the pain a tiny bit, I had terrible nightmares, profuse sweating and heart palpitations....won't be doing that again too soon.

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From personal experience:

There is a lot of emotion about the drugs oxycodone and oxycontin in the media these days. I have NO CHOICE (after seeing ten of the top ortho/neorologists who agreed with each other that my spine is beyond repair) but to take these medications. Like Orca, the killer whale, these meds haven't changed substantially in many years. But like Orca, our perceptions have changed. Killer whales are not monsters of the deep who will pursue one into one's house, but nor are they cute domestic pets who we can trust to not bite off limbs if we stick them in their mouths. (It is our perception which has changed). I am no more dependent on oxycontin today than when I first began taking it. I too often forget a dose which screws up the bolus. It took two years for my pain medicine specialist to convince me that I would be more functional on a higher dose. Some of us like being hyper lucid. It frightens me to see public opinion swinging the way it is going because sweeping oxycontin off the street and scaring doctors out of prescribing it makes room for the much more easily obtained black market. I know this, as, due to the fact that my drugs are locked in a safe, and doctors were afraid to prescribe appropriate pain meds, my son was convinced to try other illicit drugs. Not that I wanted him to find and use my medications, but I might have known that he was in excruciating pain had he sought relief from a doctor unafraid of current public opinion.

Of course, the ideal is that doctors prescribe appropriate pain medicine. However, especially if a patient in pain is younger, doctors prescribe ineffective remedies to cover themselves from stigma. So, kids seek opiates on the street. So much of addiction is self-medication, and opiates are the same as they have always been. They are safe if prescribed by physicians for particular conditions.

On the other hand, my pain medicine specialist (board certifiable in psychiatry, pharmacology and board certified in neurology and pain medicine) does not want me taking even one dose of any NSAIDS, including acetominophen, advil/motrin/aleve/almost everything prescribed for arthritis. Apparently, studies are showing damage to liver and kidneys as well as other ill effects, yet that is mostly what is prescribed for pain.

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Tabitha Says:

I found an old bottle of oxycodone from 2013 will it still work if i take it ?

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Arthur Says:

I just finished up about seven 5 mg tabs of oxicodin, 6 hrs apart, that were 23 years old. Just couldn't bring myself to throw them away, and they worked quite well to keep me from going to the ER , for my kidney stone pain. I read that that military stockpiles of certain drugs, for cost reasons, are now kept for 480 months, as opposed to 24 months. Opiates are some of them. Good enough for military-good enough for me. Go ahead and throw them away, and get fresh ones, if you are that gullible?

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David Says:

It seems to be so fashionable to accuse pharmaceutical companies nowadays. People gladly heed all the panic-mongers and other conspiracy theorists. Exceptionally frustrating to see some educated people chanting the same nonsense.

As a pharmacist I tell you one thing - a drug molecule may well be exceptionally stable over 100 years, but *never* a drug product. The drug product contains other materials that as whole contribute to the efficacy and safety of the drug *product*. The safety and efficacy are assumed maintained if suitable characterization criteria are met - the dose in the product is more or less what is claimed on the label, no or little known impurities, no or very little unidentifiable impurities... The evaluations are carried out to determine the shelf life - meaning whither (not whEther) the drug product may be still considered meeting the specification. During storage all the materials in the dosage form become degraded, not just the active ingredient. Sometimes a mixture is less stable than every material alone. This is life. If you are fine with taking a neat powder in an old apothecary style, disclaiming all the benefits of taste masking, ease of administration, or more importantly - the insurance of a complete dissolution and maximal possible absorption - you are welcome to ask for a prescription for a dry powder and good luck looking for a compounding pharmacy to prepare the powder doses for you. The FDA must guard against ineffective or unsafe *products*. Therefore if you heard somewhere that morphine is stable over 200 years, this may be or may not be true, it is immaterial. No *product* may be considered safe and efficacious after expiry at the same level as it was fresh.

Insider tip: look at the shelf life. If the shelf life is 5 years, it may well be that the product is good even after 7 or even 10 years, as 5 years is considered statutory maximum. If it is less than 5 years, don't use it beyond a month after expiry.

And for the educated guys over there - please consider very well what you know before you engage into giving irresponsible counsel. You may be admirable organic chemists or molecular biologists, yet admit, it may be that you know very little of formulation science and CMC in general. Don't be mad at others who may sometimes know better, and in return I promise never to counsel about nanoscale transition metal catalyzed metatheses or differential interspecies transcriptosomes.

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betty Says:

Me too! Anxiety bad!!! Soooooooo not worth it!

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William Says:

I think it might be worth mentioning that there is a difference between a drug dependency (physiologically or psychologically) and addiction. If you take any opioid medication consistently for even a month or so, you will almost certainly develop a physiological dependence. This just means (I say "just" as if it is insignificant; it can start off minor but become pronounced over time) that your brain becomes used to having the medication in your body and produces less endorphins (your body's naturally produced painkiller -- endogenous morphine = "endorphin") than it would before you started taking the medication. When you stop taking it -- especially if you ABRUPTLY stop after a substantial amount of time of taking them regularly -- you won't feel well. The severity of these withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the typical dosage, frequency of doses, the level of pain that requires you to take them (generally, if you have severe pain, you will have a lower dependence because the drug goes more towards bringing you to a " normal" state of painlessness versus starting at a low or painless state and the drug producing a euphoric "reward"), and very individual-specific factors like overall health and nutrition, among other factors. You may also gain a psychological dependence, a pattern of thought ihappenimgou come to mentally rely on the medication to cope with the pain. If you do not form a physical dependence (and quite possibly a psychological one as well), that would be extremely unusual (and lucky, too!). If you are a sufferer of chronic pain, especially severe chronic pain, well...first, I feel for you, as I do, too -- multiple failed back surgeries. But second, please don't allow the fear of dependency on pain meds prevent you from taking something that can return some semblance of normalcy and functionality to your life. I am not suggesting ignore the very real possibility of dependence at all. Far from it. Ignoring it completely is how you run into problems. Either you ignore its development then try to stop suddenly and experience extremely unpleasant withdrawals (which can simply end up reinforcing at least one's psychological dependence as well as quite some time feeling like a flu that kicked all the weaker flus' asses plus insomnia), or you'll end up developing an ever-increasing tolerance to the meds, requiring ever-larger doses to achieve the same level of relief. All of these meds have a maximum prescribable dose, after which you'll end up taking them not for the original purpose but just to avoid withdrawals. But fear not...smart management and taking the occasional day or two off with your doctor's assistance can keep your tolerance down and the MED's effectiveness where it should be.

Now...dependence and addiction are NOT the same thing. Dependence is your body's adaptation to the continuous presence of the medication in its system. There should, in Yours Truly's humble opinion, no moral judgment involved with it. It is just biochemistry. Addiction, however, is what occurs to one's behavior to obtain the drug in question. Having a legitimate medical condition and being prescribed pain meds for it by a licensed doctor (and filled by a licensed pharmacist) is NOT addiction. Resorting to illegal and\or immoral means to obtain the meds to feel high...THAT is addiction. If that's happening, that's when you need to look long and hard at yourself in the mirror and be honest with yourself about the possibility of it ending well without a conscious decision to stop (and FAR more often than not, getting professional help doing so).

There is actually another possibility -- something called psuedo-addiction. This occurs when you have a legitimate medical need for the drug and probably started taking it after a doctor legitimately prescribed it, but for some reason, the dosage and/or medication type became insufficient for pain control, so you end up resorting to antisocial means to procure what you need to cope with your medical need. So...if this is the case, you need to realize that this is just as likely to end badly as addiction (perhaps worse if you are arrested and cannot obtain the meds you need because you've been labeled a "junkie"). In such a case, stop...talk to a doctor of your own accord before you get busted. Try to find a doctor in your area who understands the problem. If you can kick it on your own before going to a doctor, great...and you can decide whether you're safer telling him or her. That's a judgment call. But don't keep going the antisocial route as it becomes increasingly riskier over time (and mind you, any time you resort to lying or stealing to get meds, you are rolling the dice).

The bottom line for all of this is be aware of the differences between dependency, addiction, and psuedo-addiction. Dependency can and should be managed. Pain meds can be a lifesaver for certain people if used intelligently. And for those who are considering using them recreationally...don't. Please. Most junkies routinely wish they would have chosen NOT to do so.

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Sick 1 Says:

What would happen if I take 16 year old oxycodone5/325

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seagazer Says:

I agree with LLAWEN100%. I have been on oxycodone 5mg prn since about 2004 for pain ranging from torn rotator cuff pre- and post-repair, to broken hip and a very badly degenerative low back. During post-surgical periods of intense pain I've taken oral morphine liquid as a booster. Today I'm regularly taking the original dose three to four times daily. I have never had an addiction problem. My personal belief is that there are not so much addictive drugs as there are addictive personalities. My adult son was addicted to marijuana, which only an i**** would believe is addictive, but he and others can get addicted to aspirin or sugar pills if told it's something that will make you feel high. People with severe pain need relief from pain, but they shouldn't be prescribed 90 doses for a temporary problem. When they keep taking it after the pain is gone, it becomes recreational, and that's when they become addicts if they have the inclination.

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IowaVet Says:

The main reason people have a problem with pharmacies is that they do not put the real expiration of the drug on the bottle. Everything is given, at most, a one-year expiration date, even though many drugs bought wholesale (I am a veterinarian) have expiration dates that go out much further than one year. So, basically, a lot of those so-called expiration dates are lies.

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intelex22 Says:

John is a perfect example of why people shouldn't get their information from the internet. Combine an opinion with a healthy dose of conspiracy or personal anecdotes and suddenly its valuable? You can always call a pharmacist for a real answer on a drug.

Expiration dates are real and based on a federal requirement that drugs maintain 90-110% of the active ingredients up to the expiration date when stored under listed conditions. Stability typically has to be demonstrated prior to sale, and most pharmaceutical companies don't really want to wait longer than 2 years, so that is the most common time frame validated. Yes, some drugs last much longer when stored properly and companies are free to file data with the FDA to extend their expiration. However, some drugs lose efficacy after the expiration - and some of drugs or fillers change into highly toxic compounds as they age.

In this specific case, Oxycontin 512 should be okay in excess of 30 years IF stored properly - and that is according to a study of severely expired pharmaceuticals published in JAMA.

From a biochemist and former pharmaceutical manufacturing supervisor overseeing manufacturing of Schedule 1 narcotics.

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intelex22 Says:

After reading through some of these posts, I thought it needed some fact-based information from a biochemist who used to work as a production supervisor at a pharmaceutical plant making Schedule 1 narcotics like this.

It is imposible to answer this question without knowing how the drugs have been stored. Assuming the Oxycodone 512 was stored according to the label and not exposed to water for the life of the drug, there is no danger.

Both semi-synthetic opioids and acetaminophen have very long shelf lives, meeting the 90% potency criteria for periods well in excess of 30 years past expiration.


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Rocky Says:

My husband just had a total knee replacement we had oxy from 2012 and it works fine no pain taking it just like hospital said to take every four hrs

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wellthatsucked Says:

Last night I took really old probably 5 to 8 years old. Percocets 7 of yellow ten mg pills. I didn't feel anything at all for a bit, then the only effect I got was it felt like I took xanax. So I'm guessing yes they do loose potency since they were stored on a sealed bottle n a cool dry place,

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stan schurman Says:

Re: jon dunst (# 2) Expand Referenced Message

And your expertise on the subject is??? I always love it when someone goes on about a subject with which they are clearly unqualified to give anything more than a subjective opinion as opposed to an informed answer.

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Burn guy Says:

Re: David (# 11) Expand Referenced Message

I beg to add a different perspective. There are three primary reasons virtually all medications come with a short expiration date. 1) they are required by the FDA to provide a date. They keep it as short as possible to minimize their testing costs. They don't want to wait 1, 2, 5... years to test it. 2) Their lawyers want it as short as possible to help limit liability. And 3) They would rather sell you new pills whenever possible.

This doesn't mean that meds last longer than the date says. It just means there is no testing done for any longer time. The expiration date is generally an arbitrarily short amount of time.

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Robby Says:

I have a few bottles of oxycodone 5mg with various expiration dates in the past (e.g. 3/18/2015)... Are these usable?

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Biskit Says:

Regarding drug potency, which is clearly much longer than expiration dates -

" Hospitals and pharmacies are required to toss expired drugs, no matter how expensive or vital. Meanwhile the FDA has long known that many remain safe and potent for years longer...

Gerona and Cantrell, a pharmacist and toxicologist, knew that the term “expiration date” was a misnomer. The dates on drug labels are simply the point up to which the Food and Drug Administration and pharmaceutical companies guarantee their effectiveness, typically at two or three years. But the dates don’t necessarily mean they’re ineffective immediately after they “expire” — just that there’s no incentive for drugmakers to study whether they could still be usable...

In his lab, Gerona ran tests on the decades-old drugs, including some now defunct brands such as the diet pills Obocell (once pitched to doctors with a portly figurine called “Mr. Obocell”) and Bamadex. Overall, the bottles contained 14 different compounds, including antihistamines, pain relievers and stimulants. All the drugs tested were in their original sealed containers.

The findings surprised both researchers: A dozen of the 14 compounds were still as potent as they were when they were manufactured, some at almost 100 percent of their labeled concentrations... "

Source: "The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates", propublica.org. Web. July 18th, 2017

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Casey Says:

I am out of morphine I take 60mg 2times day.I found an bottle of hydromorphone 4mg from2014 can I still use it

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Dr White Says:

Stop calling people junkies when you label people like that all it's doing is making it harder for them to try and get clean when they feel like they're less than human. I'm a pediatrician and I have many patients that struggle with addiction. And I promise I've never had a patient come to me and say ya know Dr. White what really helps me get and stay clean? No what's that? Oh ya know when everyone walks around calling me a junkie when I'm trying to get help. I mean come on. Be humble. Just saying.

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Baby Says:

So I found a bottle of oxycod/apap 5-325 mg . They expired on March 17 of 2010. Can they still be used?

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Sugar girl 26 Says:

I found a jar of OxyContin 20 mg OC and they were filled in 2009. It says it expires in 2010. Now it's 2017. I took a half and it feels like I have taken a 10 mg OxyContin. I don't think they expire because the feeling is still there but that's me. I don't abuse medicine. I just took it to try it because I was in some pain at the time and do not suggest you should take it but I took 10-year-old OxyContin 20 mg and they work perfect. Not saying that you should...

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Conan the Grammarian Says:

"meaning whither (not whEther)"

"Whither" is an archaic synonym for "where," as in the line, "How now, spirit! Whither wander you?" from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." More specifically, it's used to find out where someone or something is going. If you want to know where someone or something comes from, use "whence."

Unless you're looking into whether or not there's a regional change in the medication meeting specifications ("Whither changeth these meds?") then "whether" is the correct spelling (as in, "We will see whether or not anyone else here is as pedantic about spelling as I am.")

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Curtis Says:

I have been taking demerol 50 mg and oxycodone 10mg w/ no fillers for 8 years for a bulging disk instead of surgery. I have been having problems for the last year with my gi tract and did all the diagnostics with no results. My doctor said it might be the long term use of the opioids so I said to myself fk it, cold turkey time. It was the worst 2 weeks of my life, incredible pain and suffering with cold sweats, diarrhea, aching all over, restless muscles and a constant mental struggle. Now its been 3 weeks and my gi track problems are getting better and im thinking clearly like ive stepped out of a fog into the sun. My back hurts like f*** on some days but i take deep breaths and stretch to get through it. To answer the question at hand, I took a 6 year old bottle of 160 10 mil oxycodone and used them when I was desperate and in need while out of the country and they worked just fine with no ill side effects for me. Opioids were crazy hard to get off after my long time use. My advice is don't take them unless you really really need to.

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