How Long Does Viagra Last After Expiration?

Manufacturers are legally bound to test and mark every drug with shelf life. It is not rare for certain medications to get expired in a medicine box. In most cases, individuals would dispose them, as such is the recommendation.

So, how about Viagra? Is it safe to consume the expired pill, will it work?

Many Expired Drugs May Still Be Safe and Effective

Legally, expired items should not be sold or consumed. However, in practice, things may differ. For most people, it may come as a surprise that even governments make exceptions and continue to use certain drugs after the indicated period of expiry.

Just take an example of the US government. It has a program called Shelf Life Extension Program (SLEP) for certain drugs. Since federal govt. holds vast stocks of medicine, financial losses due to drug expiry are enormous. Therefore, the SLEP program allows govt to save money by extending the shelf life of some drugs and continue using them even later (1).

Tamiflu, an anti-influenza drug, is another excellent example. It’s a costly medication, and its stock expiry causes substantial financial losses to governments. Therefore, it is not rare for many governments to extend its shelf life and continue using it even after the indicated expiry date (2).

This means that some drugs remain safe and suitable for use even after expiry, but not every drug. Moreover, drugs like Viagra are not of much interest to authorities, as they do not maintain its substantial stocks, that is why lack of any proper information for consumers regarding expired Viagra.

Would Expired Viagra Work?

Although manufacturers and authorities do not recommend to use the expired pills, however, they may be safe to use if they have expired sometime back, let’s say a month or two, it would still be safe and work. However, lots would depend on its storage conditions.

There are thousands of medications and compounds in daily use. Most, if not all of them, have stability issues. Synthetic chemical compounds degrade with time. Usually, higher temperatures, high moisture, exposure to sunlight may accelerate such processes. Once degraded, the chemical loses its potency. However, degradation occurs gradually. It means that after the expiry date, chemical compounds become less potent (3).

Unlike ordinary household chemicals, manufacturers assess the shelf-life of medications in a much more sophisticated way. It takes years for manufacturers to compile stability data. After all, medications are for human consumption. Thus, manufacturers study them by storing drugs under various adverse conditions for months and even years and then testing them to ensure that it stays good during the shelf life (4).

After expiry, Viagra would still work, at least for the next few months. However, in most cases, it could mean less content of active ingredient due to degradation of the chemical.

Oral pills also have lesser chances of getting contaminated during the period of storage, unlike an opened bottle of some suspension.

So, what is the conclusion? Officially, one should not use expired medications. However, if a person knows about the conditions of its storage (like stored at home in a recommended way and away from sunlight), expired Viagra may still be suitable for use for the next six months.

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