Does Amoxicillin Expire? Is It Safe to Take After Expiration?

Does Amoxicillin Expire Is It Safe to Take After Expiration

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic; just like other medicines, it has an expiry date. It is a prescribed medication that treats bacterial infections to manage different diseases such as ears, nose, throat, urinary tract, skin, and lower respiratory tract infections (1). 

Amoxicillin can be found in different forms- capsules, tablets, chewable, and liquid suspension. If you wonder how long amoxicillin lasts, the article will provide a detailed insight into it. 

Usually, just like any normal medicine, amoxicillin expires within 2 to 3 years of the date of manufacture. So, if your doctor has prescribed you this antibiotic, it is essential to complete the prescribed dose. Leftover medicine may expire after a few months, which means there will be no use in taking it. 

Let’s understand the concept of amoxicillin expiration in detail. 

How Long Does Shelf Life of Amoxicillin Last?

Usually, the shelf life of a drug indicates how long it retains its potency. It starts right from the day it is manufactured until the day it loses all its potential to stop bacterial infection further.

 Since amoxicillin comes in different forms, each of them has a different shelf life (2).

How Long Does Amoxicillin Last Tablet Capsules?

liquid amoxicillin last

If the doctor has prescribed a solid dosage form of amoxicillin, you have to buy its capsules or tablets. You can find the date of expiration written clearly on the sachet or bottle of the medicine. 

The expiration date may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Usually, it expires within 2 to 3 years of manufacture. 

Besides the normal expiration date, how well you store the medicine also determines its potency. Storing amoxicillin in an air-tight container that is moisture and light-resistant will ensure that it stays potent until the expiration date. 

Keeping your amoxicillin tablets in the bathroom or kitchen is never a good idea, as these places have high heat and moisture that can damage them. 

How Long Does Liquid Amoxicillin Last?

How long does liquid amoxicillin last

Often, children and those who have difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules are prescribed liquid suspensions of amoxicillin. 

In most cases, the pharmacist provides you with its powdered form mixed in distilled water. While the powdered form of amoxicillin can stay potent for two to three years, once it is mixed in water, the shelf-life decreases to 15 days. 

In such a case, it is advised to store this liquid suspension of amoxicillin in a refrigerator to prevent its degradation and maintain stability. 

What Happens If You Take Expired Amoxicillin?

Now that we know how long amoxicillin lasts, which is around 2 to 3 years in solid form and 15 days in liquid suspension, it is advised not to take them after the expiration date. 

Here are a few reasons why you should stop its intake after it has been expired-

  1. Amoxicillin is a penicillin antibiotic, which is a molecular compound that degrades over time (3).
  2. After a few years (2 to 3), the molecule degrades, gradually reducing the potency of the medicine (4).
  3. Amoxicillin doesn’t taste or smell differently once expired; therefore, it is better to keep the expiration date handy. 
  4. Once the medicine is degraded, it means its potency or effectiveness has come to zero. So, it will not prove to be beneficial even if you take it. 

While there are medicines that may turn toxic after their date of expiration, amoxicillin is not one of them. It means even if you take an expired amoxicillin, it will not pose a harmful effect on the body, but it won’t offer any benefit, either. 

The bacteria will keep germinating and spreading, making the infection worse. Therefore, there will be no use of its intake. 

What Should I Do With An Expired Amoxicillin?

The best thing you can do with your expired amoxicillin or any other expired medicine is to put them into the trash. Some countries run drug take-back programs that occur at selected pharmacies on selected dates of the year.

If your country doesn’t run such a program or you are finding it a little inconvenient to go there, just throw the expired medicine into the trash. 


The plain answer to how long amoxicillin lasts is 2 to 3 years in its solid form, that is, capsules or tablets. So, whenever you buy it, always check the date of expiration on the sachet or bottle. 

Antibiotics lose their potency or strength after a certain period. It means their effectiveness in fighting off the bacteria becomes negligible. 

Consuming an expired amoxicillin will not prove to be of any help. In fact, exposure to low, incomplete levels of antibiotics promotes the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 

You need to be extra cautious while taking the liquid suspension of amoxicillin as it loses its potency within 14 to 15 days. Due to their shorter windows of use and quick breakdown, they are difficult to stay potent for long periods of time. 

So, buy your antibiotic mindfully and never consume an expired one. 


  1. National Library Of Medicine – Amoxicillin
  2. National Library Of Medicine – Effects of different amoxicillin treatment durations on microbiome diversity and composition in the gut
  3. National Library Of Medicine – Amoxicillin
  4. SvienceDirect – Amoxicillin

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