Does Adderall Expire? Yes, Here’s When, Why, and What It Means

Posted June 1, 2020 by Michael Chamberlain - See Editorial Guidelines
Does Adderall Expire

Medications and their expiration have always been a debatable topic for many. Whether or not certain medications expire, what does the expiration date say, why is the expiration date mentioned, can medicine be taken after expiry? These questions often apply to Adderall.

So, in this article, we’re going to outline Adderall’s expiration and how to interpret the dates. But first, here’s the short quick answer to get you some instant info, then we’ll get into the variables.

Does Adderall Expire? Adderall does expire and has two expiration dates. The expiration date set by the manufacturer is about 2-3 years from the date of manufacture. And the expiration date set by pharmacists is one year from the date the medicine is issued. Adderall can even expire (or go bad) before the expiration date because of improper storage.

Here is everything you need to know about Adderall expiring.

Does Adderall Expire?

Does Adderall Expire

As mentioned earlier, Adderall does expire. So, that’s the clear-cut answer as to whether or not Adderall expires. 

The expiration is a set date or period after which the product should not be used, as it may not be safe, or it may not be as effective. So, by Adderall passing the expiration date set on the container, the manufacturer cannot verify its effectiveness.

There may be some instances where Adderall expires before the date written on the container. This typically happens due to improper storage. So, Adderall may not be as effective if it is not stored properly.

Many users are unaware of the expiration date. Therefore, many will continue to take Adderall even after it has already expired. This brings us to the next question. Is it safe to take Adderall that has expired?

Is It Safe to Take Expired Adderall?

In general, taking expired Adderall may not be completely harmful. But taking expired medications is not advised by medical practitioners.

If you’re in a desperate situation where you need the dose, and it’s the only option available to you, then taking expired Adderall may show some beneficial effects. However, you have to consider the fact that expired Adderall may be less potent or effective. 

This means if you take 4mg a day and it works well for you, after expiration, the same 4 mg a day dose may not work at all.

This means that the individual may be more willing to take more than their prescribed dose. This should be avoided, as taking too much can have serious adverse reactions.

This happens because the expiration date on medications indicates that the medication will degrade, and its properties will wear off, making them less potent and less effective for the user. So, although it may be safe to take expired Adderall, increasing the doses to match the same effectiveness as it provided before expiration may lead to overdose, along with other unpleasant side effects.

This is why, in general, it’s considered not safe to take expired medications. And Adderall being a controlled drug, the chances of drug abuse is high with expired Adderall.

Does Adderall Expire

Is There Any Effect at All From Expired Adderall?

Though Adderall may lose its effectiveness after the expiration date, many health professionals believe there are still chances for the potency to remain the same beyond expiration.

According to a study conducted by the FDA covering a host of about 100 medications, they determined that about 90% of the drugs retained their potency beyond expiration. Some medications even retained their effectiveness up to 15 years after the expiration date. It is not known whether or not Adderall was one of the 100 drugs studied. 

So, this again makes the point that, perhaps, expired Adderall can retain its full potency and strength even after expiration. So, with this general viewpoint in mind, taking expired Adderall in a desperate situation may not be harmful at all, as many users have said.

However, this case of taking expired Adderall has an exception when it comes to their storage. This is where improper storage may make Adderall unsuitable for use or ineffective before the expiration. 

So, now let’s see how Adderall can go bad, apart from expiring.

Does Adderall Go Bad?

Does Adderall Expire

Yes, it’s not always the expiration that makes Adderall or any other medication go bad. Proper storage plays a major role in maintaining the potency of medications. 

Adderall, like most medications, should be stored away from excess heat and moisture.

When proper storage conditions are not met, it can sometimes be easy to spot a discoloration of the Adderall. This can be a sign that Adderall has potentially gone bad even if the expiration date has not yet been reached.

The outer layer of Adderall is what protects Adderall from overexposure to outside elements.

So, when Adderall is exposed to moisture, this layer quickly wears away, exposing the medication to foreign elements and making it go bad and potentially useless, or even harmful.

It also must be said that Adderall and any other medications that have discolored are more likely to cause harm than expired medications that look the same. 

So, now the real question is if the expiration date of Adderall doesn’t generally have any major impact, then why does Adderall expire at all? 

Why Does Adderall Have an Expiration Date? 

As you might already know, by law, every drug manufacturer is required to state the date of expiration on all medications, including Adderall.

This expiration date is an assurance that the drug manufacturers give on the potency and effectiveness of their medication. The expiration date just means that the drug manufacturer has conducted numerous regulatory tests on the stability or potency of the drug, for a specific period. So, any reduction in stability or potency beyond the expiration cannot be assured by the drug manufacturers.

For Adderall, the expiration date is usually 2-3 years
from the date of production. 

However, there are instances where one may see two expiration dates. Typically, this includes one set by the manufacturer (which might be longer) and one mentioned outside the package by the pharmacist.

The expiration date mentioned by the pharmacist is usually one year from the date of issue. So, that means the expiration date set by the pharmacist may be shorter. Again, there is some confusion on which expiry date is right.

It is generally fine to accept the longer expiration date set by the manufacturer. This is because the pharmacists limit the expiration to one year because of two main reasons:

  • Medications that are issued may be in unpredictable storage conditions. So, such unpredictable and perhaps improper storage may degrade the medication to a certain extent over time, which may be before the date set by the manufacturer. 
  • Secondly, one year is the recommended period for any treatment. Meaning, any treatment or health condition under observation should be re-evaluated after one year.

So, this also means that medications should be used for only one year, after which a patient should receive a reevaluation or check-up from their doctor. The doctor can then write a more accurate prescription based on the patient’s current medical condition.

So, setting the expiration date for one-year encourages patients to get re-evaluated and get new medications because the old medication has expired.

So Finally

We hope this has provided a good overview regarding does Adderall expire and provides you with the information you need before deciding what to do with your expired meds.

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We work with over 180 pharmaceutical manufacturers and utilize their patient assistance programs to provide you with a flat-rate cost for your medication. Enroll with us to find out if you are eligible to pay only $50 a month for each of your medications.



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