Check the expiration date
Taking expired Advil is not recommended because the product can lose its potency over time. If you take expired medication you might not get the right amount of active ingredients you need for pain relief.
How bad is it to take expired medication?
Like mentioned above, taking expired medication is risky. We advise against taking expired medication because medication can become less effective after the expiration date. In addition, there is the risk of possible changes in the medication’s chemical composition or a decrease in potency. According to the FDA, once the expiration date has passed there is no guarantee that the medicine will be safe and effective.i
Expired medicines are a danger to the person they were prescribed to and to others in the household if taken by mistake.i
When Advil is expired, recalled, unwanted, or unused, it’s important to dispose of it properly. You should also keep the following pointers in mind to ensure that children, pets and the environment are protected from negative effects of the medication:
- Don’t flush medications down the toilet unless labeled instructions say you can.
- Find a take-back program that allows you to bring in unused drugs.
- If all else fails, mix the medication with something that’s unappealing to kids and pets (like used coffee grounds or kitty litter) and throw them in the trash.
U.S. FDA Department of Health and Human Services. “How To Dispose of Unused Medicines"; www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm101653.htm