Does Amoxicillin Liquid Expire?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses when amoxicillin liquid products expire.

Question

Hello! I am wondering when amoxicillin liquid expires? I have an old bottle in my fridge from a few months ago, and I feel like I'm getting sick again. Can I use it?

Asked by Sandra On Aug 03, 2021

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Aug 04, 2021
Last updated Mar 03, 2022

Key points

  • Amoxicillin suspension products expire 14 days after they are mixed by the pharmacist.
  • Reconstituted amoxicillin suspension can be stored at room temperature (68 to 77 F) or in the refrigerator, but refrigeration is preferable to decrease the risk of temperature fluctuations.
  • Augmentin products (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid) expire 10 days after mixing and should be refrigerated.

Hello and thank you for your question!

Amoxicillin comes in both solid (e.g. capsules, tablets, etc...) and liquid dosage forms.

The liquid dosage form of amoxicillin is specifically a suspension, a type of liquid where a finely distributed solid, amoxicillin powder, in this case, is suspended in a liquid.

Amoxicillin suspension products are available in the following strengths:

  • Amoxicillin 125mg/5mL
  • Amoxicillin 200mg/5mL
  • Amoxicillin 250mg/5mL
  • Amoxicillin 400mg/5mL

These amoxicillin suspension products are stored in the pharmacy as a powder in a bottle (these are referred to as dry powders for reconstitution). Once a patient comes to pick up their prescription, the pharmacist will mix a defined amount of distilled water with the powder in the bottle, to create the suspension.

When Do Amoxicillin Suspension Products Expire?

All amoxicillin liquid (i.e. suspension) products, when mixed, are stable for up to 14 days when stored under refrigeration or at room temperature (68 to 77 degrees F).

After 14 days, the product has expired and any unused portion should be discarded.

In your question, you stated that you have an older bottle of amoxicillin suspension in your refrigerator from a few months ago. This product is certainly expired (anything after 14 days is expired) and should not be used. It will have lost significant potency over time and will likely not be effective in treating your infection.

Additionally, it is important to see your doctor for any new problem you are having. Just because amoxicillin was prescribed for your last infection doesn't mean it will be the most appropriate choice for your new issue. It could potentially even make the problem worse if it isn't the correct drug choice.

Should Amoxicillin Suspension Be Refrigerated?

Amoxicillin suspension products can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Either way, the expiration date of the product is 14 days after reconstituted (i.e. mixed with water).

I do want to note that the prescribing information for amoxicillin states that refrigeration is preferable. Per the prescribing information for Amoxil Suspension:

Keep bottle tightly closed. Any unused portion of the reconstituted suspension must be discarded after 14 days. Refrigeration preferable, but not required
Amoxil Prescribing Information

The reason why refrigeration is preferable is two-fold:

First, keeping reconstituted amoxicillin suspension in the refrigerator decreases the chance that it will fall out of the storage temperature recommendations. In other words, the temperature is more controlled keeping it in the fridge.

Secondly, chilled amoxicillin suspension generally tastes better compared to when it is warm. This is an especially important point if the product is intended for a child. The easier to take, the better!

Final Words

I just want to note here that Augmentin products (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid) only last 10 days after they are mixed with water. Additionally, they should be refrigerated.

Thank you again for your question and I hope you feel better!

References

  • Amoxil Prescribing Information, AccessFDA
  • Stability of amoxicillin trihydrate-potassium clavulanate in original containers and unit dose oral syringes, PubMed
  • Stability of aqueous solutions of amoxicillin sodium in the frozen and liquid states, PubMed
  • Stability of oral liquid penicillins in unit dose containers at various temperatures, PubMed

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 11 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication related questions!

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