You are probably checking out this article because you have expired Xanax or the generic version alprazolam in your medicine cabinet. Maybe you’re wondering whether it is still safe to take these meds.
Will taking these pills hurt? Will you get the same effect? Are expired Xanax tablets like spoiled milk that you need to throw out?
To better understand whether you should still use old or expired Xanax, it is good to discuss the shelf life of this medicine. It is also best that you learn about the different dangers associated with taking these drugs. Hopefully, the information will guide you and stop you from taking unnecessary risks.
What are the shelf life and expiration date of Xanax?
Xanax is a brand name for the generic drug alprazolam which is an anti-anxiety medication. This medicine is mainly used to treat anxiety disorders, anxiety caused by depression, and panic disorders. For example, people who feel anxiety or panic when flying in an airplane may be prescribed anti-anxiety meds. However, Xanax can be highly addictive and has been known to be used as a recreational drug.
When Xanax patients have been prescribed their meds, there might be instances wherein they will not be able to take all and leftover tablets will remain with them. If they find themselves needing to take Xanax again whether for legitimate reasons or for recreation, the question will be whether they can still use the old meds.
To know the answer, you must learn what the shelf life of Xanax is and how different it is from the expiration date.
Anti-anxiety drugs such as alprazolam normally have a shelf life of two to three years. Shelf life refers to the period a drug is manufactured up to the date the quality of the drug will remain unchanged. If the manufacture date of Xanax is January 2020, then the shelf life would probably be until January 2022 or 2023.
The shelf life is not exact because it is affected by different factors including how you stored the medicines. If the medicines were exposed to heat, humidity, and light – this could affect the shelf life of alprazolam. For example, if you have a bottle of alprazolam and you have already opened it, the shelf life of that bottle will differ from a bottle that remained sealed as the unopened bottle has not been exposed to elements.
On the other hand, the expiration date refers to the date the manufacturer can guarantee that the drug can be used fully potent and safe. Expiration dates are usually shorter than shelf life to ensure that the drug will still be effective and safe to use.
So, does Xanax expire? The simple answer is YES.
Xanax, just like all other drugs, has an expiration date and if you take Xanax or alprazolam beyond the expiration date, there is a possibility that the potency of the drug has already declined.
While there have been case studies showing that drugs can retain their potency even after their expiration date and shelf life, there are certain dangers associated with this habit.
The dangers of taking expired medications
When you take old Xanax, this could be dangerous for many reasons. The first risk is that if you are experiencing a severe anxiety attack or panic attack, the drug may not be able to help you as it might have lost its potency. This might push you to take more tablets to get the same effect. High doses of Xanax can be dangerous as it could result in unwanted addiction.
If you are using Xanax for recreational purposes, finding old pills in your medicine cabinet may seem like you’ve hit the jackpot. However, the reality is you are actually playing Russian roulette with your life because not only are these pills highly addictive, taking alprazolam with other substances could result in serious health consequences including coma, seizures, and delirium. Xanax can kill you if it is taken with alcohol or other drug cocktails.
Alprazolam recall and how it could affect you
If you have generic Xanax in your medicine cabinet at home, please be advised that there was an alprazolam recall by Mylan Pharmaceuticals in October 2019. According to the announcement posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Mylan has recalled alprazolam tablets distributed between July 2019 to August 2019 because of the presence of a potential “foreign substance” which may cause infection. The listed expiration date of the alprazolam tablets is September 2022.
If you are in legitimate need of Xanax or alprazolam, it is best to consult with a medical practitioner. Safely dispose of old drugs by mixing them with soil or inedible substances before throwing them in the trash.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center.