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What is the shelf life for acetaminophen?

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Quick Answer

Pharmaceuticals sold in the United States typically have a discard date extending from 12 to 60 months after the date of manufacture, reports Drugs.com. However, an FDA study found that most drugs have a shelf life much longer than the posted expiration date, including acetaminophen, notes the Los Angeles Times.

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Full Answer

Military stockpiles of acetaminophen were found to retain at least 90 percent of their original potency after 28 years or longer. Improper storage conditions can, however, decrease the shelf life of acetaminophen, notes eMedExpert.com. Exposure to sunlight, oxygen, moisture, and extreme temperatures should be minimized. Overall, medical experts agree that it is safe to take acetaminophen past its "official" expiration date.

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