The big question is, do pills expire? With a splitting headache, you reach into your medicine cabinet for some aspirin only to find the stamped expiration date on the medicine bottle is more than a year out of date.
Common traits of bad aspirin tablets will have a chalky texture instead of a hard and smooth consistency. Expired tablets will therefore easily crumble into a powder when pressed. Newer aspirin tablets will be white in color and as they go bad will usually turn yellow. Gel tablets will become stretchy and sticky.
Drugs have a minimum therapeutic threshold meaning that doses below this will have no clinically positive effects. But yes, aspirin etc can expire - it starts to smell like vinegar. Although, taking expired aspirin is unlikely to do anything other than taste horrid. For other drugs, it depends!
Expired aspirin is aspirin that is past the expiration date printed on the container. According to Bayer Healthcare LLC, using aspirin or any over-the-counter drug past the expiration date is not recommended as its effectiveness may be diminished.
Does the expiration date on a bottle of a medication mean anything? If a bottle of Tylenol, for example, says something like "Do not use after June 1998," and it is August 2002, should you take ...
This is not bad, do not panic. The medicine, aspirin, which is acetylsalicylic acid, hydrolyses, or breaks down with water into salicylic acid and acetic acid, which is why, when you opened the bottle you thought you smelled vinegar.
Aspirin is really nasty when expired! It breaks down quite easily into acetic acid and some other chemicals, so if that medicine bottle smells like vinegar you shouldn’t use it. If the medicine is in an unstable form, like fizzy tablets or tablets...
Do you take the expired medication or do you throw it away? That is the question Dr. Oz is answering and he asked for a little help from pharmacist Suzy Cohen to explain what expiration dates on medicines really mean.
Another example is aspirin. We have been told forever that when aspirin decomposes, it smells like vinegar. This is true one of the breakdown products of aspirin is acetic acid (vinegar). Even the slightest decomposition of aspirin will give this smell, even though the aspirin may still be 99+% pure.
Storing aspirin in cool, dark locations such as a closet shelf keeps the aspirin potent longer. Manufacturers are required to publish a shelf life that guarantees at least 90 percent potency of the drug. Many people store aspirin and other drugs in their bathrooms, an environment that is higher in humidity than the rest of the house.