17 answers

Can I Still Use Opened Xopenex & Pulmicort past 2 Wks?

I have a package of opened Xopenex & Pulmicort. Its been in the foil package stored in the cabinet. They are still clear color. I opened it in August. I know it says discard after 2 wks but I hate to throw it away with all these vials left & I need to use some today.

Anyone know why they need to be used so quickly & can I still use it? Any risks when its over the 2 wks??

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Hi MomD, I've always used Pulmicort for as long as I have it, I never had any idea that it needed to be used in 2 weeks, and my son has used it occasionally for 7 years! It seems to still be effective. I can't comment on the Xopenex, we use Albuterol.

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Hi M. D
If in doubt throw it out! That is my way, because ending up in the hospital was not my idea of fun.
I don't know about this, usually I was trying to decide about how long foods had been in/on shelf.
I am guessing that they would change a potency, so call and ask. If they loose potency like I suspect you will know it isn't working and throw it out for that reason. Call the pharmacist and ask.
God bless and give you wisdom

I'd give it. I use an asmanex twist inhaler and it says to disgard after 30 days. I had one open but didn't finish it because my symptoms go away in the summer. Stated back on it a couple weeks ago and the medication is still effective. Some medications are sensative to air and light but if it looks fine give it a try and see if it works.

I checked w/ my pharmacy on that issue and they did say that as long as it was clear and that the expiration date on the bag/labels hasn't passed yet that it is ok --You kept it in foil. Check w/ your pharmacy anyway

I'm not sure but this is a good question for a pharmacist. They should be able to answer this question. My son has been on Pulmicort...I don't blame you for not wanting to throw it away...it's so expensive!!!

I actually asked my pedi this. She says the medication breaks down when its in the light. But if you keep it in the foil package, wrapped up ... It will more than likely be fine.
We used old Xopenex last week, and it did the trick. ;)

I realize this is an old question but Im providing an answer for future reference & because I dont see any other answers posted. I recently pulled a box of nebulizer vials from my medicine cabinet in the middle of the night when I couldnt breathe & I did a nebulizer treatment & felt much better & much to my surprise, had very little shaking & heart racing. As I began to put everything away, I noticed that the box said Xoponex & not Albuterol like I was expecting. I havent had Xoponex prescribed to me in 3 yrs, which would have made it 2 yrs expired! Yet that nebulizer treatment was FAR more effective than any other one I had done in that past week while really sick & my experiment didnt stop there, I tested the waters a few more times & its true I prefer expired Xoponex over non-expired Albuterol, thats terribly sad!


Ok scratch that...I can now see many people posted an answer to this question Lol...Im not sure why I was unable to see the responses until I posted mine hmmm...strange??

I spoke with my pharmacist about this issue with xopenenx. He stated that if you keep it stored in the foil in a dark area, it should be fine. I don't need the medications often and would always have leftovers. I couldn't see discarding them and I haven't had any problems. Yours aren't old and I imagine they would be fine. Store them in the foil in a dark place going forward.


We keep using the Pulmicort. We accidently overfilled our prescriptions and now have so much. I confess I've never checked the dates on it. When medicine passes its use by date it might begin to break down but should not become harmful. If it has been stored out of light and in a cool, dry, place, you should be fine.

Hi there,
I would say that you can. As I have used both for my one son & used them after their expiration date. They were also stored in a cabinet just like yours. It worked as if it was before the expiration date.

i just wanted to say thank you for posting this. my son was just diagnosed with asthma and he is on pulmicort. i had NO clue about throwing them out after 2 weeks!
thanks for the info!

You shouldn't use an inhaled corticosteroid occasionally--this is dangerous. Please check with your doctor about how you use these meds.

As long as it's in the foil and not past the exp. date you are fine! My doctor was always wondering why he had to give me a new prescription and I said I threw it out...they thought I was nuts...and if your child is using it's soemthing you should always keep on hand!

Hi MomD, I've always used Pulmicort for as long as I have it, I never had any idea that it needed to be used in 2 weeks, and my son has used it occasionally for 7 years! It seems to still be effective. I can't comment on the Xopenex, we use Albuterol.

As long as it is still in the foil package and not in direct sunlight, it should be fine to use. I am a M. of a 21mth old and a respiratory therapist who uses it. You should be fine.

I don't know about the Xopenex, but I always use my Pulmicort until it is finished. I go by the expiration date. Also, try giving your child fish oil-it will decrease the inflamation in his bronchial tubes.

T. Hall Parker

I am really not sure if you should use it but I store my daughter's xopenex the same way and use it when needed. As long as it's not in direct sunlight I think it's okay.

Absolutely. I've had MANY, MANY, MANY visits to CHOP w/ my son for his asthma and they've all said as long as it's in the foil bag and in a "dark" (the draw is fine) place, they are fine. We usually have a bag of 1 of them open for months and nothings happened to them. We've been doing this for almost 9 yrs. Good luck and hopefully you won't have to use them this winter.

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