Expired medicine can be ineffective or even unsafe to take, so don’t keep old Benadryl lying around where you’ll forget about it! Always dispose of old medication.
Expired Benadryl can be mixed with trash and thrown away. Flushing the pills down the toilet is another option; it won’t clog the drain. Expired Benadryl and other antihistamines are not harmful when expired, but aren’t as effective, so they should be replaced after expiring.
Getting rid of old Benadryl is not difficult at all! Don’t let bad medication clutter your medicine closet! Getting rid of old medication keeps potentially dangerous chemicals out of small hands, and keeps you aware of what you’re keeping in your medicine cabinet.
How to dispose of Benadryl
Benadryl is an over-the-counter medication, so there isn’t a specific way to toss it out. If throwing it in the garbage is the easiest option for you, then toss it! The only issue with tossing out Benadryl is if you were worried about children or pets getting into the pills.
To keep grabby hands away from potentially dangerous medicine, place pills in another container full of something nasty, like kitty litter or old food.
If you are still worried, a foolproof way to dispose of any dangerous medication is flushing. You can flush other medicines or prescription pills down the toilet as well, to keep any medicine from ending up somewhere you don’t want it to be.
Most pills and liquid medications dissolve in water, so you don’t need to worry about them clogging your drain. Washing pills down the sink is also an option, although you can’t dispose of as much medication at once the way you can with a toilet.
When disposing of packaging, make sure no personal information is on the package, and if it is, scratch it out.
If your Benadryl isn’t expired, but you want to get rid of it anyway, you can see if there’s a drug take-back program near you that may take Benadryl and other medications. That way, you can be sure your medicine is in the right hands. Taking bad medicine is dangerous, especially if left out for small hands to get hold of.
Does medicine expire?
There is some controversy over whether or not medicine can be used after its expiration date. In the past, some medicines have been tested for effectiveness after their expiration date and still had their full effect, without any dangerous consequences.
Expiration dates are often dated long before the actual expiration because the FDA has very strict rules regarding the distribution of medicine. While medicine is definitely something to tread carefully around, most allergy medications like Benadryl won’t have a negative effect after the expiration date.
However, most doctors and medical companies don’t recommend using expired medication because it may not be as effective as a new medication, and medicine companies may have changed the make of the medicine to make it more effective. In the case of prescribed drugs, after the expiration date, the user may no longer need that particular prescription.
Benadryl has been known to still work a few months after its expiration date, but to make sure you know exactly what you’re ingesting, you should replace it after the expiration date.
Pills tend to last longer than liquid medications, so in pill form, you might have some more wiggle room than you would with liquids, which you really should toss out after expiration dates. Medicines also last longer in cool, dry places, so if you’re keeping your medicine in a hot, humid area, that may be another reason to toss it out.
Why you shouldn’t use expired Benadryl
Using expired medicine isn’t recommended, and Benadryl is no exception. Expired Benadryl may not be as strong as unexpired Benadryl, and your allergies will still plague you.
To make your Benadryl last longer, keep it and other medications in a cool, dry place. This will keep them good for a longer period of time. Liquid medicines shouldn’t be held on to as long, this is because they don’t stay good as well as pills.
You don’t need to call poison control over taking expired allergy medication, because it won’t have a negative effect, but if pollen season is in bloom, you’ll probably want to use the strongest medicines you can, which means avoiding expired and less effective pills. When it comes to medicine, don’t play games of chance!
What is Benadryl?
Benadryl is an antihistamine. Antihistamines help treat the effects of too much histamine in the body. Histamine is a chemical the body produces in response to foreign bodies. Sometimes, the body produces too much histamine, which can cause itchiness, redness, swelling, and other nasty side effects we call an allergic reaction.
When that happens, you need medicine to clear away the histamine. Antihistamines do what the name suggests, they fight histamines to keep them from overreacting. Antihistamines can cause headaches and dizziness, so always take them as the maker specifies, and talk to a doctor if the medication doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.
Benadryl specifically is an antihistamine called diphenhydramine. Diphenhydramine clears away allergies, but also has a sedating effect and will put the user to sleep. Because of this, diphenhydramine is often used to treat insomnia as well as allergies.
The sedative effect makes it something not to be given to small children. Always give children child medicines, and follow the directions given on the package of medicine! You should also talk to a doctor before giving your child any adult medicines, even if you break the pill into pieces.
Some people are, ironically, allergic to Benadryl, so if taking the medication gives you hives or any other worse allergy symptom, talk to a doctor and stop taking the medication. Diphenhydramine should only be taken when you actually need to take it, and taking too much at once can make you feel overly sleepy, have a racing heart, or give you blurry vision. Stay safe, and always use medicine the way the doctors tell you!
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