Does Neosporin Expire or Does It Last Forever?

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

Have you ever opened your medicine cabinet to grab Neosporin to treat a wound, only to find that the tube you have is pretty old?  If so, you may be wondering, “does Neosporin expire?” This is a good question, and you’re not alone in looking for the answer. Keep reading, and we’ll discuss whether Neosporin does expire and if it is safe to use expired Neosporin.

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Neosporin Pain, Itch, Scar Antibiotic First Aid Ointment for Wound Care, 1 oz

Does Neosporin Really Expire?

Neosporin tubes and packaging should have a printed expiration date.  But, before you grab that Neosporin to use on a cut, you may be wondering whether the ointment actually expires, or if the manufacturer is just required to print an expiration date on the packaging.  So, does Neosporin really expire?

Yes, Neopsorin really does expire. As with many other medications, once Neosporin passes the expiration date, its chemical make-up may begin to change.  This can make it less effective at treating your wounds.

When you use ineffective Neosporin, it clearly won’t be able to do its job of helping your wound heal.  Moreover, using an antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin, could also lead to your wounds becoming resistant to antibiotics, even when you switch to a non-expired product.

Additionally, creams and ointments, such as Neosporin, that have been opened for several months (or years), can also harbor bacteria.  Applying these ointments to your skin can put you at a greater risk of developing an infection.

How Long Is Neosporin Good For?

When does Neosporin expire?  The exact date that your Neosporin will vary based on when you purchase it.  However, when you purchase a fresh lot, you should expect the printed expiration date to be between 1 and 2 years away.

You may be able to use expired Neosporin for a few months after the printed date if it was unopened or stored in a cool and dark spot.

Why does Neosporin expire so quickly?  The reason Neosporin has a shorter life span than other medications is that it begins to lose its effectiveness over time.  For this reason, it is best to purchase

Does Neosporin Spray Expire?

Yes, like the ointment first aid product, Neosporin spray should also have a printed expiration date. 

Expired Neosporin is one of those things in your medicine cabinet that you should just throw away.  It is best to purchase a new Neosporin spray rather than using an expired one.

Neosporin + Pain Relief Neo To Go! First Aid Antiseptic/Pain Relieving Spray,.26 Oz

Is It Safe to Use Expired Neosporin?

Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to use or take expired medications.

Some medications become less effective over time as they pass their expiration date, while others can be dangerous if taken once they’re expired.

Either way, when you take an expired medication, you’re also taking a risk.  You don’t know whether the medicine will perform as it should, which could lead to serious problems depending on your need for the medication.

What about Neosporin specifically?  Is it safe to use expired Neosporin?  It is not a good idea to use Neosporin that is past the expiration date.  Neosporin’s website even warns against using their products after they have expired.  The following warning can be found under the product listings on the website:

Check for Expiration Date:  Using NEOSPORIN® Products past their expiration date is unsafe, risky, and does not guarantee effectiveness. Do not use any NEOSPORIN® product that has expired. If your product has expired, please properly discard it and obtain a new product.”

As mentioned above, expired Neosporin may be less effective at doing its job.  While this may not sound like a huge safety risk, if you’re putting Neosporin on a wound, you’re using it for a reason.  Applying expired Neosporin that isn’t going to do its job of helping your wound heal, is pretty pointless.

Plus, it can expose you to additional risks.  Opened Neosporin could be harboring bacteria that may cause an infection around your wound.  Additionally, applying ineffective antibiotics to wounds could also potentially lead to antibiotic resistance.

All in all, it is best to discard expired Neosporin and buy a new tube.

How to Store Neosporin?

Properly storing your Neosporin can help prevent the ointment from going bad before the expiration date and may buy you a few months of additional use if the product is expired.  Many people tend to keep their ointments and medications in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom.  However, this is not the best location for storing Neosporin.

Bathrooms become hot and humid every time you take a shower.  Frequently exposing your tube of Neosporin to these extreme conditions is not good for the ointment.  The higher humidity levels can cause the ointment to separate.  They can also facilitate the growth of bacteria.

Rather than storing Neosporin and other creams and ointments in the bathroom, choose a different location in your home.  The ideal space to store these products is somewhere that is cool and dark.  These conditions will help prevent the ingredients from separating and make it less likely for bacteria to grow.  However, even when stored properly, it is still not advisable to keep using Neosporin much past its expiration date.

Using Neosporin Safely

Neosporin has a variety of uses, including treating burns, cuts, scrapes, and skin infections.  However, if your Neosporin is expired or has been open for some time, it is best not to continue using it.  Make the small investment to purchase a new Neosporin ointment to protect yourself or your loved ones.  Older Neosporin may not be as effective, plus it could be harboring bacteria if it’s been opened for a while.

Check out these related posts on our blog:

Does Neosporin Expire – FAQs

Why is my Neosporin watery?

If your Neosporin is water, it likely means that the ingredients have separated.  The product may be expired, or it could be because it was stored in a humid environment, such as a bathroom.

How long does it take for Neosporin to expire?

The printed expiration date on Neosporin products is typically about 1 to 2 years from the date it is purchased.

By Ellis James

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