Do eye drops expire

Eye drops are pharmacological compounds which are available in liquid form for direct usage on eyes instead of systemic medicines. Benefit? well this way maximum medicine is available directly to the eyes, in minimum time duration too!

However, it’s important to understand that they’re still just a medicine. Therefore, they might have similar limitations and risk factors as other medicines have. They have an expiry date, adverse reactions, etc.

Do eye drops expire

So when this innocent and humble question arrives in your mind that does eye drops expire? the answer is Yes! they do!

Like every medicine, eye drops are chemical pharmaceutical compounds too and have an expiry date. Beyond that date, their effectiveness might decline. Not only that, some might become harmful if used beyond the expiry date!

So it’s important to check the expiry of the eye drops we’re using. Also, once expired, the eye drops should be properly disposed!

Unused vs used expired eye drops

Now let me make something very clear. The eye drops crossing their expiry date should be considered unfit for any sort of usage. This includes both used and unused one (un opened). However if we have to compare used or opened eye drops with the unused ones, the unused ones might have less risks associated to them.

Once the seal is opened and the constituents of the eye drop bottle are in contact with environment, air, they undergo number of changes along with bacteria contamination through air too.

This also means that an opened eye drops bottle might be dangerous for further use. Even if it haven’t crossed its expiry date! so have an eye on the expiry as well as days since first use of the eye drops too!

Risks of using expired eye drops


The risks associated with expired eye drops mainly depend upon their chemical formula. That is based on what they were originally intended to heal.

The risks include:

  • ineffective treatment of what they’re being used for
  • inflammation of eyes
  • irritation of eyes
  • infection (if contaminated)

Although these might seem normal to few, they can be really serious once they occur. This is due to the sensitivity and “strategic” importance of eyes!

Proper disposal of expired eye drops

Proper disposal of expired eye drops is important so that you or anyone else might not use it by mistake. There is no point in showcasing the expired medication and eye drops on you shelf. It’s ineffective and possibly harmful to your eyes.

Some pharmacies accept the expired eye drops in replacement for the new ones. However if you’re not comfortable with that, simply make sure that the expired eye drops are disposed properly. Render them unusable so that they can’t be used by anyone in future.

So the best and wisest opinion is to not to use any eye drops without doctors opinion in first place!In case you feel the extreme desire of doing so, make sure that you’re not going to damage your eyes by using the expired eye drops!

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