Can you take expired Diclofenac? 

Can you take expired Diclofenac? 

You take Diclofenac if it has recently expired. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can outlive their expiry dates pretty easily. However, you will not be able to achieve any therapeutic response if the drug expired a long time ago. 

If you’re experiencing serious pain or inflammation, do not rely on an expired Diclofenac. It is generally recommended by the Food and Drug Administration to not use expired medication to deal with your ongoing symptoms(1).

Shelf life of Diclofenac

The shelf life of diclofenac can vary, depending on the type of formulation it has been manufactured into. Generally, diclofenac tablets and capsules have a shelf life of 2-4 years when stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture(2)

Diclofenac injection, on the other hand, has a shorter shelf life and should be used before the expiration date on the package. It is recommended to always check the expiration date before using Diclofenac or any other medication.

Potential risks associated with the use of expired Diclofenac? 

An expired Diclofenac that has lost its potency will most likely result in delayed onset of action and it will not provide pain relief as early as an unexpired Diclofenac does. 

The use of expired Diclofenac may not be dangerous, but people react differently to medications. Some people have compromised liver and kidney functions and as these organs are primarily involved in the metabolism and excretion of the drug, an expired medication will remain longer in the body. 

On the other hand, using an expired Diclofenac will not bring you comfort from the pain you are in right now. This is why it’s best to not opt for an expired Diclofenac if you’re experiencing severe pain or inflammation. 

What to do if you have taken expired Diclofenac? 

An expired Diclofenac will not harm you and you don’t have to do anything if you have accidentally taken one. However, you may need to go out and get a newly manufactured drug if you’re suffering from severe pain as the expired one will not do much. 

That’s the only thing you will most likely struggle with; no pain relief. There’s no other reported health risk that could arise after the consumption of expired Diclofenac. 

However, you still need to be careful as it is impossible to predict how your body will react once it is exposed to an expired Diclofenac dosage. So, it is best to not take expired Diclofenac. This medication can be stopped cold turkey.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Don’t Be Tempted to Use Expired Medicines. Available from:


PubChem [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004-. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 3033, Diclofenac; [cited 2022 Oct. 19]. Available from: