Does 800 mg Ibuprofen expire? 

Does 800 mg Ibuprofen expire? 

Yes, Ibuprofen does expire, irrespective of the dosage strength. Ibuprofen may outlive its shelf life if stored properly and away from direct heat, light, and moisture. However, it is best not to rely on expired meds to help manage your symptoms.

Shelf-life of Ibuprofen

The usual shelf-life of Ibuprofen is 3 to 5 years, depending on how well the medication is stored. However, studies have indicated that Ibuprofen can remain effective long after the expiration date, but this doesn’t guarantee 100% potency. 

Most OTC Ibuprofen products do begin to lose their potency within one year because of the storage conditions in normal households(1).

This is why experts suggest that you can use Ibuprofen if the drug has recently expired or it has been a year – but not any more than that. This is because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended not to use expired meds and that they may pose a health risk(2).

Potential risks associated with the use of expired Ibuprofen 

Expired Ibuprofen does not pose any health risk and is not likely to harm you. If you’re using a very old Ibuprofen, it will not be able to achieve the therapeutic outcome you’re hoping for. 

This is because expired Ibuprofen may not become toxic, but it does start to lose its potency with time and there is no simple way to tell how much potency of the drug is left. 

Taking an expired Ibuprofen does not guarantee dose uniformity and you don’t know how many of the expired tablets would equal an unexpired standard dose. This is why it’s best not to use expired Ibuprofen for your ongoing symptoms. 

Even though Ibuprofen is an OTC medication, ensuring its safe and effective use is crucial. Some people may crush Ibuprofen, but doing so can result in non-compliance as crushed Ibuprofen tablets are too bitter to consume.

What to do if you have taken expired Ibuprofen? 

If you have accidentally taken a dose or two of expired Ibuprofen, don’t worry. If the drug has recently expired, it will help you with your fever, pain, or inflammation. Even if the drug has lost its potency, it will not cause you any harm. 

However, you may need to get a new Ibuprofen to relieve your symptoms as an expired one will not help you achieve your desired therapeutic response. 

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Archibald T, Brown S. Monitoring Commercial Ibuprofen Potency Changes Over 1 Year When Stored in a Household Setting. J Pharm Technol. 2020 Feb;36(1):16-21. doi: 10.1177/8755122519877808. Epub 2019 Sep 22. PMID: 34752511; PMCID: PMC6931163. Available from:


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