Does the saline solution for nebulizer expire? 

Does the saline solution for nebulizer expire?

The saline solution for nebulizer does not necessarily expire, but the packaging does. The plastic which contains this solution can only remain good for a certain period of time(1)

Once that time has passed, the process of leaching may begin to start. This process can also be triggered by improper storage conditions. 

What are the dangers associated with using the expired saline solution for a nebulizer?

As we have discussed, saline solution can outlive the expiry date and it’s not actually the solution that expires, but the packaging. However, if the solution has become contaminated for some reason, it could be dangerous to breathe in. 

This does not commonly happen, but improper use can result in microbial contamination. The use of such a saline solution can increase the risk of infections.

What to do if you have used an expired saline solution for a nebulizer?

You should not worry much if you have used an expired saline solution for the nebulizer. However, it’s best to avoid using that solution any further. 

If you feel unusual, consult your healthcare provider. Saline solution can stay good for a long period of time and it can easily outlive the expiry date mentioned on the packaging, but there are a few things you need to know:

  • Make sure saline water is stored in its original packaging. 
  • Do not use the leftover saline solution in the nebulizer. 
  • If it is available in single-dose units, use it all at once. Discard the leftover solution
  • Do not leave the bottle uncapped and maintain storage conditions to prolong its shelf-life. 
  • Do not put any external object into the bottle of saline solution. Simply pour the solution out to lose it and place the cap.

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Tonog P, Lakhkar AD. Normal Saline. 2022 Oct 16. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31424794. Bookshelf ID: NBK545210. Available from: