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Greentown, IN
A 47-year-old female asked:

i been takn generic tylenol (acetaminophen) for last few months & just now seen that they expired july of 2009! am i in any kind of risk or danger? my kidneys ok?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alan Koenigsberg
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Probably OK: The expiration date is most likely not a problem. As medications age, they become less potent, not dangerous. The potential danger with Acetaminophen is not to your kidneys, but your liver. It depends more on how many tablets you have taken, how long you have taken them, what other medicines you have been taking, and why. You should discuss all this with your physician.
Dr. Erica Bial
Specializes in Pain Management
Don't worry.: They're fine. They might be slightly less potent, but not any more harmful. The risk i see in your question would be from frequent or high dosing (in which case, the expiration date isn't the problem) and the concern would be for the liver (so i'm not worried about your kidneys). If you are unsure, toss them.
Dr. Syed H. Sajid
Psychiatry 29 years experience
Usually, no problem: Most of the medications continue to work for several years after their expiration date. According to one study, they may work for as long as 5-10 years from their expiration date, if they have been properly stored. Vitamins may loose their potency, if exposed to heat or sunlight. Thanks.

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Last updated Jun 24, 2014

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