Does Albuterol Expire? What You Need to Know

By Jacquelyn Buffo, MS, LPC, CAADC

March 23, 2021

Asthma Inhalers Expire

Everyone needs a basic understanding of prescription medications, including inhalers. Things like dosage and expiration dates remain essential to ensure proper and effective medication usage. Today, we will take a deeper look at different inhalers, their purpose, and whether they have an expiration date.

The Purpose of Inhalers

Inhalers get most commonly prescribed to treat a condition known as asthma. Asthma represents a breathing condition that requires medical intervention. Asthma, a long-term, chronic medical condition, impacts the lungs and the airways, leading to inflammation and airway narrowing. Asthma affects each person differently, and it can be mild, moderate, or severe. Asthma can occur occasionally or regularly and remains treatable with medical interventions such as inhalers.

Inhalers, commonly used to treat asthma, come in two forms: dry powder inhalers (DPIs) and metered dose inhalers (MDIs). MDIs use an aerosol can that provides a quick burst of medicine in the plastic mouthpiece while DPI delivers a powder. Two distinct types of medication treat asthma through an inhaler: quick-relief and long-term control medicines.

Types of Asthma Medication

You can use asthma medication in two ways: to prevent and manage future asthma attacks or to use it at the moment when an asthma attack occurs. Albuterol, and many other asthma medications, can be used in both ways. Quick-acting asthma medications relax the muscles in the airways quickly, and long-term medicines reduce the mucus in the lungs and gradually relax the muscles in the airways.

Albuterol is also known as Accuneb, Proair HFA, Proair Respiclick, Proventil HFA, Centolin HFA, and Salbutamol. It comes as both a powder and an aerosol. You can use Albuterol to treat a variety of breathing difficulties, and it can be used as a preventative measure when you begin to experience asthma symptoms. Albuterol can be used every 4-6 hours or as needed. You can also use it used before exercise to prevent asthma symptoms. When used for exercising, it should be administered 15-30 minutes before beginning.

Does Albuterol Expire?

It is no secret that most prescription medications have an expiration date. The expiration date can signify when they remain no longer as effective as when initially prescribed. For Albuterol and other asthma medications, the expiration date generally occurs one year after being removed from its foil pouches. You can usually locate the expiration date on the canister.

Doctors recommend that you use medication that is current and not expired. However, asthma can be life-threatening. Without the intervention of an inhaler, you may run the risk of experiencing significant health consequences. Therefore, if you only have an expired inhaler on hand, it is generally recommended that you use what you have until you can get a new prescription. The effectiveness may get jeopardized after the expiration date. As with any medication, you must read and follow the guidelines for safe storage and usage.

How Can I Get Albuterol?

Albuterol and other asthma medications remain available through a prescription by your doctor. Your doctor can determine whether you are suitable for Albuterol or other asthma medications based on your symptoms. Asthma can be dangerous and life-threatening; you must receive proper treatment to effectively treat your symptoms and reduce your risk of experiencing health problems.

If concerned about the cost of your asthma medication, a pharmacy near you likely provides discounts on prescription medication. When you use ScriptSave® WellRx, you can use a prescription savings card at a pharmacy close to your home. On average, people save up to 65% when they use a prescription savings card.

Money doesn’t have to prevent you from obtaining the medication you need to keep yourself healthy and safe. Visit WellRx to determine how much money you can save on your prescription medications. You simply type in the type of medication you are looking for and your zip code, and you will be directed to a list of pharmacies in your area along with the price. Your discount can be texted or emailed right to you, or you can print it off of your computer. It has never been easier to save money on your prescription medication.

Jacquelyn Buffo is a licensed professional counselor with experience and expertise in substance abuse and mental health issues. She received her MS in mental health counseling from Capella University and is a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor through the state of Michigan. She is also in the process of receiving her certification in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Jacquelyn has experience working with clients suffering from addiction and mental health issues on an in-home, residential, and outpatient basis. Currently, she works with adolescents and adults with Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, PTSD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder through Henry Ford Health System.

Resources:

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/asthma

https://www.aafa.org/asthma-treatment/

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682145.html

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321163#expiry-dates-on-inhalers

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