Does Viagra (Sildenafil) Expire? Shelf life, Efficacy & More

Does Viagra (Sildenafil) Expire? Shelf life, Efficacy & More
Published : Jul 07, 2024

Viagra is a perfect ED pill for occasional users, and most of its users have queries regarding its expiration. For your information, like most other medications, expired Sildenafil can be less effective. Also, using expired medicine may cause side effects that are different from those your healthcare provider indicated.

So, Like other medicines, Viagra is made of ingredients whose chemical potency stays for a certain amount of time. The prime ingredient used in Viagra is Sildenafil citrate, a drug from a class of PDE5 inhibitors. You might know it's an oral medicine used to treat sexual issues like Erectile dysfunction in adult males.

Viagra, after its manufacturing, may still work for years. But, it's sure that there will be a reduction in chemical activity with time, and it will work more than it used to. Also, expired medications may cause the growth of infectious mold or bacteria over time. As a rule of thumb, Viagra and other medications have a shelf life of about 2 years, or some might have less than that. You may compare Viagra's expiration date to other common ED medications, such as:

  • Stendra (avanafil)
  • Levitra/Staxyn (vardenafil)
  • Cialis (tadalafil)

So, Here, we'll discuss the typical shelf life of Viagra and what might happen if you take expired Sildenafil. Also, it covers other important information things about this common ED treatment.

Does Sildenafil Expire?

In the above para, you might have found out that Viagra expires, but does its generic version, Sildenafil, expire, too?

A Viagra tablet may continue to provide its erectile benefits even after it has expired, but you may observe a reduction in its effects. Over time, the active ingredient and other chemicals might expire and may not work as well. Worse, expired medications may grow pathogens like bacteria and mold, which may cause additional adverse effects.

So, if your Viagra has expired, do not use it. The FDA requires expiration dates on all prescription and over-the-counter medications as regulatory rules.

What’s the Shelf Life of Viagra?

The shelf life may range slightly from one producer to the next for Sildenafil. However, Generally, the Viagra expires about two years after its manufacturing.

The same goes for other ED medications available in the market, like Cialis, Stendra, and Levitra.

When you need to self-check the expiration date of your medicine, check your medication's packaging.

Please pay attention to the expiration date and try to use your medication before it expires. If it's already expired, it's time to get a new pack.

Does Expired Viagra Still Work?

Viagra's ingredients, like Sildenafil, may lose potency over time, which might make it less effective as it ages.

Viagra, as an ED pill, increases blood flow to the penis and helps to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) caused by blood flow issues. Viagra is generally very effective, with a success rate of 66% to over 80% in clinical trials. However, it doesn't work for everyone.

Also, certain medical conditions, like diabetes or surgeries like radical prostatectomy, can reduce Viagra's effectiveness. Additionally, Viagra doesn't address any psychological factors affecting your erection and sexual performance. If your ED is due to psychological reasons, Viagra might not help you in such a case.

For more details on why Viagra might not work and tips to overcome common causes of ED, refer to our guide. Discover: Why Is Viagra Not Working for Me?

Also, you must note that ingredients in Viagra may stay chemically potent for a certain period. So, Viagra may become less effective over time.

What Happens to Viagra When it Expires?

For your knowledge, here is some information about what happens to Viagra when it expires.

  • Active ingredients like Sildenafil become less active. The onset of action may take time, like Viagra, which takes longer to work than it usually does. You may note that a decrease in potency means that its effectiveness is less.
  • If you expire, Viagra would have the risk of growing mold and bacteria, and using it might make you sick.

As the Viagra active ingredient breaks down, the use of such ingredients might also increase the risk of common side effects that Viagra may lead to. If you take an expired Viagra, you may face side effects of:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Itchy
  • Back pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Vision issues
  • Sensitivity to light

Is Expired Viagra Safe?

Using expired Viagra(Sildenafil) might not be unsafe immediately after its expiration date. And healthcare professionals advise against taking it, so it would be best not to use it if your Viagra is expired.

When it comes to ED medications like Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitors, then, they are FDA-approved medications and safe for treating ED. Also, there are some over-the-counter supplements for ED, but there is a lack of rigorous testing on their benefits and safety in the condition. However, always seek medical advice before you start taking any medication for your health, including ED. Also, note that the Use of PDE5 inhibitors might include side effects such as allergic reactions, priapism, sudden hearing loss, and optic nerve damage.

Also, take certain drugs that interact with your ED pills. Inform your doctor if you are already taking alpha-blockers, "poppers," nitrates, or other blood pressure medications. Additionally, expired ED medications may have increased side effect risks for your health.

Also, Discover: Why Not to Mix Viagra and Nitrates?

What to Do with Expired Viagra?

When your Viagra expires, here is our simple advice about it: first of all, do not take it. And, if you have some medicines in your cabinet that are expired, then dispose of them responsibly. Here are some simple ways that may help you dispose of your expired Viagra:

Reach to a city, state, or national take-back programs that allow individuals to throw away their expired medications.

Or put your expired Viagra in a sealed container, like in a plastic bag with some direct coffee grounds, etc, before you throw it away. Make sure your pet, children, or any other person reaches your expired products.

Please note that you should flush your medications into your toilet. Doing this can be dangerous for water bodies and the environment.

Conclusion

Viagra is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, but like most of the other medications, it has a limited shelf life. Over time, its active ingredient, sildenafil citrate, loses potency and may not work as well. Expired Viagra can also pose risks of side effects and the potential growth of harmful bacteria or mold. Always check the expiration date and use the medication before it expires. If your Viagra is expired, it's best to avoid using it and get a new pack. For any ED medication, including Cialis, Stendra, and Levitra, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure the safe and effective use of these medicines.

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