Inhaler Expired 5 Years Ago

Inhaler Expired 5 Years Ago

Are you wondering what to do with an Inhaler expired 5 years ago? You are at the right place. In this blog, we will discuss the basics of inhalers and understand the associated side effects of using them. Individuals diagnosed with respiratory conditions like asthma or COPD are prescribed a ‘preventer’ or ‘reliever’ (such as Albuterol Inhaler) for managing acute symptoms. At times, individuals with COPD are suggested long-term management inhalers for better control over the symptoms. For emergencies like asthma or COPD attacks, a ‘rescuer’ inhaler is suggested.

Meanwhile, it is essential to understand the least discussed part – what to do if your inhaler expires. Should you use it or not? How to dispose of an inhaler? Let’s have a look here!

What Is an Inhaler?

An inhaler is a lifesaving device containing medication (such as bronchodilator, corticosteroid, or a combination of both) as active content. When used, this inhaler releases medication into the lungs via the mouth and alleviates respiratory discomfort from asthma, COPD, or similar symptoms.

Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) are common respiratory disorders making it difficult for the individual to breathe. During these medical conditions, symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness of chest, etc happen. As a result, breathing becomes difficult and a reliever is required. Here’s when this inhaler enters the picture. These respiratory conditions can be acute or chronic. For acute symptoms, a preventer or reliever is ideally used. However, chronic or emergencies of breathlessness require a rescuer to save a life. It is thus advised to consult a healthcare provider and then use an inhaler.

Nowadays, a lot of inhaler options are available which are prescribed according to the individual’s medical conditions. For instance, if you seek quick relief, Tiova, Asthalin, etc inhalers may be suggested while Foracort Inhaler, Seretide, etc are best for long-term management.

How does an inhaler work?

In general, inhalers contain bronchodilators or corticosteroids as major active ingredients. Certain long-term management inhalers contain a combination of both for better control over symptoms. The active content of the medication enters the lungs via the mouth and reduces airway inflammation. It thus helps in relieving associated symptoms of COPD like wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, etc. This medication also aids in releasing mucus blocked in nasal passages by widening the airways. So, breathing becomes comfortable with excess mucus release. That’s how the individual reattains the comfort of respiratory health.

What about expired inhalers?

Just like any other medication, inhalers also come with an expiry date. This expiry date on the inhaler mentions the effectiveness period of the medication. If used within the manufactured and expiry limits, it is safe and effective. After the inhaler crosses the expiry date labeled by the manufacturer, its effectiveness and potency become vague. There is no way it can help in managing the symptoms.

Now you are pretty close to knowing – ‘what to do if Inhaler expired 5 years ago?’

Can the expired inhaler be used?

No, it would be worthless to use an expired inhaler. The logic is simple – when the medication does not promise effectiveness, why would you use it? As said above, the medication loses its potency and effectiveness upon expiration. The expired inhaler cannot relieve asthma or COPD symptoms but imposes health risks instead. Therefore, don’t use the inhaler randomly if it has crossed the expiry date already.

Is it safe to use Inhaler Expired 5 years ago?

It is never suggested to use an expired inhaler, no matter if it has crossed the expiration date recently or long ago. The medication contained within the inhaler would have been degraded significantly, thus making the inhaler ineffective. An expired inhaler cannot perform or relieve the respiratory symptoms as expected. It even fails at delivering proper medication with the dosage and leads to inadequate relief of the symptoms. On the contrary, they can impose side effects beyond imagination. Hence, you better avoid attempting expired inhalers as they are highly unsafe.

Side Effects of Using Inhaler Expired 5 Years Ago

You can only expect potential risks and side effects by using an expired inhaler. The negative effects can vary from mild to severe. These adverse symptoms may worsen your existing respiratory disorder, cause severe allergic reactions instantly, and affect your overall well-being. Below are the most possible side effects of using an Inhaler expired 5 years ago:

  • Coughing
  • Throat irritation
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Bronchospasm
  • Fungal contamination
  • Hives
  • Itchiness
  • Swelling of the face, mouth, throat, etc

How long does it take for inhalers to expire?

Usually, inhalers have different expiration dates varying between 12 and 24 months from their manufacture date. Remember, you should eye on the manufacture and expiry dates before making the purchase. If possible, buy an inhaler that is recently manufactured and has a longer expiry date. It allows you to make optimal use of the inhaler and minimizes the chance for a re-purchase as yours has the potential to be effective for a longer period. Thus, its effectiveness and safety are ensured.

Disposing of the expired inhaler

Do you know? It is important to ensure your expired inhaler is disposed of properly. You should never throw an empty inhaler or an expired one in the trash can. The medication within can be very harmful to the environment. For proper disposal, read the product label carefully and follow the instructions given. Alternatively, you can consult your healthcare provider and get directions on how to make proper disposal.


Needless to say, Do Not Use An Inhaler Expired 5 Years Ago. It isn’t just worthless but causes adverse effects on the health. Neither does it treat the underlying respiratory conditions nor does it benefit a little. With this said, double-check the expiry date before purchasing an inhaler and avoid its usage if you know it has expired already. Also, make it a habit to check the expiration date before using your medication so you never use the expired one accidentally. If you wish to make a purchase of your prescription inhaler right away, you can always count on