Does Cialis (Tadalafil) Expire?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not Cialis expires and if it is safe to take expired Cialis.

Question

My doctor gave me a free sample (3) of Cialis 20 mg. a while back that I just found in my bathroom drawer. The bubble pack is intact but exp. date is 8/16. Will they still work?

Asked by Jeb On Jun 18, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Jun 19, 2018

Cialis TitleCialis, like all prescription medication, expires after the listed manufacturer expiration date.


It is a common thought that once medication is expired it will not hurt you, but just be less potent. While this can certainly be the case for most drugs, there are plenty of examples where this is incorrect. While specific data on taking expired Cialis does not exist, it doesn't appear to be "harmful" if you take it after it has expired. It just may not be as effective as it once was.


Cialis Expiration Date

The expiration date for any given drug is determined by multiple factors, but most importantly, it refers to how long the manufacturer is willing to guarantee that the product meets the labeled standards of potency and purity. Most medication is listed with an expiration date of 2-3 years from the time of manufacturing, which typically correlates with the time period for which the manufacturer performed stability testing.


After this labeled expiration date, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the medication “goes bad”, it just means that the manufacturer isn't sure (based on their data), that the medication will still retain the listed potency and purity when stored at proper conditions.


When a pharmacy dispenses you a medication, it must be labeled with an expiration date or you may notice a  "beyond use" date. The beyond use date that is listed depends on the product being dispensed and takes into account how long a drug is stable after being dispensed. In most cases, the beyond use date will be shorter than the manufacturer expiration date as the beyond use date specifically refers to an expiration time after dispensing or repackaging a medication.


The state in which you are located has laws to determine the beyond use date for most dispensed products. Most commonly, and as a general rule of thumb, the beyond use date (commonly listed as the expiration date on the prescription bottle) will be one year, or the manufacturer listed expiration date, whichever is sooner.


Expired Cialis Recommendation

As mentioned above, there is no data to indicate that taking expired Cialis will cause harm as it isn't thought to degrade into harmful components. It just may not be as effective as a result of drug breakdown over time. If you have expired Cialis, it is recommended to see your doctor for a new prescription, so you can be assured of the potency and therapeutic effect of the drug.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Adam DeRue Pharm.D

Dr. Adam DeRue is a Doctor Of Pharmacy and registered pharmacist.

About Cialis (Tadalafil)

Cialis (Tadalafi)l is a phosphodiesterase (PDE) type 5 inhibitor, similar to Viagra (sildenafil) and Levitra (vardenafi)l. It is used for the treatment of male erectile dysfunction (ED), pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Cialis may have advantage over similar drugs like Viagra and Levitra as Cialis has a longer duration of action (24 to 36 hours) and is associated with less visual disturbances. In addition to "as needed" dosing, Cialis is available as a 30 day, once daily dose pack. Cialis can be taken with or without food and has an onset of action between 30 and 45 minutes after taking by mouth.

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