Can you use expired Nyquil

Symptoms like blocked nose, a sore throat and / or muscular pains can impair productivity levels substantially. A timely administration of medication plan can bring these signs under control. In this milieu, drugs like Nyquil are commonly administered. The key ingredients Nyquil is made of include doxylamine, dextromethorphan and acetaminophen. Each of these chemicals has unique properties which help bring down bodily discomforts. But, can you use expired Nyquil? It is a good thing to understand more prior to commencing the use of this med.

What is Nyquil?

This med is made up of a combination of three (3) key ingredients; these are acetaminophen, doxylamine and dextromethorphan. Of these three, dextromethorphan is known for its capability to control coughing spells. The second key chemical – acetaminophen can regulate (and thus control) your system’s temperature; this ingredient enables effective management of fever / rise in body temperature.

The last essential chemical Doxylamine helps block histamines i.e., chemicals your body makes to fight allergic reactions. You need to remember histamines are made to defend against allergens such as mites, pollen, dust, pet dander or other harmful toxins. These chemicals trigger swelling / inflammation, discoloration and / or an itchy feeling to suppress the harmful effect of foreign particles. By suppressing histamines, doxylamine enables these allergic reactions from showing up.

Is it safe to take expired Nyquil?

This med does come with an expiry date. It is unsafe to use Nyquil past its expiry. Always check for the date of expiry – printed in its label / packaging. Once the drug has passed its expiry, each of the above 3 key chemicals may have lost its efficacy; overall, the drug sizably loses its capability. Not stopping with passage of time, improper storage conditions may also render the drug ineffective. For instance, exposing the med to excessive levels of humidity (by storing it inside your bathrooms), ambient heat (by directly exposing it to sun’s rays) or light may impair this drug’s properties.

If you find the med (Nyquil) cloudy or if you see any objects floating in the drug, never administer it. Similarly, if the color has changed or if it smells differently, talk to your caregiving team prior to using such meds. Moreover, beware of a likely evaporation of alcohol content present in this drug; this may also render the drug ineffective.

Other pointers you need to stay aware of

Nyquil is never used for managing persistent episodes of coughs (those mainly caused by incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases i.e., COPD like bronchial asthma, bronchitis and / or asthma), as well as for problems caused due to an excessive accumulation of mucus in the nasal pathways. Owing to sedative properties doxylamine has in it, you are very likely to feel dizzy or drowsy upon administering Nyquil. This is one of the reasons your doctor may advise its use before going to bed.

A few formats of Nyquil may have a slight trace of alcohol – but, seldom more than of 10%. It is hence a safe thing to take Nyquil strictly under the supervision of a qualified caregiver. If you witness excessive levels of dizziness / drowsiness, call your treating doctor without much delay. Users of Nyquil – living in any of the Canadian provinces – are advised to call Health Canada or go to a local poison control unit as quickly as possible.

On the other hand, users of Nyquil in US – upon sensing adverse effects like acute spells of drowsiness or passing out – must call 911; you can also consider reaching out to the helpdesk of the food and drug administration.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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