Can I Take Expired Baclofen?
Written By Kobi Nathan, Pharm.D., M.Ed., CDP, BCGP, AGSF
Sleep Disorders
October 7, 2023

Can I take expired Baclofen?

  • It is not recommended to take expired baclofen because it can degrade and lose its potency and stability over time. This means that it may not be as effective in managing pain and muscle spasms.
  • However, we do not have evidence suggesting that taking expired baclofen can be harmful.

Baclofen is a prescription drug commonly prescribed for spasticity, muscle spasms, and stiffness.

To learn more about baclofen, read my in-depth article here, infused with my clinical background specializing in rehabilitation medicine.

The medication works by blocking certain nerve signals in the brain and spinal cord, which can help to reduce muscle tension and pain.

But what happens when you have expired baclofen in your medicine cabinet?

Can you still take it safely?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the risks and benefits of taking expired baclofen and some other important things to remember regarding expired medication.

Note: This article relates to the oral dosage form of baclofen, not the intrathecal baclofen pump

What Happens When Medication Expires?

When a medication expires, the manufacturer can no longer guarantee its safety or effectiveness.

Over time, the active ingredients in a medication can break down or degrade, reducing potency or effectiveness.

In some cases, expired medication can also become contaminated with harmful bacteria or other substances, making it unsafe to use.

Is Expired Baclofen Safe to Use?

While there is no easy answer to this question, the short answer is that taking expired baclofen is generally not recommended.

As with any expired medication, the full potency and safety of expired baclofen are not guaranteed.

However, in some cases, the benefits may outweigh the risks of taking expired medication.

For example, if you are in a situation where you do not have access to fresh medication, taking expired baclofen may be a better option than not taking anything at all.

What Are the Risks of Taking Expired Baclofen?

The risks of taking expired baclofen depend on various factors, including how long the medication has expired and how it has been stored. Some potential risks of taking expired baclofen include:

  1. Reduced effectiveness: As we mentioned earlier, the active ingredients in expired medication can degrade over time, leading to reduced potency and effectiveness, even if the prescribed dosage is taken.
  2. Increased side effects: When a medication is past its expiration date or shelf life, it can become less predictable in how it will affect the body. This can lead to an increased risk of side effects or adverse reactions.
  3. Bacterial contamination: Expired medication can become contaminated with harmful bacteria or other substances, making it unsafe to use.

Understanding drug expiration dates

Most, if not all, drug manufacturers label their medications with expiration dates.

These dates, confirmed through vigorous lab stability testing, reflect the duration the drug remains stable when stored according to labeled conditions.

Drug stability refers to the medication’s strength, quality, and purity.

Most medications will last years past the labeled expiration date, provided the storage conditions are ideal.

In fact, it is common for some medications to retain their stability and potency for up to 10 years after the expiration date.

The ‘Shelf Life Extension Program‘ initiated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a notable initiative that allows the storage of certain expired drugs, specifically antibiotics, for emergency use situations.

Despite the expiration date, there is a reasonable expectation that these drugs will still be effective in their intended use.

The FDA developed the shelf life extension program to ensure that essential medications are available when the supply chain may be disrupted and there is a sudden demand for drugs.

This scenario is especially relevant in natural disasters, pandemics, or other emergencies, where medical supplies may be limited.

The biggest causes of a breakdown in a drug’s stability are heat, light, exposure to water or humidity, and degradation by enzymes.

So, what is the WORST place to store your medications? The bathroom mirror cabinet! 

If you are storing your medications this way, please stop immediately!

All your medications must be stored in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

Baclofen withdrawal symptoms: A word of caution

Very important note and a word of caution: If you have been taking your daily doses of baclofen consistently for a period of time, DO NOT stop taking it suddenly (“cold turkey”) just because it is expired.

Doing so will result in severe symptoms of withdrawal. These include:

  • Agitation
  • Insomnia (Trouble sleeping)
  • Uncontrolled movements (dyskinesia)
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Seizures
  • Delirium
  • Changes in vision
  • Psychosis
  • Increase in body temperature (Hyperthermia)
  • Confusion
  • Worsening spasms

How Should I Dispose of Expired Baclofen?

If you have expired baclofen in your medicine cabinet, the best thing to do is to dispose of it safely and responsibly.

Many pharmacies and drugstores have take-back programs where you can drop off expired or unwanted medications for proper disposal.

If no take-back programs exist in your area, you can also dispose of medication at home.

The FDA recommends mixing the medication with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or cat litter and sealing it in a plastic bag before throwing it in the trash.

Key Takeaway: Taking expired baclofen is not recommended due to potential loss of potency and drug stability. No major adverse events have been noted in studies with expired baclofen use.

FAQs About Baclofen Expiration Date

Q: Can I take expired baclofen if I have nothing else to take?

A: While taking expired medication is generally not recommended, the risks may be outweighed by the benefits in some cases.

If you have nothing else to take and are experiencing significant pain or discomfort, taking baclofen past its labeled expiry date may be a better option than not taking anything at all.


Q: How do I know if my baclofen has expired?

A: The expiration date of your medication should be printed on the label. If you are unsure, check with your pharmacist.


Q: Can I store baclofen for longer than the expiration date?

A: No, storing medication past the expiration date is not recommended, as the effectiveness and safety of the medication cannot be guaranteed.


Q: Can I take expired baclofen if it looks and smells fine?

A: Even if the medication looks and smells fine, it is not recommended to take expired medication as the effectiveness and safety of the medication cannot be guaranteed.


In conclusion, don’t take baclofen tablets past the original expiration date due to the potential risks and reduced medication effectiveness.

It is highly unlikely that baclofen will degrade into a toxic compound and cause you harm.

But, there is a possibility that the medication will not treat your pain and spasms due to the loss of its potency and effectiveness.

However, in some cases, the risks may be outweighed by the benefits, especially if no other options are available.

If you have expired medication in your medicine cabinet, it is important to dispose of it safely and responsibly to avoid potential harm.

Always ask your pharmacist or talk to your doctor before taking expired medication. They are professional medical experts trained to answer your questions.

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