Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

Research Suggests Naloxone May Be Good Past Its Expiration Date


Naloxone products typically have an expiration date (“shelf life”) approximately 18-24 months from the date of manufacture. Expiration dates are based on how long a manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of a drug.

Two peer reviewed articles have tested the stability of naloxone:

A 2006 article examined the stability of an array of medications based upon the Shelf Life Extension Program which “…is administered by the FDA for the U.S. DOD [Department of Defense] and … the Strategic National Stockpile” and found that “top performers from this group were naloxone HCl (all 10 lots extended at least 5 years).”

A 2019 study, based on naloxone “collected from EMS or law enforcement training supplies and expired returns, with expiration dates ranging from 1990 to 2018,” found that “Most tested samples were found containing more than 90% of labeled naloxone, including those stored for nearly 30 years.”

A newly released naloxone training video  from Washington State’s Department of Health says that “Naloxone can work past its expiration date, but works best when not expired.” Naloxone should be stored properly, protected from sunlight and temperature extremes.

Based on these studies it appears that naloxone products may be
effective many years after the printed expiration date.