Can I Use Expired Neosporin? Revealing The Scientific Truth

By "Just In Case" Jack | Updated: 05/16/2024

Expired NeosporinToday I want to share something extremely important with you…

To answer all your questions about Expired Neosporin, such as:

Does Neosporin really expire? Is it still safe to use?

Now, of course, you won’t find much help on the label itself.

The manufacturer wants you to just toss it out, buy more and stop asking questions…

But is that in your best interests? Is that the TRUTH?

To get to the bottom of this, we must dig a bit deeper…

TOPICS IN THIS ARTICLE…    ↓(click to jump)
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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a physician.

I’m not providing health advice but rather collecting and sharing other people’s information and my personal (non-professional) opinions on what I’ve decided to do.

You should always consult your doctor or a licensed professional for all your health-related decisions.

neosporin tube

Does Neosporin Have Any Potency After Expiration?

The honest answer to all of these questions is: IT DEPENDS.

It depends because there’s a lot of controversy around these questions, just like there seems to be controversy around all things “expiration” related.

Yet, all is not lost.

Depends on what?

1. How Far Is Neosporin Past Its Date?

Neosporin is a medical consumable.

As with most medical consumables, their healing potency degrades over time.

The older it gets, the less ability it has to perform as intended.

Ok, that makes sense.

So, what is the exact degradation pace of Neosporin?

Unfortunately, that information is not publicly available.

The makers of Neosporin do not share that information.

However, I discovered that all pharmaceutical companies must follow strict labeling guidelines.

These guidelines require the active ingredient in medications to meet a specific potency range.

When the active ingredients fall outside this specific range, the product must be considered “expired.”

This potency range is unique depending on the product’s makeup and active ingredients.

However, the range is typically very high in the pharmaceutical field.

An example of an acceptable active ingredient range in pharmaceuticals is between 95% to 105% potency.

So to follow these strict requirements, the manufacturers of Neosporin must test their products in controlled storage environments.

They record potency test data over a period of time, taking note of when it drops below their required range threshold (i.e., 95%).

Using this collected data, the medical companies use statistics to determine the required expiration date.

A data-supported date that meets the strict industry guidelines.

↓ Can You Take Expired Medication? Expiration Dates, Explained

So the bottom line is:

The closer your Neosporin is to its labeled expiration date, the higher the potency of the active ingredient remains.

Sure, it’s probably slipped below the strict 95% guideline.

But should you toss out Neosporin with an active ingredient potency of 88%?

2. Where And How Has Your Neosporin Been Stored?

Storage practices are always a variable when it comes to expiration dates.

Poor storage practices lead to shorter expiration dates.

Good storage practices lead to longer expiration dates.

The two major conditions that significantly shorten Neosporin’s shelf life are:

  • Stored in direct sunlight
  • Stored in high-temperature environments

So, storing our Neosporin in locations that avoid these conditions will prolong its useful life.

Or as Marvin Lipman (Consumer Reports Chief Medical Consultant) suggests:

“To assure that medicines stay effective after their expiration dates, don’t store them in the bathroom medicine cabinet. Heat and humidity accelerate how fast a drug deteriorates, so store drugs in a cool, dry place and well out of the reach of children.”

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Can You Safely Use Expired Neosporin?

Yes, it can still be useful.

  • But should you apply it after it expires?
  • Are there any associated risks with ignoring the label?
  • Does Neosporin expire and go toxic after a certain amount of time?

Again, information on these questions is sparse, and the little I could find is not from highly trusted sources (e.g., medical journals or medical websites).

But what I could find, most people agree that Neosporin does not become toxic after expiration.

It should also be noted what was NOT found.

If Neosporin did turn toxic after expiration, there would be a lot of information about that on the web (and most likely many court cases).

I found no evidence supporting the idea that Neosporin does not become toxic after it expires.

neosporin expiration date

Should You Use It? Toss It Out? Or Keep It After Its Expiration Date?

What’s your mindset?

Are you a survivalist prepper (like me)?

If times are normal, and you can easily buy a new tube of Neosporin from Walgreens, then you should purchase a new tube.

I won’t argue that it’s worth using the expired stuff if a new tube is available.

However, as a survivalist, I think about worst-case scenarios such as TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It).

This survivalist mindset changes how I think about expiration dates.

“Expiration Dates” and “Best If Used By Dates” are valid in normal times (where food and medical supplies are in abundance).

But they become nearly meaningless the day our modern medical resources become scarce.

In such a world, many items with value today will become worthless, while many undervalued items today will skyrocket.

↓ 10 Prepper Supplies EVERYONE Is Overlooking

Even if it’s expired, Neosporin will skyrocket in value in an SHTF or TEOTWAWKI world.

Let Me Share With You A Short Hypothetical Story:

Let’s pretend that TSHTF happens and life as we know it is over.

Maybe it’s a highly contagious virus that wipes out 87% of the world’s population.

Perhaps it’s World War III that leaves behind scorched earth.

Maybe it’s a massive EMP attack.

Whatever the cause, medical attention and supplies will be limited.

↓ Home Doctor Book Review – Is It Worth Buying?

You won’t stop at your local drug store to pick up cold medicine, nasal spray, or Neosporin.

Let’s pretend you have a 6-year-old son in this hypothetical story.

Maybe he was walking around your beat-up neighborhood wearing worn-out sneakers and stepping on a large shard of glass.

He’s left with a nasty cut on his heel.

In haste, you clean it with a semi-sanitary source and wrap it with the cleanest bandages.

You then pray it doesn’t become infected.

After a few hours, the cut turns a pinkish-red hue, swells, and looks to be in the early stages of a deadly infection.

Remember, getting access to regular antibiotics in this new world unless you plan ahead.

In this story, you didn’t.

Your son is doomed.

But wait…

Your neighbor (who is a prepared survivalist) happens to have Neosporin.

It’s 3 years past its “expiration date,” but who cares?

This is your son’s life we are talking about.

Your neighbor wants to help, but he also knows that in this world of limited medical supplies, you don’t just give stuff away for free.

Especially something as valuable as infection-fighting Neosporin.

So, he proposes a barter.

He will give you a small amount of Neosporin in exchange for one month’s worth of food and a brick of .22 bullets.

But you didn’t prepare.

You never thought life could ever change so drastically.

You don’t have a brick of 22 shells to trade.

“That’s OK,” he says, “How about instead you trade your firewood?”

That large pile in your backyard.

The pile you bought for your fireplace because your family enjoys fires at Christmas.

It’s about a cord of firewood in total.

Without electricity, you were planning on this firewood to keep your family from freezing on the coldest winter nights.

But what options do you have?

You can forego the trade, and your son will surely die.

Or you can make the trade and improve your son’s odds of surviving.

You realize it’s not a choice at all.

You do the deal.

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What I Do With My Expired Neosporin

If you’re worried about the future of our world (and you should be), maybe you should keep your Neosporin.

The date stamped onto your Neosporin is just when the drug manufacturer can guarantee its maximum safety and potency based on product testing.

However, this leaves many months (possibly years) when the medicine will still be effective.

  • So, Does Neosporin Expire? Yes, eventually.
  • Will I throw mine out? Nope.

I will continue to keep my expired Neosporin well after its expiration date.

  • I keep it stored in a dark, cool location.
  • And I keep it for the “what if” scenarios.

It’s an item that will have a skyrocketing value for bartering and may help protect my family from infections.

This is my personal stance on keeping and using Neosporin even after its expiration date.

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