Does Valium Expire?

When it comes to medications, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) takes safety very seriously. One way that they ensure drug safety is by requiring all prescription and over-the-counter drugs to have an expiration date. This is important, they say, because it helps ensure that drugs are still potent enough to do their intended jobs. It also allows us to be certain that no toxic compounds have developed due to degradation of the drug.

When a drug maker puts in an application with the FDA to develop a new drug, they must do testing to learn about the stability of the drug. They are also required to suggest how the medication should be stored in order to maintain its quality. The FDA then has to confirm the drug manufacturer's data before it issues approval for the drug. 

Just like any other medication, Valium (diazepam) does have an expiration date. This date, according to guidance from the FDA, will appear on the label or be stamped onto the bottle or carton containing the medication. It may appear following the letters "EXP." They caution that using medications past their expiration date could be risky.

Is it bad to take expired Valium?

In an interview with INSIDER, Dr. Kim Langdon, a clinical advisor at Medzino, notes that pharmacies limit the use of Valium to one year from the time it is dispensed. Medscape further explains pharmacists must list either the expiration date provided by the manufacturer, or one year after the day that the medication was dispensed, whichever is earlier. They are required to do this because when medications are repackaged, it is thought that they might lose some of their integrity.

But how dangerous is it to go past this expiration date? Medscape notes that both the manufacturer's expiration date and the beyond-use date set by the pharmacy are often very conservative when a medication is stored properly. The patient monograph for Valium provided by Roche states that it should be stored in a cool, dry place at room temperature to keep the medication in its best condition. Virtual Medical Center says that the main issue with Valium is that it might degrade over time and not work as well.