Does Rimadyl or Other Dog Meds Expire?

By Jillian O'Keeffe

Rimadyl and other dog medications are pharmaceutical preparations which fall under the auspices of the Food and Drug Administration. As active ingredients are unstable over time, dog medications have an expiration date just like human medicines.

Expiration Dates

Medications have expiration dates to ensure that they are only taken within the time the active ingredient and other ingredients are safe and effective to use. Rimadyl has an expiration date after which the active ingredient, carprofen, may not be effective and may even be dangerous.

Effectiveness Of Expired Medication

Expiration dates are conservative to ensure safety. Storage conditions can affect quality. Temperature, light, humidity and microbiological exposure can severely affect the usefulness and safety of a particular medicine, according to the Institute for Medication Management. Simply looking at the product cannot ensure the medicine is still effective and safe.

Risks Of Expired Medicine

Rimadyl comes in three forms, chewable tablets, injections and caplets. A risk is associated with each of these forms when the expiration has passed. The active ingredient in each form may have degraded to a point where not enough medicine is present to allay the dog's arthritis, which may result in a flare-up of pain and inflammation. For injectables in particular, the expired drug may change in pH, which may cause tissue damage and pain.