Severe Chronic Back Pain - Can I take Expired Meds to alleviate pain?

Posted by sepulchura @sepulchura, Mar 23, 2018

I have a lot of sever back pain. I have a 7 yr old prescription of hydromorphone. Can I take these to alleviate the pain? They are still intact. Were stored in a cool dry place all this time. Are they still potent enough to work?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Spine Health group.

@sepulchura, welcome to Connect. You pose a good question. However, since we are not medical professionals, we cannot give medical advice. I think this is question that should be brought up with your medical provider or a pharmacist. Seven years is quite a long time. Here is some general information from Mayo Clinic in regards to pain medications:

"Check the expiration date on your pill bottle. Medication loses its effectiveness after a certain amount of time, and its effects become unpredictable.
When a medication has expired or you've stopped using it, dispose of it properly."

@sepulchura, if you are comfortable sharing, what caused your recent increase in back pain?


Hi. Someone always takes a chance when they take expired meds. Supposedly there are chemical changes that happen. That said, I was 4 states from home on vaca with complex pain syndrome and somehow my full bottle of rescue meds suddenly disappeared while we were out shopping. And yes, they were hidden. Anyway, jumping ahead past the drama, my friend had a 10 year old script of 50 oxycodone from when her expired mother had cancer and offered them to me. She felt bad BC we were staying with her and the theft occurred at her house. They worked great! So, CAUTION: USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! The medical community does not recommend, neither do I, however I have shared my experience with expired meds with you. Only you can weigh the risk vs any potential benefits. Good luck.


I have about 3 more weeks before I see the Pain Mgt doctor. The best I could get until then is the Tramadol 50 Mil. My doctor just increased to two pills, total 100 Mg. My back pain is caused by a Crushed Vertbrae 11th. I fell on my back and heard the cracking. I was taken to ER. Even in ER, they give you the smallest possible dose of pain med. I wonder sometimes if these doctor would allow their own family member to suffer this way. I understand the addiction issue. I was promised by my surgeon that at that moment I could not feel pain and it was the drugs he gave me and said I would have back pain for the rest of my life. I hope not. They used concrete to fill in the absent Vertibrae. The people who caused this government to stop handing out pain meds, did not think through the result for older people. It is as much pain as it is mentally wishing you could just get a bit of relief. I use a heating pad to fall asleep.


When my back pain is severe I take oxycodone. What I had was a year old. It lost it effectiveness and I had to get a new script.

Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment