Can You Use Expired Neosporin? The Answer Might Surprise You

If you’ve ever had a cut, scrape, or sore, you might have used Neosporin to help it heal. It’s one of the most popular over-the-counter ointments available. You may have also noticed that the expiration date is quite far in the future. Does that mean that Neosporin lasts forever? The answer is no – but you can still use it after it expires. This article will tell you everything you need to know about Neosporin expiration dates and whether or not expired antibacterial ointments are still effective.

Neosporin Topical Ointment

Neosporin is a first aid antibiotic ointment that is used to treat minor skin infections, prevent infection, and treat minor wounds such as small cuts, scrapes, and burns.

It is considered a triple antibiotic ointment as it has three active ingredients: Bacitracin, Neomycin, and Polymyxin B. These antibiotics work together to kill bacteria and help the wound heal. Neosporin is available over-the-counter in most countries.

Expiration Dates: Does Neosporin Expire?

All medications have an expiration date. This is the date after which the drug manufacturer no longer considers the medication safe or effective. The expiration date is usually printed on the packaging. For Neosporin, the expiration date is usually about three years after the date of manufacture.

So, does that mean that you should throw out your Neosporin after three years? Not necessarily. The expiration date is just a guideline. It is based on extensive testing that has shown that the medication is still safe and effective up to that point. After the expiration date, the medication may still be safe and effective for a period of time.

What Happens if You Use Neosporin Past its Expiration Date?

So, can you use expired ointment? The answer is yes, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, expired Neosporin may not be as effective as it was when it was new. The expiration date is just a guideline, and the medication may lose some of its potency to treat infections over time.

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Second, you should always check the expiration date before using any medication. If the Neosporin antibiotic ointment is only a few months past the expiry date, go ahead and try it.

If it has been expired for a long time, it is best to discard it and get a new one. If the Neosporin cream has a funky odor, tainted color, or any other change from its normal appearance, it’s best to discard it and get a fresh tube.

Tips for Neosporin


There are a few things you can do to extend the shelf life of your Neosporin. It is important to store it in a cool, dry place. The bathroom medicine cabinet is not the best place to store antibiotic ointments because the humidity can cause them to degrade faster.


You should not overuse Neosporin. Apply it only to the affected area and avoid using it more often than directed. Overuse of antibiotic cream can help spread resistant bacteria and may cause side effects such as skin irritation.

Who Should Use the Antibiotic Ointment

Pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children under the age of two should not use Neosporin unless directed by a healthcare provider. In some cases, usage can cause the development of antibiotic resistance in the child in the future.

First Aid Kit

Neosporin is an excellent addition to any first-aid kit. Be sure to check for expired medications in your first aid kit every couple of months and replace them.


Overall, Neosporin is a safe and effective medication that can be used to treat minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. However, it is important to keep in mind that it does expire and while useable, expired Neosporin may not be as effective. If you have any questions or concerns, you should always consult a healthcare professional.

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