I was given an expired medication for my kitty

My kitty takes buprenorphine. My vet will only give me one month’s worth at a time.

Last month, I was given a prescription on 11/28. Expiration date of the med was listed as 12/21.

Because Christmas was coming up, I requested an early refill of his medications. Today, I looked at the buprenorphine bottle. It was filled on 12/21. Has an expiration date of 12/21!

I have enough to last until Monday when the vet’s office opens up. I have requested another bottle, not expired, and also sent them a picture of the container that shows fill date and expiration date.

I may have no problem with getting a new bottle, but I have a feeling I have been wearing my welcome out at the office. I want unexpired medication.

Back in June, I was given a bottle of buprenorphine with the instructions to give 2 ml twice a day (including a dosing syringe with 2 ml marked on it) instead of the proper 0.2 ml, which I pointed out to them. Could have been a major disaster if an owner was administering the med for the first time.

My question is: Is it against any law for a vet to sell expired medication? If it is in your state, where would I look to find out for my state?

This might be helpful?

Is the expire date printed from the manufacturer, or from the dispensing pharmacy? As in, are you getting an unopened bottle from the manufacturer, or is the pharmacy opening a bottle, entering the exp date in somewhere, and printing a label for you?

If the latter, it might just be a mistake on the label?

Are you using a pill, or the liquid? I know it doesn’t really address the problem, but pills are awfully stable, if you’re getting those.

If the problem is that your vet just isn’t moving enough of the drug to keep it in date, maybe you can request the script sent to a human pharmacy. Buprenorphine is used for people, too.


The label is printed at the vet’s office. I think they buy a big bottle and then dole it out as patients require it. It’s a liquid.

I tried to get the office to send in Rxs to Wedgewood Pharmacy once the beginning of the summer as I was traveling up north. They refused, even though I was told they do business with them. Luckily, the new vet up north was willing to get me the medications through Wedgewood.

Just really disappointed in this vet’s office this year. They have been my vet for 14 years ever since I got this rescue kitty. Been very good up until this year. Just some mistakes here and there. I know they have hired a bunch of vet techs this year and they are the ones who dispense the meds. They told me they are very busy; could be due to people adopting more pets this year. I have not actually seen the vet since January. You drop the patient off and don’t go in.

Thanks for the article. Will definitely read it and do some further research.

From my experience, pet meds don’t have month and day expiration dates, they have month and year. so depending on what the exact prescription says, it could be December 2021, not December 21, 2020. This would have to be confirmed with your vet, but that’s just my own experience.


For the other medication (cisapride), the labels on the bottles say:

Rx filled: 10/5/2020
Expires: 12/1/2020

Rx filled: 11/28/2020
Expires: 4/30/2021

Rx filled: 12/21/2020
Expires: 4/30/2021

The expiration dates are pretty clear-cut to me. I never see the prescriptions. They are filled inhouse.

These are all the first or last day of the month–is your buprenorphine 12/21/20? That’s a little different if so, and perhaps pointing toward an entry error?

I only have the last 2 bottles of buprenorphine.

Rx filled: 11/28/2020
Expiration date: 12/21/2020

Rx filled: 12/21/2020
Expiration date: 12/21/2020

I will get it sorted out on Monday. Point being: I do not want to use, or pay for, expired medication.


Rx filled: 11/28/2020
Expires: 4/30/2021

Rx filled: 12/21/2020
Expires: 4/30/2021

That indicates to me they were both filled from the same dispensing bottle.


Rx filled: 11/28/2020
Expiration date: 12/21/2020

Rx filled: 12/21/2020
Expiration date: 12/21/2020

That indicates to me they were both filled from the same dispensing bottle.

I’d suspect a typo.
Typically, prescribed meds are given a max expiration date of 1 yr. from issue.


Or that these were filled from the same bottle where the exp date was entered into the system incorrectly, so it’s been printed incorrectly on the label twice. I’d really wonder if the exp is Dec 2021 and it’s just an error on your label.

Judging from the past refills of the buprenorphine, it has never been more than 3 months out from the filling date, and that agrees with what is in this article I just found.

“For the room temperature bottles, some white particulate matter was noted in the threads of the container bottles starting at day 21.” Yes, I have noticed this with every bottle. I just wipe it off.

Edit: I take back my “never more than 3 months out from the filling date.” I am looking at the bottle from Wedgewood Pharmacy and it says:

Date Made: 7/27/2020
Use by: 11/9/2020

so 105 days

I know that, if I had to take a medication for 30 days, I would not accept the medication if it expired on the day I was to start it. Would you?

Medications are good for years after the sell by date. The dates are just another marketing tool to take your money. Your vet is correct to give meds with old dates usually up to 4 years past the date on the bottle as long as they have been kept dry and at the correct temperature. Check with any Pharmacist or goggle.
If you have a med that has to be kept in the refrigerator then that is a different story.
Remember the worst that can happen with old pills is they may not be as strong but they will NOT be toxic.
Do your research before blaming your vet.

Is your Rx a compounded version of the drug, or from the original manfacturer?

I am not using pills. I am not worried about toxicity. I would like the pain medication to be full strength. You would be okay with your pharmacy giving you years old medication? Same price also as the in-date? How about if you had surgery and the hospital gave you old pain medication that lost some of its strength?

Did you read the article I posted?

“Is your Rx a compounded version of the drug, or from the original manfacturer?”

I don’t know.

Wedgewood Pharmacy is a compounding pharmacy. Only used them once during the summer.

Have you confirmed the exp date you have is correct with the dispensing vet?

See my first post.

@walkers60 Ok. I just checked your comment with google.


Are you a vet?

Be careful using compounding Pharmacy there have been lots of trouble with them using again out of date medicine and inaccurate combinations. Remember all the dead horses in Florida from a compounding pharmacy?

@walkers60 “Using again out of date medicine” Didn’t you say it is okay to use out of date medicine? LIke up to four years past the expiration date? Yes, you did.

Are you a vet?

So no, you haven’t confirmed the exp date on your bottle is correct?

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