Expired Medications 

Last Updated: 12/16/2021

Purpose/ Applicability: The purpose of this SOP is to describe the process for properly labeling and monitoring for expired medications.

Scope: This SOP applies to all the medications used within the VTH including SAC, LAC, VMSC and MWE. Each service is responsible for monitoring their service areas for expired medications.


  • VTH – Veterinary Teaching Hospital
  • SAC – Small Animal Clinic
  • LAC – Large Animal Clinic
  • VMSC – Vet Med South Clinic
  • MWE- Midwest Equine
  • Expiration – the end of a specific amount of time.
  • VTH Inspection door sheet – Document utilized by the VTH to log the monthly visual inspection done for expired items. It is turned into the VCM Dept Office once completed.


  • Expiration stickers
  • Black sharpie


Un-opened medications/Ward Stock

  1. Monthly all medication stock should be reviewed for upcoming expiration.
    a. Utilize the manufacturers date on the medication.
  2. Place a sticker on any medications that will be expiring within the next couple of months for a visual reminder.
  3. Rotate stock when new medications are added to ensure expiring medications will be used first.
  4. Utilize the VTH Inspection door sheets to document monthly inspections of stock.
  5. If expired medications are found, they must be removed from stock/patient care areas.
    a. Non-controlled expired medications can be disposed of in the white Medication Waste buckets or brought to the dispensary.
    b. Controlled expired medications should be returned to the dispensary for proper logging and disposing.

Opened Medications

  1. Once a medication has been opened a sticker should be placed on it.
  2. Indicate the date (month/day/year) and time (am/pm) the medication was opened in clear and legible writing with a sharpie.
  3. Indicate the date (month/day/year) and time (am/pm) the medication expires in clear and legible writing with a sharpie.
    a. Each medication once open is only viable for a certain amount of time. 
         i. Check with the dispensary for that medications time frame.
  4. Once expired the medication must be disposed of.
    a. Taken to dispensary
    b. White Medication Waste bucket

Keywords:Expire, medication, drug, prescription, pharmacy, dispensary, waste, bucket, white bucket, dispose, disposing, manufacturer, date   Doc ID:126686
Owner:Jenny C.Group:University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created:2023-03-17 12:13 CDTUpdated:2023-03-17 12:17 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
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