Handling of Expired Materials


The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide, NRC 2011) states: "Agents that provide anesthesia and analgesia must be used before their expiration dates and should be acquired, stored, their use recorded, and disposed of legally and safely (p. 122) USDA Policy #3 (Veterinary Care) states: "The use of expired medical materials such as drugs, fluids, or sutures on regulated animals is not considered to be acceptable veterinary practice and does not constitute adequate veterinary care as required by the regulations promulgated under the Animal Welfare Act."

IACUC Policy

Use of Expired Materials

Each lab must identify one individual within the lab to track materials within the lab that have expiration dates and oversee the proper disposal of the expired materials.  This individual should be identified in the IACUC protocol by including the duty under "Responsibilities for this Protocol" in the "Personnel Information" section.

Expired materials must be clearly labeled as expired and stored separately from non-expired materials.

Expired anesthetics, analgesics, and euthanasia solutions must never be used and must be disposed of properly.

Some expired materials may be used in non-survival procedures, but sterility of these expired materials must be maintained if they are intended for use in animals).  These materials include:

  • Medical Materials (e.g. catheters, suture)
  • Medications (e.g. antibiotics, fluids, sterile gloves)

If there is a question about whether or not an expired material/medication could have a negative impact on an animal, please contact a DLAR veterinarian.


Disposal of expired materials

Controlled substances:

Expired controlled substances must be kept secure, in a locked drawer/cabinet in a locked room.

Expired controlled substances must be clearly labeled as expired and kept secure and separate from non-expired controlled substances.

Contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) for pick-up of expired controlled substances. They will arrange for a reverse distributor to pick up the expired substances, which usually happens annually in December.


Contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS).

Non-medical Materials (e.g. cleaning products):

Contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) or refer to the package insert for proper disposal.

Medical materials and other waste:

Review the Biological and other waste disposal guidelines OEHS document for disposal guidelines of both contaminated and uncontaminated materials.


Approved: December 2012

Revisions Approved: 10/2017, 12/2019