Heat And Medication: Humidity And Soaring Temperatures Can Alter Drug Effectiveness
High temperatures impair the potency and shelf life of medications. Most medications are typically produced to be stable at room temperature, which is between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. During the summer, though, room temperatures can soar considerably over that, which can be devastating for your prescription, over-the-counter, or combination medication.
While it is impossible to prevent high summer temperatures totally, there are certain strategies you can employ to keep prescription medication in good condition. This, however, necessitates rigorous attention to your local pharmacy’s advice on how to store prescriptions over the summer.
How Is Medication Affected By Excessive Heat?
When exposed to varying temperatures, the active ingredients in any drug can change in molecular form, potentially resulting in a pharmaceutical breakdown. This breakdown can reduce the potency of drugs and potentially result in new or different effects. Insulin, asthma inhalers, or EpiPens are particularly at risk.
Factors Influencing Medications’ Temperature
A variety of factors can expose your drugs to dangerously high temperatures.
Summer Heat: High outdoor temperatures might cause your home to grow heated enough that drugs “overheat” if you don’t have air conditioning (and keep it on 24/7 during hot periods). This is especially important during power outages.
Car: Keeping your medication in your car over an extended amount of time can expose it to extreme temperatures.
Travel: Your prescription could be sitting in your luggage on the hot tarmac or in a non-air- conditioned luggage handling room.
Pharmacy Issues: You may be unaware of a problem if your pharmacy loses electricity for an extended period before you pick up your prescription. If you obtain your medications from a mail-order pharmacy, they may be delivered in a non-temperature-controlled truck or may sit in your mailbox for an extended amount of time.
How To Keep Medication Out Of The Heat
Your medicine container will most likely instruct you to keep it in a cool, dry area away from heat. However, how to store pharmaceuticals during the summer, when even room temperatures can rise, is not always evident. Always follow these guidelines to guarantee correct storage to avoid heat damage:
Determine The Ideal Temperature By Reading The Label
Compound drugs require special handling and storage to ensure their effectiveness. If refrigeration is required, do so each time you use the medication. You should also check the refrigerator temperature readings to confirm that the medicine is at the proper temperature.
Keep Medications In A Cool, Dry Place
If your home lacks suitable climate control or your air conditioning fails to function properly, there is a good chance that improper storage will expose your medication to heat. While symptoms of deterioration in tablets are easy to spot (for example, changes in colour and shape), the same cannot be true for syrups and other liquid medications. As a result, it is usually best to keep medicines in a cool, dry environment. The FRIO wallet is ideal for holding medication that needs to be kept cool. CLICK HERE for more information here.
Reduce Exposure To Heat, Light, And Moisture
Keep all medications away from windows and other openings that receive direct sunlight. Using an opaque covering to block the sun’s rays can minimize the amount of heat and light the drug is exposed to even more. Furthermore, if power outages are common in your area they can have a significant impact on prescriptions, particularly those that require refrigeration. As a result, having an alternative location to store these medications is critical.
What Should You Do With Overheated Medicine?
Consult your pharmacist if you are concerned that high temperatures have already impacted your prescription. If you need to replace it, they can assist you in contacting your health insurer to determine whether they will cover the replacement cost or grant reimbursement. In the absence of it, they can assist you in contacting the manufacturer to see whether a replacement can be arranged. You could be eligible for one at no cost.
More than just having effective air conditioning is required to keep your medication in good condition. The sweltering summer heat might compromise the drug’s integrity, so it’s important to observe storage recommendations. Using a FRIO wallet can be beneficial.