In extreme winter weather conditions, your friends at Tria Health want to provide you with some tips to keep yourselves and your medications safe this winter.
Medication Storage Is Important for Safety
Most medications should be stored at room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees Farenheit). However, some medications have specific storage instructions and most perscription and over-the-counter medications come with inserts that detail safety and storage guidelines.
There are commonly perscribed medications that require specific storage requirements. Some examples include:
- Injectable drugs
- Inhaled medications
- Eye Drops
- Nasal Sprays
- Gels and Creams
For information on storage requirements for these, and many other medications, you may visit the National Institue of Health drug information website.
When Medications Aren’t Stored Properly They Can Lose Effectiveness
Prescriptions that are subjected to extreme cold (or hot) temperatures can lose their effectiveness before their expiration date. For this reason, you should always take necessary precautions to avoid storing medications in the car, on a windowsill or in a garage. You should also be aware that many medications can also be affected by exposure to direct sunlight.
There are Signs to Determine if Medications Have Been Exposed to Extreme Temperatures
In some cases, you will be able to recognize when your medications have been exposed to extreme temperatures. However, a medication may or may not show outward signs of temparture damage. Should you notice any of these signs, you should contact your Pharmacist:
- Strange odor
- Harder or softer to the touch
- Pills that are cracked, chipped or stuck together
- Creams that appear seperated
- Insulin (or other injectables) with visible “crystals”
Pharmacists Will Almost Always Have the Right Answer!
The best response if you feel your medications may have been comprimised is to talk to your Pharmacist—or a Tria Health Pharmacist, if you’re one of our members. A pharmacist will be able to tell you wheter the medication efficacy has been comprimised—and should even be able to help you order a replacement prescription.