How summer temperatures may affect drugs

older couple enjoying a summer drive

Making sure your medicine is maintained at the right temperature is important to protect its strength and effectiveness. At Humana Pharmacy®, we make it our highest priority to keep medicine in temperature-controlled environments during storage and transport.

Controlling the temperature

Some medicines break down in hot temperatures. For instance, some insulins must be kept cold at all times, and medicines like suppositories, gelatin capsules (gel caps) and inhalers can’t be exposed to hot-weather conditions.

This is why it’s important not to leave your medicine in the car on a hot day. While traveling, keep medicines packed in a cooler if needed, or a cool, dry place if they don’t require refrigeration. This will help protect the quality and effectiveness of your medicine and ensure it isn’t affected by the temperature of your car or the baggage compartment of a plane.

Always check the medicine label for how to properly store your medicine. Unless it requires refrigeration, you should store medicine at room temperature— between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit—in a dry place away from heat, humidity and light. This means your medicine should not be in the bathroom where there’s humidity nor on top of the refrigerator where there’s heat.1

Signs your medicine has been affected by heat

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your medicine has been damaged by heat or other extreme temperatures, but some signs include:

• Bad smell

• Pills stuck together

• Discoloration

Do not take your medicine if it has any of these signs of damage. Instead, talk to your pharmacist or doctor on how to proceed.

How Humana Pharmacy keeps your medicine cool

We take every precaution to ensure your medicine arrives safely and intact. Before we ship any medicine to you, pharmacists review each order for accuracy and check the handling requirements. We monitor the transportation route using weather-tracking technology so it’s packaged appropriately. Any medicine requiring refrigeration is delivered via expedited shipping and in a cold-packed cooler to ensure its quality.

We’re here to help

If you have questions on how to store your medicine safely, give us a call. We’re available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Eastern time.

Source:

1. Jessica Stoller-Conrad, “Why You Should Keep Medicines Out of Summer Heat,” NPR, last accessed July 3, 2019, https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/07/10/156575072/why-you-should-keep-medicines-out-of-summer-heat.