The storage temperature of medicine is critical as it is directly linked with the health and wellness of the individual taking the drug. Medicines become toxic or cause danger if medications are not kept correctly within the recommended temperature, and they may not function as indicated. Medicines should be kept in storage locations that guarantee the preservation of their quality. The storage temperature is one of the most crucial elements potentially affecting a medicine’s stability.
All medications are designed to maintain stability at room temperature and are produced under rigorous requirements. The general temperature at which medicines are stored is 77 degrees F, the controlled temperature for most over-the-counter and prescription drugs.
Any medication’s active ingredients have the potential to decompose since they may lead to composition when exposed to extreme temperatures. Medication potency may be decreased due to this breakdown, and many unwanted new side effects may also appear.
Role of Pharmacist and Temperature Control of Medicines
- Pharmacists may increase patient compliance by educating patients about the value of storing drugs at the appropriate temperature.
- Medicines must be kept in a refrigerator in smaller facilities where cold storage may be required only occasionally, for instance, for a bottle of an oral antibiotic or eye drops. To keep the medications separate from other items in the refrigerator, they should be kept on a different shelf in a plastic container with a lid.
- Customers shouldn’t have access to the refrigerator’s medicine container; only pharmacists or pharmacy workers should be able to access such items.
- Many drugs should be kept between 68 and 77°F, which is considered room temperature. The same medicines also provide brief “excursion” times with temperatures between 59°F and 86°F.
- Temperatures above and below this limit may significantly impact the effects of any medicine. When kept over 98°F, diazepam, for instance, loses 25% of its effectiveness. At such temperatures, lorazepam loses 75% of its effectiveness.
- There are significant potential dangers if a drug is affected by exposure to temperatures outside of its acceptable range. Numerous problems compromising the patient’s health might arise due to effectiveness loss. The risks are significantly more significant while using certain drugs.
Pharmaceutical Storage Temperature Ranges
The ideal storage temperatures vary depending on the pharmaceutical product. It is advised to store items in specific temperature ranges and conditions. Implementing proper storage conditions will ensure their quality and provide the desired results.
The temperature ranges of medicines are categorized into several classes:
They store between 10 and 25 °C at room temperature while being stored. However, some are stable up to 30°C and are often labelled “keep below 25°C.”
Refrigeration for vaccinations and certain medications:
They must be kept between 2° and 8°C to retain effectiveness. Temperature regulation must be strict. The pharmaceutical product may need to be discarded if there is a break in the cold chain. Freezing conditions between -10°C and -25°C required for certain medications and vaccinations, such as MMR, Zoster, or Varicella.
Exposure of Medicine to Excessive Heat
Consult your pharmacist to determine if you need to replace your medicine if it has been subjected to extreme heat. Contact your health insurance provider and ask for the next course of action since they could be able to provide a free substitute for your medicine or compensate you for a new prescription.
Moreover, get in touch with the manufacturer via the customer hotline if your pharmacy and insurance provider cannot assist you. You may need to return the medicine to the manufacturer and get a replacement from a fresh batch.