Summer Heat & Your Prescriptions

Most drugs are recommended to be stored at what’s known as “controlled room temperature” – an average of approximately 77 degrees F. Summer heat, however, can expose your medications to dangerous temperatures that can potentially degrade your medicine – and often, without your knowing. For example:

  • Your medication is stored in your home, and you are in an area of 90-degree plus heat and do not have air conditioning
  • Your medication traveled in the airline luggage compartment
  • Your medication was stored in a hot car
  • You have experienced am extended power outage at your home
  • You get your medications from a mail order pharmacy that ships regular mail, and drugs spend time in postal trucks and in your mailbox

During the summer, if you take prescription medications, pay particular attention to any unusual symptoms that may suggest your medication isn’t working properly. These sorts of symptoms may be a sign that your medication has lost potency due to heat.

How to Protect Your Medication

  • Check the storage information for any medications you take so that you are aware of any temperature restrictions.
  • Carry medications on the airplane with you, instead of storing them in your checked luggage. International travelers should travel with medicines in their original containers with pharmacy labels, so you can more easily pass through Customs checkpoints.
  • If you are traveling by car, do not store medications in the trunk. Keep them in the care with you. Do not leave them in the car for extended periods.
  • If you have the choice, have mail order medications or Internet pharmacies ship to you by overnight delivery methods, and be there to accept the packages.

Keep track of all your medications with a personal record from Baptist Health. Call the Baptist Health Information Center at 502.897.8131 for your free copy.

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