Pharmacists Advise Keeping Medications Out of the Heat

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.--This summer, we're all doing our best to stay cool during these hot days, but did you know that your medication needs that same attention? 

Certain meds like EpiPens are lifesaving when a person has a severe allergic reaction and if it gets too hot, it could stop working.

In the same way you avoid being outside for too long during these scorching dog days of summer, your pills also need to chill.

"What happens when your medications get hot is they degrade more quickly and so that expiration date that you see on your package is no longer valid. Medication breaks down faster at higher temperatures so that's why it's really important to keep things out of the heat," says pharmacist, John Lehn of Dan's Discount Drug Mart. 

When you're spending time outdoors this summer, it might be convenient to leave your medications inside the car like the glove box, but the car is actually the last place to keep your medication when it's hot outside.

 "Absolutely don't do that. Most medications unless they're refrigerated medications are designed to be stable at room temperature, which means most of them are designed to be stable between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 degrees Fahrenheit 

So if you're outside, pharmacists recommend keeping your medication with you in a purse or backpack. At home, they should be kept in cool places like nightstands, instead of the bathroom or kitchen.

"Your bathroom gets hot and it gets humid and both of those things make your medications break down more quickly, make them less stable and again your kitchen is another place that can get relatively warm and humid," says Lehn. 

And if you have mail order prescriptions that get left on your doorstep, it's also important to get them out of the heat right away.

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