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The importance of storing your meds at the proper temperature

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Misused Insulin Pens Create Minor Risk

HARTFORD — Storing drugs that do not require refrigeration or freezing between 66-77°F is best and storing it between 46-86°F is reasonable.

For insulin, as little as one hour of exposure to temperatures above 100°F can degrade the insulin proteins inside it. Exposure above 86°F can also degrade insulin, but at a much slower rate.

Anxiety medications like diazepam and lorazepam, as well as epinpephrine, the active ingredient in Epipen, lose ~50 percent of its potency if it is stored at temperatures over 86°F for days or weeks.

When traveling, don’t leave your medication in a hot car. Temperatures of 140°F can kill pets, children, and – quickly – drugs. Don’t put your medications in the trunk, it is cooler in the cabin with the air conditioning or the windows open. On an airplane, do not check your medications because the temperatures under the plane vary much more than it does in the cabin. Carry on your medications with you and if it needs refrigeration, putting it in a cooler with some ice packs is best. Finally most drugs are light-sensitive as well so keep the drug out of direct sunlight. If the pill looks different, the coating is now rough, or the pills are stuck together, the drug is likely degraded. If solutions or injections that are supposed to be clear are now cloudy, it is compromised and should not be used.

– Dr. Michael White