In the summer… where should you keep your medications?

Written By Mark

One of the most common questions asked when summer comes is, “Should I leave my medications on the shelf or keep them in the fridge?”

The place where the medicine is stored is directly related to maintaining its safety until the expiration date. The conditions for storing the medicine require creating an environment suitable for the temperature specified on the package. However, the temperature rises significantly, so should the place where the medicine is stored be changed in the summer?

Where are medications stored?

The kitchen and bathroom are the most dangerous places for medicine to spoil and deteriorate. The change in temperature caused by the stove and oven in the kitchen leads to the deterioration of medicines, and the humidity in the bathroom affects medicines and makes them spoil faster. So where do we store medicines?

  • The place where medicines are stored should be dry and away from moisture.
  • Sunlight causes medications to deteriorate more quickly, so they should be stored in a dark environment.

Preparing a suitable medicine cabinet and storing it at room temperature (not exceeding 25 degrees) is an appropriate practice for storing medicines, according to the Coolermed website.

How do we store medicines in the summer?

In summer periods when the temperature is above 25 degrees, it becomes difficult to keep the medicine away from heat. For medicines that should be stored at room temperature, make sure to keep them in places that are not exposed to sunlight and the temperature does not exceed 25 degrees, and they can be kept on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. If antibiotics are prepared by dissolving them in water, they should be stored in the refrigerator.

The time it takes for medicine to spoil changes in the summer, so it is important to consider the storage period, especially for medicines that have been opened. When storing some opened medicines, they may need a temperature ranging from 2-8 degrees (refrigerator temperature). The maximum storage period for the medicine is specified in the package leaflet, so be sure to look for the appropriate storage conditions in the leaflet inside the medicine box, as storage conditions vary from one medicine to another.

Why should medicine be kept away from heat?

Sudden changes in temperature, and temperature rises above a certain limit, have been shown to be among the most important factors affecting medications. Below we highlight 4 reasons why medications should be kept away from summer heat:

  • Chemicals in medications can react at high temperatures and can be toxic.
  • Summer heat causes the active ingredients in medicines to lose their properties, which is why the therapeutic properties of medicines are negatively affected.
  • The rapid spoilage of medicines in the summer heat causes economic losses.
  • Humidity plays a major role in the spoilage of medicines, and it is necessary to take necessary measures to protect medicines from the increasing humidity with the summer heat.

Signs of drug spoilage

Some people forget their medication in the car in hot weather, or it may be accidentally left next to a sunny window, so how do you know if your medication has spoiled or not?

Look for changes, and always check your medicine before taking it. If it sticks together, feels harder or softer than usual, or smells different than usual when you open the bottle, it may have gone bad and should not be taken.

Here are some signs that medicines will go bad:

  • In medicines that are in the form of tablets, their spoilage can be noticed when their colour changes.
  • When creams dry, their smell changes and they may become moldy, which indicates that they have spoiled.
  • In syrups and other liquid medicines, the most obvious sign of spoilage is the accumulation of sediment at the bottom of the container.
  • Clumping and mold in medicines sold in powder form is an indication of spoilage.