Proper storage: Many drugs need to be in the refrigerator

Proper storage: Many drugs need to be in the refrigerator

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Cool and dry: this is the best way to store medication
Most drugs should always be protected from heat. Some preparations must always be kept in the refrigerator because they can lose their effectiveness if they are stored incorrectly. Experts explain how best to store medicines.

Protect medication from heat
Most people are aware that it is better to protect medication from excessive heat in summer. But even if the temperatures are not that high, some medicines must be kept in the refrigerator. Some preparations even require that they be cooled continuously. The German Chamber of Pharmacists warns that medicines stored incorrectly can lose their effectiveness.

Information on storage on the package insert
Information on correct storage, for example on the storage temperature, can be found on the original packaging of the drug and in its package insert, writes the Federal Ministry of Health.

This should therefore always be kept - in case you want to read something again later.

As a rule, medication must be stored at room temperature, dry and protected from light. It is therefore advisable not to keep the medicine chest in the bathroom.

Ideally, most medicines are kept below 25 degrees Celsius. In the car and when traveling, it can therefore often make sense to pack preparations for which cooling is not required, for example in a cooler bag without cooling elements.

Medicines in the vegetable compartment
“It is usually stated on the packaging or on the package insert whether a medication must be stored in a cool place. We also point this out to the patient in the consultation, ”said Regine Quinke, press spokeswoman for the pharmacists in Wuppertal, in a contribution by the“ Wuppertaler Rundschau ”.

If the word “store in the refrigerator” is printed, this means that the medication should be kept between two and eight degrees Celsius.

“Ideally, medicines that belong in the fridge should be kept in the vegetable compartment. The optimum temperature for medication prevails here. It's also relatively evenly cool, ”says Quinke.

Under no circumstances should such medicines be stored in the refrigerator door shelf, because there is no uniformly cool temperature due to the frequent opening.

Medicines that are stored too warm can lose their effect. Patients do not necessarily notice this and therefore do not know that drug therapy is no longer effective.

Comply with the cold chain
Medications that must always be stored in a cool place are, for example, different insulins. In addition, most vaccines, for example those against hepatitis A / B or tetanus, are subject to mandatory cooling.

And so-called biologicals, which are used against rheumatism or cancer, must be cooled permanently. If the packaging says "Store and transport refrigerated", the cold chain must under no circumstances be interrupted.

So it must also be ensured that the medicinal products are cooled when they are transported home. You can use insulated bags or polystyrene containers for this, however, direct contact between medication and cooling elements should be avoided.

Since freezing the medication could reduce its effectiveness, it is best to wrap it with a towel to avoid direct contact with the cooling elements.

Medicines that are subject to cold chains include vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella or yellow fever. In addition, some MDIs for asthma and some glaucoma eye drops need to be continuously cooled.

Very important to know: "If medications like some eye drops are stored in the refrigerator, they should be warmed up shortly before use," writes the Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations (ABDA) in a press release.

"Even warm ear drops are better tolerated when warmed up. To bring the medication to body temperature, it is enough to hold it in your hand for a few minutes or to put it in your pocket, ”said the experts. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Ready for 800 Receiving and Storage (June 2022).


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