Pharmacists on the safe handling of medicines under extreme summer conditions.
Vienna (OTS) – Medicines should be kept cool, dry and protected from light. This rule has become even more important in view of the more frequent and increasingly prolonged periods of heat. “The adequate storage of medicines is very important, because the contained medicinal substances can be destroyed or at least impaired in their effect. This cannot be seen externally,” warns Mag. pharm. Susanne Ergott-Badawi, presidency member of the Austrian chamber of pharmacists. In the pharmacy there are therefore special regulations, which are exactly kept.
Medication storage at home
But medications also need to be stored properly at home – especially during a hot spell like the current one, the pharmacist said. “When storing personal medicines, the storage instructions on the medicine package and in the package insert should always be followed. As a general rule, be sure to protect medications from light and moisture and store them at 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.”
Storing medicines in the refrigerator is only recommended if this is explicitly stated. It is also advisable to leave medicines in their original packaging. “If you want to be on the safe side, it’s best to seek personal and expert advice at the pharmacy around the corner,” says Ergott-Badawi.
Travel with medicines
Of course, the travel pharmacy should also always be transported in a cool, dry place and protected from light. “It is important: do not store medicines in the car! In the blazing sun, parked cars reach extremely high temperatures inside within a very short time. Dosage aerosols, suppositories or medicinal patches can become unusable or ineffective as a result,” warns the pharmacist. On longer trips or camping vacations, cooling bags (without cooling elements) are therefore suitable for protecting medicines from high heat. Medications such as insulin, which are stored in the refrigerator at home, should be transported and stored in a cool box with cold packs when traveling.
When traveling by air, medications should be included in carry-on luggage so that the most important medications are always within reach. Here, however, attention should be paid to the regulations regarding liquids.
UV light is the most damaging
However, the sensitive substances are usually not destroyed by heat, but by sunlight. Once you arrive at your vacation destination, pharmacists therefore recommend that you store your medicines in a dark, dry closet. Under no circumstances should medicines be exposed to direct sunlight. “If in doubt, contact your pharmacists with any questions. They are available to you with advice and action at any time,” Ergott-Badawi concludes.
Austrian Chamber of Pharmacists
Tel: 01 / 404 14 – 600
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