Stay Cool: 3 Tips for Protecting Your Meds

Infused medicines need extra care in hot, summer weather. Traveling or not, here’s how to keep them at the right temperature.

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blue insulated bag

The increasing temperatures of summer can endanger medications, including infused medications containing proteins that make them effective. So how do you keep them cool while the heat and humidity bubble up?

Start by knowing the storage requirements for your medicines. You can find that information in the prescribing information, said Deirdre Smith, CSL Behring’s Associate Director for Medical Information in North America. If you have questions, call your pharmacy, healthcare provider or the company that manufactures the medicine, she said. Here are a few ways to protect your medicines from excess heat.

1. When you’re getting medicine shipped to your home, track the shipment and get the package inside as quickly as possible. Few people are traveling as much as they’d like due to the global pandemic, but plan ahead for any time you won’t be at home to collect your package right away. Ask a neighbor for help when you won’t be around. 

2. If, despite your best efforts, your medicine still ends up out in the heat, don’t throw it away, Smith advises. Call the pharmacy right away. Between the pharmacy and the manufacturer, they should be able to reconstruct the product’s path and determine if you should use the product or return it for a replacement.

3. Are you taking medicine along for a car ride? Remember how overheated car interiors can get in summer any time the air conditioning isn’t turned on. Primary immunodeficiency patient Lynne Doebber uses insulated bags with freezer packs inserted to tote her medications along on trips. The insulated bags designed for children’s lunches work well for this purpose, she said.