Healthy Habits » Preventative Health » Effects Of Heat On Medication
Heat can cause medications to lose their efficacy and can even result in them becoming harmful. Medications such as insulin, biologic medications like monoclonal antibodies, pediatric antibiotics, asthma inhalers, EpiPens, and nitroglycerin can be affected by heat exposure. This is due to alterations in chemical properties or physical changes in the medication. Signs that heat or humidity may have affected a medication include oral tablets crumbling more easily, gel caps sticking together, liquids looking cloudier than normal, or an odd smell.

“Any medication that’s kept outside of its recommended temperature range can potentially be affected.”

“Different drugs may have different storage needs.”

Medication Storage

Different drugs have different storage needs and should not be exposed to direct sunlight or heat. Medications sensitive to heat should be stored in cool, dry, and dark areas. It’s important to store medications at room temperature and avoid exposing them to heat or moisture. High humidity can cause medication quality to deteriorate faster, and this is particularly true for insulin and certain antibiotics. Medications should not be left in a car, as the temperature inside a car can rise quickly, even with the windows cracked.

“Different drugs may have different storage needs.”

Heat Stroke And Medication

Certain medications can make a person more susceptible to heat stroke, including diuretics, antihistamines, and beta-blockers. This is especially true for medications that affect hydration levels and the body’s ability to regulate temperature, such as blood pressure and psychiatric medications. Individuals taking these medications should take extra precautions to avoid heat stroke, such as staying hydrated, avoiding prolonged exposure to heat, and staying in air-conditioned environments.

Prevention Of Heat-Related Illnesses

Given the clear consensus across multiple sources, it is evident that heat can have a significant impact on the stability and quality of different types of medications, and certain medications can make a person more susceptible to heat stroke. It is therefore crucial to store medications properly, especially during periods of high heat, and to take precautions if you are taking certain medications that might make you more susceptible to heat stroke. Always consult with a healthcare professional if you have specific concerns related to your medication and heat exposure.

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