You can often see “store at room temperature” in the drug description, so don’t put it in the refrigerator? It’s not that simple. What is the “normal temperature” that is generally suitable for the storage of medicines? Many people get it wrong. “Doctor, I accidentally left semaglutide in the car and exposed it to the sun while traveling. Can I continue to use it later?” “I forgot to put the human epidermal growth factor topical solution back in the refrigerator after use. Can I still use it?” Countless patients come to pharmacy outpatient clinics for consultation on issues such as drug storage. Today, follow the pharmacist to learn about medicine storage.
Drugs also have their own “comfort zone”
Safe storage of drugs is one of the important indicators to ensure the safety of clinical drugs. When picking up medicines at the hospital’s outpatient pharmacy, you often hear instructions from pharmacists such as “medicines should be refrigerated” and “medicines should be protected from light.” Understanding the storage requirements of drugs can ensure the quality of drugs and reduce the reduction in efficacy or even adverse reactions caused by improper storage. So what are the storage requirements for commonly used drugs in outpatient clinics, and how should these requirements be implemented in life?
There are many factors that affect the stability of drugs, such as temperature, light, humidity, container, oxygen, etc. Do not place drugs in places that are too humid, such as bathrooms. In addition, the main factors affecting drug stability are temperature and light.
Try to keep medicines in their original boxes
The changes that light may cause in drugs are generally not isolated. They are often accompanied by other factors such as oxygen, moisture, temperature, etc., causing chemical reactions such as oxidation, discoloration, and decomposition of drugs. Some people are used to opening the outer packaging of medicines and dividing them into small portions in advance for convenience. However, in daily storage, it is still recommended to store drugs in the original packaging and away from light, which can minimize the impact of light on drug stability.
Special reminder: Nitroglycerin oral dosage forms are generally taken sublingually and are used for acute attacks of angina pectoris. Due to its important role in rescue, it is recommended to be stored in a brown glass bottle sealed and protected from light, and replaced every 3 months.
Cool, normal temperature standard
Temperature is a factor that has a greater impact on the stability of drugs. Too cold or too hot may cause the drugs to deteriorate and become ineffective. The Chinese Pharmacopoeia stipulates that the conditions for clear temperature requirements include cold place, shade and normal temperature.
A cool place requires a temperature below 20°C. Unless otherwise specified, it is generally assumed that drugs can be stored at room temperature.
Normal temperature China’s regulations for normal temperature are 10°C to 30°C, but some scholars have found that many drugs that need to be stored at room temperature will have more detailed temperature requirements. Some drugs require 15°C to 25°C, and some require 20°C to 30°C. .
To facilitate memory, the temperature should not be higher than 25°C when using drugs stored at room temperature.
Special reminder: For some drugs, the instructions only specify the upper limit of storage temperature, such as no higher than 25°C, but this does not mean that the lower the storage temperature, the better.
Refrigerated medicines must be kept below 2℃
Our country’s Pharmacopoeia does not stipulate specific temperature conditions for refrigeration, but many drug instructions require refrigerated storage of drugs. According to the United States Pharmacopeia, European Pharmacopoeia and various drug instructions, refrigeration generally refers to 2°C to 8°C.
Common refrigerated drugs include blood products, protein and peptide drugs, insulin drugs, biological agents, live bacterial oral preparations, some eye drops, and some drugs such as insulin drugs, GLP-1 receptor agonists (liraglutide, Dulaglutide), salmon calcitonin nasal spray, etc.
These medicines need to be refrigerated before use and need to be stored at room temperature after use. Other drugs, such as some live bacterial preparations and external growth factors, need to be kept refrigerated.
Special reminder: Some patients freeze medicines that need to be refrigerated, or store medicines that do not need refrigeration at low temperatures. This is incorrect. Too low a temperature may also affect medications such as ganciclovir ophthalmic gel, tobramycin/dexamethasone eye drops, tobramycin eye drops, polyethylene glycol eye drops, and fluorometholone. Eye drops, compound polymyxin B ointment, fusidic acid ointment, calcipotriol liniment, etc. Therefore, when storing medicines, do not take it for granted and store medicines according to the instructions of the pharmacist or instructions. Text/Liu Sitong (Beijing Jishuitan Hospital)