All medicines contain substances that are sensitive to certain conditions, including temperature. Therefore, it would be helpful to know how heat can affect medications.
It is recommended that most prescription and over-the-counter medicines be stored at what is known as a “controlled room temperature”, which is an average of 25°C.
Medicines are manufactured to very strict specifications, and whenever possible, these products are designed to remain stable at room temperature.
Extreme temperatures can affect the drug’s effectiveness, which is why it is important to pay attention to the storage instructions on the label. Although some medications, such as those in pill form, may be more tolerant of temperature changes, liquid medications, such as insulin, are sensitive to temperature changes.
The active chemicals in a drug change their molecular shape when exposed to different temperatures, which can cause the drug to break down. This breakdown can make the drugs less effective and may lead to new or different effects.
A cool, dry cupboard or drawer is generally a good place to keep medicines. Be sure to store any medications kept in the bathroom in their original containers, with airtight seals to avoid damage from moisture and steam from a hot shower.
And if you adopt kitchen cabinets, they should be away from the stove and microwave, to ensure less fluctuations in temperature and humidity. But be sure to put the medicines in a place where children can’t reach them.