COLUMBIA (WACH) -- As the summertime temperatures rise, your prescription drugs may not be able to stand to the heat. The heat can be just as hazardous to medications as it can be to your to health. Extremely warm conditions can degrade the potency and effectiveness of the drugs. Pharmacist John Pugh cites a recent study done in Arizona on some liquid capsules.â??The capsules themselves became distorted on the outside, on the inside some of the active ingredient was destroyed in the heat as well as causing clumping of the active ingredient in the drug which may keep it from being absorbed correctly as well.
So how do know if your meds have been compromised by the heat? If you experience any strange symptoms or if you feel they arenâ??t working properly; those could be signs your medicine has been damaged.
"Obviously,â?? Pugh says, â??if the medication were distorted in anyway the capsules, if we had a liquid perhaps it's a different color it may be difficult to tell if something's happened so the most important thing to do is to prevent it from getting into that situation in the first place."
Some ways can help maintain the quality of your prescriptions is pick up your prescriptions last, If youâ??re running errands, to limit exposure to hot weather. Also, donâ??t put your them in the trunk of your car; keep them inside with you where itâ??ll likely to be cooler. At home, keep them in cool, dry place and if youâ??re traveling by plane, carry them on instead putting them in checked luggage.
Pugh says the same rules apply to over the counter medications. â??I think the most important thing is to have the relationship with your pharmacist so when questions do come up like this which they're going to go back and you've got a resource that you can go to and they can talk to you about the specifics of your situation."