DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - As the summer sun beats a path to us, it heats up everything, including medicines that are accidentally left out. Lee Henderson is a compounding pharmacist at The Pillbox in Decatur.
"There are medications that go bad with heat, insulin being an example. Most of the time when we get insulin, it is automatically stored in the refrigerator. When it leaves here it's up to the patient to take care of that and if they go somewhere rather than going straight home, and leaving it in the car, that can be absolutely an issue," Henderson said.
He said Amoxicillian, in any form, can't combat infections.
"Liquid antibiotics that are mixed here, once their mixed, they're only good for a certain amount of days in general, but then they have stipulations that they must be stored in a refrigerator and they can actually, if left out of the refrigerator, they can change color, change thickness and change smells and they are absolutely no good," he said.
He said anything that comes stored in a refrigerator will go bad if left out.
There are also some over the counter medications that can be adversely affected by the heat."
"Gel capsules, they can actually stick together. And if stored hot and long enough, they can actually melt together and be rendered useless," Henderson added.
He said all meds should be out of the heat.
"Just regular pills in general, if they stay in hot humid areas for a long time, they can derogate and lose the application of what they're used for," he said.
The Pill Box is a compounding facility, meaning they can mix their own compounds - requested by your doctor. Henderson said some of the rules are different.
"Anything that is compounded has a shelf life that is different other than an manufactured shelf life and can absolutely cause the medications to break down."
So do yourself and your family a favor by storing all meds in a cool dry place.