Medication Storage at Home

Medication Storage

at Home

Fridges seem pretty simple, they are a cold room. The pharmacist and doctor say to put medications in the refrigerator. Boom, done!

Many people are surprised to learn that the temperature in the fridge fluctuates, is wildly different in different compartments and that a fridge can also freeze.

Too cold?

Fridges are great for food! However, the safe temperature range for food is actually a bit on the colder side than what medications should be stored at. It does not come as a surprise that a study found that 1 out of 4 people expose their meds to freezing temperatures in their fridge at home.

Too warm?

Many medications that usually live in the fridge have an allowance of a few weeks at room temperature, like insulin, Humira or growth hormones. We know that these are still stable at temps of 8+°C/46+°F. However, the more the 2-8°C/36-46°F range is maintained before the pen or vial leaves the refrigerator, the better.

Especially if you store medications in your fridge at home for several weeks, why not make sure they are conserved the best way possible?

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Top 3 SIMPLE things to make fridge storage more effective

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1. The Tupperware Box 

The temperature in your fridge goes up and down every few hours, adding in the fluctuations from opening and closing doors. Keeping everything in an airtight box reduces those highs and lows. Plus, this keeps your medication all in one place and safe from younger children.

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2. The other Fridge

Do you have a second fridge at home? This is the ideal place for medications. Less opening, closing and shuffling things around means a steady temperature.

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3. The right Spot and Setting

Many people think of their fridge as one big cold box, but there are great differences in temperature across the compartments. The ‘butter compartment’ is warmer, keeping butter nice and easy to spread. The lower shelves or drawers are usually coldest and maybe your fridge even has labels on them like ‘meat & fish’ or ‘vegetables’.

Where is the best place for your medications? This also depends on how cold or warm your fridge has been set. It’s best to put a thermometer in the exact same place as your medications to find that sweet spot that’s perfect in your fridge.

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4. Stuff happens

The kitchen is often the heart of our homes and the fridge is anything but a static place. There are a few little things to keep an eye on. The fridge door might not be closing properly or the fridge gets accidentally unplugged when cleaning. Your medications should have a dedicated spot in the fridge, but sometimes they will get moved around. The back wall of a fridge is usually very cold and is the place where freezing happens.

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