A new study by scientists at University of Otago has revealed that the effectiveness of medicines is reduced due to poor storage. The undergraduate researchers of School of Pharmacy found that storing medication in bags, bathrooms or even in luggage on flights can make it too hot, humid or cold for safe use.
They found that kitchens and bathrooms were the most popular places for storing medicines where the humidity levels are high. Excessive humidity could cause chemical degradation or physical changes affecting the efficacy, safety and appearance of the medicine.
AdvertisementScientists expressed concern about storing medicines in bags, especially for proteins like insulin, which is regularly carried round in backpacks and is likely to degrade within hours at temperatures above 60 degree centigrade which can be dangerous.
The study also found that the temperature in cargo holds in planes could dip below freezing point on international flights which could damage a range of medicines like emulsions, solutions and proteins. Therefore pharmacists recommended carrying medicines in the cabin rather than in checked luggage.
Generally people tend to store medicines in a place where they are likely to remember. But it is important to store them in a place where they will not be degraded by heat, humidity or cold. People should consult their pharmacist if they were unsure how to store their medicines.