Medicine in Your Bug-Out-Bag

September 19, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin

Advice from a MSB reader… “I found myself in a situation to use my (B.O.B. RX) for a few days and they had lost their potency. When I checked with my pharmacist she said, ‘Never leave blood pressure pills or heart/nerve pills in a hot car as the heat will nullify the effect within just a few hours’. If I did it someone else might…”

That’s great advice, John, and something that I’ll bet many folks don’t realize. Heat is an enemy of so many things, including pharmaceuticals. Temperatures in a car can skyrocket while it is parked in a sizzling lot or driveway. If you leave a B.O.B. or a First Aid Kit in your vehicle which contain any pharmaceutical drugs, prescription or not, be aware that HEAT can damage them and render them useless. Check your label.

Never take any medication that has changed color or consistency, regardless of the expiration date. Check also for an unusual odor. Discard pills that stick together, are chipped or are harder or softer than normal.

No drug should be exposed to temperatures higher than 86 degrees. Pharmaceutical manufacturers recommend most of their products be stored at a controlled room temperature of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the range in which manufacturers guarantee product integrity. Excursions permitted between 59-86 degrees Fahrenheit are generally okay.

The inside of a vehicle in the sun (including the trunk) will get HOT real FAST. In the summer, we’re talking well into the 100′s. Be warned.


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