Don't leave your medication in the car during the cold weather

Don't leave your medication in the car during the cold weather
Some medication can be impacted by the cold temperatures sweeping the Pine Belt. (Photo source: WDAM)

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - During the cold snaps and deep freezes, we are often reminded to take care of the four P's - people, pipes, plants and pets.  But, what about your prescriptions?  Yes, some medication can be impacted by the cold temperatures sweeping the Pine Belt.

Kim Rodgers, owner of Rodgers Family Pharmacy in Petal, said in most cases, a tablet or capsule should be okay.  But, it's diabetic patients that need to be extra cautious in the cold snap.

"If your insulin has been outside, especially in the last few nights, I can guarantee you it has crystals in it," Rodgers said. "It was frozen, it got below the point it needs to be."

Rodgers said those crystals could mean the insulin is no good.  The bond that forms the insulin breaks, which means a person can inject it into their blood stream, but the blood sugars are still going to climb.

"Shake it up, if you see crystals in the liquid, especially in the clear ones, chances are it's not going to be as effective," he said.

Another thing to consider with the cold temperatures are mail-order medications.  If you have insulin or medications mailed to you home, you need to consider how long it has been in the mailbox, or on the doorstep, with the freezing temperatures.  Rodgers says the same goes for the heat.

"Yea, I have some pet peeves about the safety and efficacy of the drugs with the mail-order system," Rodgers said.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers recommend most of their products be stored at a controlled room temperature of 68 to 77 degrees.  Rodgers says as long as your medication is in a dry, warm place, like a kitchen cabinet or drawer, you should be safe.

"Just common sense rules of thumb, keep your medicine in a normal environment," Rodgers said.