Mayo Clinic expert explains how extreme heat can affect medication

Finding ways to keep your body cool during extremely high temperatures is important—and so is ensuring your medications aren’t exposed to extreme heat. Scott Hall, a Mayo Clinic pharmacist, says temperature changes can degrade medications, and some medicines can cause heat intolerance.

Temperature can impact any medication a person is taking, but some are more prone to problems that others.

“Insulin is definitely going to be one of those medications,” Hall says. “So patients with diabetes should try to not store their insulin in a place where the temperature will get too high.”

Store your medications in a cool, dry place. If you keep them in a bathroom where you shower, leave the medicine in the original container.

“Keeping it in those bottles where they can remain sealed, is really going to help prevent any negative effects of heat,” Hall says.

And some medicines can cause heat intolerance. Those may include:

Blood pressure medications
Antihistamines
Decongestants
Psychiatric medications
If you have questions about your medication, it’s important to ask your health care team.

“If you have questions about your medications and how you should store them, or how they could affect you in the heat, that’s a great time to talk with your pharmacist,” Hall says. “They can provide that information that you need to really understand what the possibilities are.”