MTW NHS Trust West Kent CCG

Drug Status Key

  • Preferred
  • Second Line
  • Third Line
  • Specialist Initiation
  • Hospital Only
  • Not Approved for Formulary

Medicine Stability during a heatwave

 Which medicines could cause problems for patients during a heatwave? (UKMI, May 2017)

The majority of medicines will maintain their stability during a heatwave but some products are particularly prone to deteriorate in the heat:

  • Gelatin capsules can stick together and soften
  • Ointments, creams and lotions may separate out and change in consistency
  • Suppositories can melt
  • Opened containers of liquids and suspensions may be subject to microbiological contamination
  • Some types of capsules may melt or split

The above products should be checked for signs of physical deterioration.

During a heat wave:

- Check the room and fridge temperatures where the medicines are stored daily.

- If possible, move medicines temporarily to areas within the ward that are cooler (below 25oC).

- Keep medicines out of direct sunlight and away from direct sources of heat, light and moisture.

- If you suspect that deterioration may have occurred, talk to your ward pharmacist or contact Medicines Information on 34216 or 34217.