medicine box with warning labels in an ice box

Random Warning Stickers (Part 2) - Medication Storage Temperature

Back in January, I wrote part one of this now apparently a series, May Experience: Random Warning Stickers. Well, we are back my friends, because perhaps I have a winner for dumbest warning sticker of all time.

Are you ready?

Protect from freezing!

As I cleaned out my cupboard of empty inhaler boxes, I came across one for the nasal spray I should use more often than I do. Apparently, I refilled this item in May, opened it up, tossed the box into the cupboard, and didn’t really read it. Because I for sure would have taken this picture earlier:

random warning sticker that saying "protect from freezing!"

“Well, I’ll be,” I did not actually think, as I proceeded to rotate the box and then rotate it back to snap this picture of the incredibly dumb "Protect from freezing!" label stuck to the box of my generic Nasonex (mometasone).

Yes, the Nasonex I got on May 3rd was accompanied by this sticker affixed to the box.

Medication storage temperature

I texted Dia. I tried to rationalize this label. After all, I live in Winnipeg. But do people really forget their newly brought home from the pharmacy medicines in the car overnight where they have a mild chance of the Winnipeg temperature dropping below 0*C on May 3rd? Are they tossing their Nasonex in the freezer for some very shocking nasal spray experiences? (Maybe it works like coffee, but without the caffeine). Do they live in an igloo (the inside of which is likely above freezing, because people like not being cold) or an ice hotel (see previous parenthetical)?

Why in the world would the pharmacist put this sticker on in MAY, when I have NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE? Why are they not telling me to protect all my other medications from heat or humidity or to not store them in the bathroom?*

*Which I do, because my God they will get lost in my bedroom under 3 t-shirts or fall behind my dresser. Yes I know I should not do this.

Special storing required

Most medicines have notations right on their packaging, or within the information leaflet that you probably just throw out, that detail the optimal temperature at which they are to be stored. Ventolin, for instance, should be stored at 15-25*C (59-77*F) and Qvar is a slightly higher 15-30*C (59-77*F) safe storage temperature.

Interestingly, this nasal spray with the DO NOT FREEZE sticker? It has the lowest “allowable” temperature point of the three I’ve been able to find quickly: Between 2*C and 25*C—36 to 77*F. It also says "do not freeze" right on the bottle.

Because, you know, I had totally considered just tossing my nasal steroid in the freezer.


Are you storing your medications at the right temperature?

While I am hoping most people’s homes fall into the above temperature ranges (and definitely above 2*C), Here is an interesting link written by a pharmacist on what happens to medications when they are stored outside of the noted temperature range. However, it does not actually say anything about inhalers beyond that they are safe to use during flight.

Have you checked the storage temperatures of your medications? Are you storing them at the right temperature? (I presume I often am… and sometimes am not!)

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