DRUG NEWS: Drugs may wilt in the heat

January 2005 
Volume 35  Number 1
Pages 28 - 28
  PDF Version Available!


  • Figure. No caption a...

    Mail-order drugs that are exposed to excessive heat in transit may become significantly less effective, according to a new study. Researchers found that the inhaled asthma medication formoterol, formulated in a powder-filled capsule, delivered less than half of its expected dosage after exposure to high temperatures for 4 hours or more.

    Figure. No caption available. Researchers exposed the formoterol capsules in their original packaging to temperatures of 150° F (65.6° C) for 4 hours. They then removed the capsules from the packaging and dispensed them, using the inhaler device provided by the manufacturer. They found that the capsules were grossly distorted and the medication was visibly clumped. During administration, the inhalers dispensed less than half of the expected dosage.

    In 2003, mail-order prescriptions represented an estimated 17% of retail prescription drug sales in the United States. ...

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