Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mail-Order Drugs Exposed To Extreme Heat

Date:
November 1, 2004
Source:
American College Of Chest Physicians
Summary:
Mail-order prescriptions exposed to excessive environmental heat, such as temperatures found in mailboxes and car interiors, may become significantly less effective for patients. In a new study presented at CHEST 2004, the 70th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), formoterol, a common inhaled asthma medication, delivered less than half of its expected dosage and showed significant physical changes after being exposed to 150F for 4 hours.

Seattle, WA (October 27, 2004) – Mail-order prescriptions exposed to excessive environmental heat, such as temperatures found in mailboxes and car interiors, may become significantly less effective for patients. In a new study presented at CHEST 2004, the 70th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), formoterol, a common inhaled asthma medication, delivered less than half of its expected dosage and showed significant physical changes after being exposed to 150F for 4 hours.

"Inhaled medications are calculated to deliver a specific dosage for each use. Extreme temperatures can affect medications in just a few hours, causing them to deliver inaccurate dosages, making the medications less effective," said the study’s lead author Gregory T. Chu, MD, FCCP, Carl T. Hayden Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ. "For patients with respiratory conditions, who rely on their medications to relieve acute breathing difficulties, inaccurate medication dosage can lead to serious medical consequences."

Researchers from Carl T. Hayden Veterans Affairs Medical Center tested the effects of heat on powder-filled formoterol capsules and its effects on drug delivery. Formoterol capsules were heated in their original packaging for 4 hours at 150F, similar to the temperature found in the inside of an Arizona mailbox. Capsules were removed from their packaging and dispensed into a filter tube using the inhalation technique and device provided by the manufacturer. Weights of the filter tube pre- and postdispensation were obtained to calculate simulated drug delivery. Results showed that filter weights of heated medications were less than half of those unexposed to heat, showing that a significantly less amount of the drug had been dispensed after it had been heated. In addition, capsules exposed to heat were grossly distorted in appearance and showed visible clumping.

"Mail-order prescriptions have become increasingly popular among patients in the last few years. However, many patients do not realize that most medications have storage requirements regarding exposure to excessive temperatures," said study coauthor Richard A. Robbins, MD, FCCP, Carl T. Hayden Veterans Affairs Medical Center. "We strongly advise that patients avoid exposing medications to the extreme heat found in mailboxes and car interiors and inspect all mail-order medications prior to consumption." According to researchers, asthma medications and other prescriptions delivered in the extreme-heat states of the Southwest are not the only medications at risk. Any situation that exposes a drug, particularly those with gelatin capsules or containing powder, to excessive temperatures may put a patient at risk for consuming altered medication.

In 2003, mail order represented an estimated 17 percent of retail prescription drug sales in the United States, totaling more than $35 billion in sales and an increase of more than 15 percent from sales in 2002.

"With the increasing popularity of ordering medications by mail, retailers who fill prescriptions by mail must place additional focus on the proper packaging and shipping requirements for at-risk medications," said Paul A. Kvale, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. "It also is important for patients to review manufacturer storage directions to ensure that medications are not exposed to extreme temperatures, either inside or outside the home."

CHEST 2004 is the 70th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 23-28 in Seattle, WA. ACCP represents 16,000 members who provide clinical respiratory, critical care, sleep, and cardiothoracic patient care in the United States and throughout the world. The ACCP's mission is to promote the prevention and treatment of diseases of the chest through leadership, education, research, and communication.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College Of Chest Physicians. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American College Of Chest Physicians. "Mail-Order Drugs Exposed To Extreme Heat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041030154817.htm>.
American College Of Chest Physicians. (2004, November 1). Mail-Order Drugs Exposed To Extreme Heat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041030154817.htm
American College Of Chest Physicians. "Mail-Order Drugs Exposed To Extreme Heat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041030154817.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) The deal will help build a massive battery factory that Tesla says will produce 500,000 lithium batteries by 2020. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Cycle World (July 30, 2014) The Bonnier Motorcycle Group presents Smoked; a three part video series. In this episode the 2015 Ducati Diavel takes on the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Video provided by Cycle World
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins