Mail order drugs may not handle the heat

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- When you order drugs by mail, it has it benefits. It's often less expensive and you can obtain 90 day supplies. But do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Mail order drugs deliver your prescription right to your front door. But, it's how the medications are delivered that can be a gamble to your health. Chad Vance is a pharmacy intern at Soo's Pharmacy in Jonesboro, and has done research on mail-order drugs. While being able to have your medications delivered right to you door may be more convenient, medications are very sensitive to temperature.

"A lot of people don't realize and just think that if it comes to them in the package from the post office that it's been kept the way it should and the whole time it could be exposed to high heat a deteriorating," said Vance.

Vance says most prescription labels advise the medication to be stored at room temperature and when you get above that point your medications might not work as well. "Anytime you get above that threshold you can't guarantee that the drug is going to be as effective as it normally would be. Say just an hour at a really high spiked temperature, let's say about 100 degrees, you'll already see some deterioration," said Vance.

A study out of Arizona found one heat-exposed medication to be half as effective of the intended dosage. It's a risk that could be hazardous to your health. "Take a medication like nitroglycerin that people use for chest pain. Once it's stored above a certain temperature for so long it's not as effective as it should be. And it's very important for that medication to be as effective as it is supposed to be because of the potential for heart attack," said Vance.

So be careful about storing your medications in any hot environment whether you're carrying them in your purse or car.

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