Managing Meds in a Heatwave

Tracy Lyons-Blake
Tracy Lyons-Blake • 4 July 2023

Dear all,

Sharing in case of use, the UHD guideline for managing medicines stock in a heatwave.  This incorporates SPS guidance and pharmacokinetic data.  We hope to have produced a pragmatic guide for ward teams.  Open to all comments and suggestions for the next version so please do get in touch.

Many thanks, 

Resource author(s)
T Lyons
Resource publishing organisation(s) or journal
University Hospitals Dorset NHS Trust
Resource publication date
July 2023

Comments (2)

Rebecca Heading
Rebecca Heading

Thanks for this Tracy. At what temp would you suggest contacting the manufacturer? Are there any drugs you wouldn't apply this to? We had an incident with IVIg exceeding 40C one summer hence the questions!

Tracy Lyons-Blake
Tracy Lyons-Blake

Hi there, there is no clear answer to this. Officially, if the temp goes higher than the drug is licensed for, you should contact the manufacturer with the Batch Number & exp date of every item to get advice from the in-house meds info team. However, the available pharmacokinetic info suggests that short periods of higher temps won't affect the efficacy of a product, instead, it may shorten the expiry date.

Because of this, we've taken the stance that short exposures of high temp for products with a decent shelf-life (e.g. 6 months) shouldn't have a significant impact. However, if you think the product in question is perhaps more sensitive, or valuable, i'd focus on checking that, rather than tablet stock.

Sorry that's not a clear cut answer. It's the best solution we could arise based on the information available.

Please log in or sign up to comment.