• By Deb Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Heat and how it affects medication

July 25, 2022
a yellow bottle of pills, prescription medicine, opioids spilling out on a table

Finding ways to keep your body cool during extremely high temperatures is important and so is ensuring your medications aren't exposed to extreme heat.

Scott Hall, a Mayo Clinic pharmacist, says medications can become degraded during temperature changes. He says some medications also can cause heat intolerance. 

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (0:59) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.

Temperature can impact any medication a person is taking, but some are more prone to problems that others.

"Insulin is definitely going to be one of those medications. So patients with diabetes should try to not store their insulin in a place where the temperature will get too high," says Hall.

Store your medications in a cool, dry place. If you keep them in a bathroom where you shower, leave the medicine in the original container.

"Keeping it in those bottles where they can remain sealed is really going to help prevent any negative effects of heat."

 Some medicines can cause heat intolerance

  • Blood pressure medications
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Psychiatric medications

If you have questions about your medication, it's important to ask, says Hall.

a middle-aged man reading a prescription bottle label in front of his open bathroom medicine cabinet
Talk with your pharmacist about storing medications.

"If you have questions about your medications and how you should store them, or how they could affect you in the heat, that's a great time to talk with your pharmacist," says Hall. "They can provide that information that you need to really understand what the possibilities are."

Related posts:


For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a nonpatient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.