Purpose: Data regarding the recommended maximum duration that refrigerated medications available in hospital pharmacies may be stored safely at room temperature were collected and compiled in a tabular format.
Methods: During May and June of 2006, the prescribing information for medications labeled for refrigeration as obtained from the supplier were reviewed for data addressing room-temperature storage. Telephone surveys of the products' manufacturers were conducted when this information was not available in the prescribing information. Medications were included in the review if they were labeled to be stored at 2-8 degrees C and purchased by the pharmacy department for uses indicated on the hospital formulary. Frozen antibiotics thawed in the refrigerator and extemporaneously compounded medications were excluded. Information was compiled and arranged in tabular format. The U.S. Pharmacopeia's definition of room temperature (20-25 degrees C [68-77 degrees F]) was used for this review.
Results: Of the 189 medications listed in AHFS Drug Information 2006 for storage in a refrigerator, 89 were present in the pharmacy department's refrigerator. Since six manufacturers were unable to provide information for 10 medications, only 79 medications were included in the review. This table may help to avoid unnecessary drug loss and expenditures due to improper storage temperatures.
Conclusion: Information regarding the room-temperature storage of 79 medications labeled for refrigerated storage was compiled.