Hot temperatures may pose risks to some mail-order medications

Are they safe in the heat?

HOUSTON – During the pandemic, almost everything was accessible by delivery and a quarter of all prescription drugs were estimated to come to your door through a mail carrier.

Are prescriptions safe in extreme temperatures?

Dean of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Rashid Mosavin, from Texas Southern University said in most cases they’re OK.

“If they’re en route for a few hours, they’re OK. Also realize, mail orders and other pharmacies typically have protocols in place that they would ask the medication to not be in route more than an hour and a half or two hours,” Mosavin said.

Liquid prescriptions

Mosavin said liquids are pretty much the only type of prescription that becomes a big concern in the heat.

“If those medications have to be refrigerated when you receive them, they need to be cool. They need to have been shipped on ice or some other methodology,” Mosavin said.

That would include insulin and some antibiotics.

Mosavin said the carrier should not leave your liquid prescriptions at your home if you’re not there. If you receive one that feels hot, you can call for a replacement.


However, he said, most pills may stay be good while in transit for up to a day.

CVS and Walgreens offer same or next-day delivery on some drugs, but if you can, making local orders will help.

“Independent pharmacies do a lot of medication delivery. That’s actually one of the sorts of niches that they have compared to chain pharmacies,” Mosavin said.