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Leaving medicine/inhaler in car with heat/cold temps

Hi,

Does anyone know if the same applies ( leaving epipen in hot car), to leaving asthma inhalers and/or nebulizer medicine in the car ?  Will this ruin the medicine?  I saw there was a temperature marker on the inhaler but not sure if this means that if I accidentally leave in the car in the heat that I would have to get it replaced now….? Same for the nebulizer medicine….

Thanks in advance!!

 

Gabrielle

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Comments 53

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Gabrielle! Are you referring to the

    I'd definitely talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you've left any medication in a car for an extended time in the summer or the winter.

    I found a — but I'm posting the link with a warning that medications can be different than they were then, and additional studies may have been done that challenge those results.

    The makers of Respiclick say this about storage:

    The makers of Ventolin say this about storage:

  • Jen

    Gabrielle – did you get a chance to ask the pharmacist or dr about this?

  • GabC

    Hi all, thanks for your help.  I did not ask the doctor yet but will do. But I did ask the pharmacist and they said to be safe, not to leave the asthma stuff in the car.  When I ask the doctor I will let you know. Thanks for the info on this though. So hard to carry everything around from one place to the next. But best to be safe

  • Jen

    Gab – do you carry a purse?  For the inhaler and spacer, a purse or small bag should work.  When you need the nebs, do you need to always have them?  Perhaps a small backpack could work.

  • K8sMom2002

    If you need your hands free, maybe something like a would be the trick — you can wear it under a loose shirt so that no one sees it.

  • GabC
    Jen posted:

    Gab – do you carry a purse?  For the inhaler and spacer, a purse or small bag should work.  When you need the nebs, do you need to always have them?  Perhaps a small backpack could work.

    Hi Jen,

    Yes I do carry his meds in a small backpack, his nebulizer I leave at daycare then take home with me or the father takes home depending upon what day he has him ( we are currently going through a divorce..which doesn't help with all the back and forth transfer of meds). But I dont know any other way to do it bc (as you probably already know).. with insurance its like I can only have so much of the medicine to go around that is covered or that they will refill. its so stressful sometimes…

    Maybe the solution is switching to something smaller and more convenient to carry around.

    Just curious…does everyone else carry there meds everywhere they go bc of the temperature issue?

     

    (I carry epipen, asthma inhalers/nebulizer medicine, Benadryl/Tylenol/Claritin)

  • GabC
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    If you need your hands free, maybe something like a would be the trick — you can wear it under a loose shirt so that no one sees it.

    Oh this is great, thank you!

  • K8sMom2002

    on the impending divorce — that's gotta be tough!

    Have you spoken with your doctor about the need for multiple meds/nebulizers in different locations? I know that sometimes a doctor can write a letter of explanation to the insurance company and you can get waivers for refills, etc. 

    And yep, all our meds (inhaler and Epi) go with us where we go — not necessarily because of the temp issue, but because we may need them. It's better to lug them around and NOT need them than to need them and not have them.

  • Jen

    Good idea about the letter to the dr.  I'm sure that has to be rough right now with the back and forth.  Hugs~  I guess that's where keeping the full med kit in a backpack helps  - you just hand it off when he goes with dad.  Is dad cooperative about the meds?

  • Kathy P

    I need to be careful…. I often leave my purse with meds in the car. I just grab my phone and credit card.It's so hot here and the car us scorching after a short time. I've been making sure to stick my bag in the trunk with the rest if the luggage and food. At least it's not as hot.

  • K8sMom2002

    *shakes finger at Kathy P* If the heat is as bad where you are as down here in the South? That inhaler doesn't stand a chance. We're at 98, 99, down here, and it seems like it will continue to be that way for awhile. And that's not counting the humidity and the heat index.

  • Kathy P

    See aren't quite that high in MD. The trunk is staying reasonably not hot. Cuz all the food and other meds are in there too. Today we are parked in a garage, so better than it baking in the direct sun.

  • K8sMom2002

    Makes a difference, doesn't it? We finally had some rain here … thank goodness! It washed some of the pollen away.

  • GabC
    Jen posted:

    Good idea about the letter to the dr.  I'm sure that has to be rough right now with the back and forth.  Hugs~  I guess that's where keeping the full med kit in a backpack helps  - you just hand it off when he goes with dad.  Is dad cooperative about the meds?

    He sometimes leaves in the car….ive told him multiple times about not doing that. Just is careless, one huge issue in our divorce right now :/

  • GabC
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    on the impending divorce — that's gotta be tough!

    Have you spoken with your doctor about the need for multiple meds/nebulizers in different locations? I know that sometimes a doctor can write a letter of explanation to the insurance company and you can get waivers for refills, etc. 

    And yep, all our meds (inhaler and Epi) go with us where we go — not necessarily because of the temp issue, but because we may need them. It's better to lug them around and NOT need them than to need them and not have them.

    Hi thank you, yes good idea about the letter, I didnt even think of that. Thank you all for your help, this forum is so helpful!

  • K8sMom2002

    GabC, it is absolutely our pleasure! While I haven't been in the middle of a divorce, I have had to work with less than cooperative family members.  

    How old is your son? Is the backpack small enough for him to tote? I'm not sure what all goes in your "kit" but you've got some options to choose from if the kit is small enough —

    has some that have carabiners that will attach to his school book bag.

    – this is a nifty little waist belt that could store small things like his inhaler and possibly his nebs meds. 

    And it might be possible to get a duplicate nebulizer easier than it would the meds — so if you got a nebulizer for school, Dad and home, and then have the meds travel ON your son, then that might be a solution. 

  • GabC
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    GabC, it is absolutely our pleasure! While I haven't been in the middle of a divorce, I have had to work with less than cooperative family members.  

    How old is your son? Is the backpack small enough for him to tote? I'm not sure what all goes in your "kit" but you've got some options to choose from if the kit is small enough —

    has some that have carabiners that will attach to his school book bag.

    – this is a nifty little waist belt that could store small things like his inhaler and possibly his nebs meds. 

    And it might be possible to get a duplicate nebulizer easier than it would the meds — so if you got a nebulizer for school, Dad and home, and then have the meds travel ON your son, then that might be a solution. 

    Thank you that is a good idea.  My son is 3 and 1/2 ….thanks for the links

  • K8sMom2002

    My pleasure! Since your kiddo is just 3 and 1/2, may be the perfect solution … it has a childproof lock on it, plus a ring to attach it to other things. I'd think about attaching it to something that's going to be taken out of the car and not left there.  

    It's all about working with the limitations you've got.

  • K8sMom2002

    this thread to remind us not to leave our inhalers in the car during cold weather — regardless of how much we hate taking that purse or sticking that inhaler in our pocket!

    How are you carrying your inhaler as the weather gets cooler?

  • Kathy P

    My biggest goof is leaving my purse in the car in the garage overnight.Yeah, I know I shouldn't do it, but I do Otherwise, I'dprobably always be driving without my wallet/purse! My problem is that Idon't have a good place for it in the house. Our garage entry path doesnot have anywhere convenient to put it. It doesn't usually get that coldhere, but it can dip below the optimal temps overnight in the unheatedgarage.

  • K8sMom2002

    What about a Command hook on the back of your door leading out to the garage? That way you can hook your purse on the back of the door and it will be handy when you walk out to the car? 

  • Shea

    I am in a similar situation. My son's father and I are not together, and I have to allow my son to have timeshares with him. I did find sime solutions that may be helpful. Attached to this comment I put a picture of the allergy bag I send my just-turned-5-year-old with, it contains epi-pen, childrens benadryl, and his allergy action plan, and it goes to all caretakers and with him everywhere. (it has been used too). I got it at Target, it is a waterproof cellphone bag, and i attached a strap to it, and put a travel combo lock with an easy code, and the front is clear so you can see his allergy plan through it, including the combo to open the bag–this is so adults can open it, but young kids cannot. I tell my son to remind people (his dad mostly) to always bring it with (befire he goes, i say "make sure to tell him to bring your allergy bag with you, dont leave it in the car!", I constantly remind his father too, I ask my son when he gets back: ("did you guys remember to bring your allergy bag into the aquarium?"), I have his doctor write that it needs to go with him, you can then incorporate this info into your parenting plan, and you can even put an electronic tag on it, so that you can tell where it goes, there is one called land air sea tag that fits into it, subscription is like $20/month. It is a life or death matter, and you can enforce this matter.

    Edited to insert photos into body of reply – CRR 12/01/2016

  • Shea

    I put the link to it above at target.com, its $20, it is actually Bell Stowaway-400-top-mount-bike-bag (It can hook onto a bicycle and hold a phone and other  items, but it works perfectly as an allergy bag due to the see-through front, the double zipper so you can put a combo lock on it, it has straps to hook onto backpacks, purses, or you can use an old purse strap on it and men/kids can carry the bag easily over one shoulder. It holds both epipens, a regular size bottle of children's benadryl, an electronic tag (my tag is about the size of an inhaler), a house key, and his allergy plan in the front, which says : show to all caretakers, tells what's inside, what he's allergic to, and signs of reaction, his name, picture, my number, and the combo lock code for adults to open it. I try to idiot-proof his allergies as much as possible for his father, but I think I need to add a temperature guide on the plan, and "do not leave in car (in bold)" because his dad left it in the car today AGAIN while they dined and played, which ticked me off hugely. So I said something to his father AGAIN, and I noted it in my records. And I am really trying to train my son… I think when we travel I will have the bag by his carseat and have him hand it to me when we get outta the car every day so he is in habit, and then remind him to do the same with his dad. I attached a clip-on dragon toy to it as well, just to make it cooler. Good luck GabC!

  • K8sMom2002

    Thanks! You said you attached a strap to it … how did you do that? I'm not much of a seamstress. 

    And one thing I've heard of people doing is to put a fish aquarium plastic thermometer strip on their Epis. You could put that inside the case so that people could see it — it might drive home the message that Epis are temperature sensitive.

    Is the Benadryl part of his emergency action plan? I ask because on their own. It takes Epi, and the sooner the better. 

  • GabC
    Shea posted:

    I am in a similar situation. My son's father and I are not together, and I have to allow my son to have timeshares with him. I did find sime solutions that may be helpful. Attached to this comment I put a picture of the allergy bag I send my just-turned-5-year-old with, it contains epi-pen, childrens benadryl, and his allergy action plan, and it goes to all caretakers and with him everywhere. (it has been used too). I got it at Target, it is a waterproof cellphone bag, and i attached a strap to it, and put a travel combo lock with an easy code, and the front is clear so you can see his allergy plan through it, including the combo to open the bag–this is so adults can open it, but young kids cannot. I tell my son to remind people (his dad mostly) to always bring it with (befire he goes, i say "make sure to tell him to bring your allergy bag with you, dont leave it in the car!", I constantly remind his father too, I ask my son when he gets back: ("did you guys remember to bring your allergy bag into the aquarium?"), I have his doctor write that it needs to go with him, you can then incorporate this info into your parenting plan, and you can even put an electronic tag on it, so that you can tell where it goes, there is one called land air sea tag that fits into it, subscription is like $20/month. It is a life or death matter, and you can enforce this matter.

    Edited to insert photos into body of reply – CRR 12/01/2016

    OMG great idea! with the tracker too! thank you!

  • GabC
    Shea posted:

    I put the link to it above at target.com, its $20, it is actually Bell Stowaway-400-top-mount-bike-bag (It can hook onto a bicycle and hold a phone and other  items, but it works perfectly as an allergy bag due to the see-through front, the double zipper so you can put a combo lock on it, it has straps to hook onto backpacks, purses, or you can use an old purse strap on it and men/kids can carry the bag easily over one shoulder. It holds both epipens, a regular size bottle of children's benadryl, an electronic tag (my tag is about the size of an inhaler), a house key, and his allergy plan in the front, which says : show to all caretakers, tells what's inside, what he's allergic to, and signs of reaction, his name, picture, my number, and the combo lock code for adults to open it. I try to idiot-proof his allergies as much as possible for his father, but I think I need to add a temperature guide on the plan, and "do not leave in car (in bold)" because his dad left it in the car today AGAIN while they dined and played, which ticked me off hugely. So I said something to his father AGAIN, and I noted it in my records. And I am really trying to train my son… I think when we travel I will have the bag by his carseat and have him hand it to me when we get outta the car every day so he is in habit, and then remind him to do the same with his dad. I attached a clip-on dragon toy to it as well, just to make it cooler. Good luck GabC!

    I have this same issue with my sons Father, its so frustrating, all I can do is document like you do ughh its annoying though. Hang in there girl, you are doing a great job! and thank you for all the tips!

  • GabC
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Thanks! You said you attached a strap to it … how did you do that? I'm not much of a seamstress. 

    And one thing I've heard of people doing is to put a fish aquarium plastic thermometer strip on their Epis. You could put that inside the case so that people could see it — it might drive home the message that Epis are temperature sensitive.

    Is the Benadryl part of his emergency action plan? I ask because on their own. It takes Epi, and the sooner the better. 

    oh good idea with the plastic fish thermometer! I luv this forum!

  • Kathy P

    I love the idea of having something with the window to show the emergency plan info! That is brilliant!

    For those managing kids with food allergies, I invite you to join our Kids With Food Allergies online community. There was a . You will have to register separately over there. One mom found a bag then sewed loops on since her son didn't like the SpiBelt type. With the loops, they work on any belt and don't bounce as much as the pouches on a strap. Some also use more of a caribeener solution that just hooks to one belt loop. That is a great option since it can also be clipped to a purse, backpack, lunchbox or whatever if it's a pack that gets passed around to different caregivers.

  • Jen

    One thing to consider with a clear bag  and epinephrine is exposure to light.  The bag my dd carries is black, but it's a thin material, so we have some fabric wrapped around the epis.

    Here is more information from the :

    EpiPen® Auto-Injectors should not be exposed to extreme heat or cold and should be protected from light.2

  • K8sMom2002

    That is true, Jen. I wonder if you could take a thin piece of fabric and wrap the Epis in it. 

  • Kathy P

    I've started trying to remember to bring my purse in and hang it on one of the kitchen chairs…we'll see if it works!

    Good point on protecting the epinephrine from light Jen….I was thinking the paper in the window was sufficient, but maybe not.

  • Shea

    My old purse strap has clips so it can clip on or off any bag easily. You might find a similar strap comes with suitcases or duffle bags.

    Great info on avoiding light exposure for the Epipen. ( The bag I use only has one clear side, so it is easy to protect epipens from light if you have the allergy plan documents in front. )

    A thermometer is a good addition, and reminder to keep it in range. 

    I have benadryl to treat reactions that are not severe, such as a small rash or frequent sneezing, and in the past that has been enough to stop mild allergic reactions. But I do keep signs of severe reactions paper with, and note to treat those with epipens,

    Allergy Action Plan    

    I keep that in the bag, as well as a babysitter drop off form

     

    I am constantly searching for ways to ensure my son is protected from ignorance, denial, stupidity from any caretaker… The best way I can think of is to get my son on board with the plan, because, well, his dad is lazy and irresponsible, and my son is determined and persistent, and smart, and difficult to say no to, so if he is holding the bag and says we are bringing it in with us to keep me safe, or, I don't eat foods without labels, I don't go into homes with cats and dogs…. A lazy irresponsible person is not going to argue with him, definitely not going to win, and my son will leasrn early hoiw to self-advocate, which is amazing.

  • K8sMom2002

    It IS important to be able to advocate for yourself, Shea! Good for you on teaching your son.

  • K8sMom2002

    GabC, how are things going? Were you ever able to find the plastic fish thermometer?

    How's everybody keeping their inhalers and other meds at the proper temp with all the brrrr cold weather we have across so much of the country?

  • GabC

    Hi-

    No haven't looked yet with the holidays and all been so crazy, but thank you for reminding me on this

    Happy New Year to all!

     

    Thanks,

    Gabrielle

     

  • K8sMom2002

    this thread because of all the super cold weather across the nation. What with all the wild temperature changes, it's a good reminder to keep your meds and inhaler out of extreme temps.

    Kathy P, how's that new system for keeping your purse inside working out? 

  • Kathy P

    It's been sort of working, but mainly because I need to bring my purse in because everyone is using my van! DH truck was in the shop, A is still home and wanting to go places and it's been raining so T can't bike places he normally would! I'm not sure if it's really gotten me in the habit of bringing it in though…and I did wind up at the store without my purse the other day as I forgot to grab it on the way out (A's coat was on the chair covering it, so I didn't see it as I walked by).

  • Jen

    Over the holidays, dd1 left her epipens in the van for a couple of nights.  and grrrr….  I think what had happened was that on Christmas eve,  we went for a ride around our neighborhood to check out all of the lights and she forgot to bring it in afterwards. When we all go out as a family, I will often clip her epi bag onto my son's backpack that we usually bring with us. Well…we didn't bring it with us, but after riding around, she forgot that she had it and assumed we did.  So…the  part is that we didn't notice until the day after Christmas when we were headed to a family gathering.  Ugh…I hate that we had a couple of days of potentially compromised epis and I hate having to refill them.  Cost-wise it was $0 because we had a coupon.  Still, I made dd stay at home (after the gathering) until I had fresh epis.  We have since been more vigilant.

  • Kathy P

    Ugh on having to replace the autoinjectors!

    I've been doing better with remembering to bring my purse in…AND take it back out with me!

    But….then I realized that I had an inhaler in my bike seat bag.  It has definitely gotten cold enough in the garage to damage it. I guess it needed to be replaced anyway, but ugh! When I called in my regular meds, I also put in a refill for albuterol.

  • K8sMom2002

    DD has been leaving her purse behind and sticking her epinephrine auto-injectors in her book bag to take to school. Inquiring minds want to know if her INHALER has been making the trip as well.  

    I didn't realize she'd been doing this until Monday afternoon when she dashed out of the house to pick up supplies for a project she was doing. I saw she didn't have her purse with her, and I hurried after them. 

    Turned out, not only did she not have her purse, but she didn't even have the auto-injectors to begin with. She did a whole bunch of at me when I mentioned her auto-injectors, but went and got them from her backpack. 

    It's just been now that I thought about her inhaler. Must remember to ask. 

  • K8sMom2002

    And an update … no, the inhaler WASN'T in her book bag. 

    When I asked her if maybe she might need it, she shrugged her shoulders …

    "Yeah, I guess so."

  • K8sMom2002

    We are doing better at remembering our inhaler — note the snotty royal "we." Of course I mean DD – with some reminders from yours truly.

    How's everyone doing at remembering to keep their inhalers and other meds safe from temp extremes? I've found that we are having wild swings — low forties at night to high 70s and 80s during the day. Which would mean it would definitely not be safe for meds to be in the car.

  • Kathy P

    We have switched vehicles around in the garage and the van is currently parked on the street. That means I have to bring my purse in. If I put the keys in my purse, that means I can't go anywhere if I don't remember to bring my purse. Hopefully, I make this a habit even when I'm back to driving a vehicle in the garage.

  • Jen

    We have had such up and down weather – going from the 30s to the 60s and back again and again over a matter of days.  Good reminders to always bring your meds in the house and with you when you leave the house.