Temperature changes can affect medicines. Learn to manage temperature and act when temperature is outside the intended range.

Good practice advice

Our good practice advice will help you understand the area and prevent problems occurring.

Understanding why temperature management is important for medicines storage

Temperature control and monitoring of storage areas to avoid temperature excursions; ensuring medicines are fit for purpose at administration to patients

Monitoring the storage temperature of medicines

Good monitoring systems can help identify problems quickly so that action can be taken promptly to protect the medicines from temperature excursions

Mapping the temperature of medicines storage areas

Temperature mapping is an exercise undertaken to ensure all points in storage area are suitable for keeping temperature sensitive medicines.

Establishing alerts for temperature monitoring systems

Systems that alert staff to an excursion allows for a rapid response and will minimise the time the medicine is outside of its recommended storage conditions

Using temperature sensors in medicines storage areas

Guidance on choosing temperature sensors, recording data from them and requirements for their calibration

Managing temperature excursions

Where temperature excursions occur, follow a defined process to manage and mitigate the effects on medicines

Temperature control whilst transporting medicines

Managing the temperature of medicines during transport (short term storage) is as important as it is during long term storage

Storing medicines at ambient temperatures

Taking steps to control and monitor ambient storage areas ensures that medicines are fit for purpose at the point of administration to patients

Using a refrigerator or freezer to store medicines

Appropriately chosen, well set-up, maintained and monitored fridges and freezers will ensure that medicines are fit for purpose at administration to patients

Advice on COVID-19 vaccines

Maintaining the COVID-19 vaccines cold chain

Correct storage of the vaccine ensures its efficacy and the cold chain must be maintained during storage and transportation

Stability outside the fridge

If you’ve had a temperature excursion for an individual medicine, and nobody else can help, maybe you can find an answer by searching our individual medicines entries on stability outside the fridge.