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Ask the Allergist

Is My Inhaler Still OK if I Left It in My Car When It Was Hot?

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Question
I accidentally left my inhaler in my car during the day when it was hot. Is it still okay to use? It was almost brand new, and I can’t refill the prescription again till the end of the month.
Answer

Do not keep your asthma medications, such as inhalers, in places that become too hot, such as your car's glove compartment or trunk. The temperature in a car can rise to 160 degrees in the summer months, which may have an adverse effect on the potency of the inhaler. In fact, Albuterol inhalers for asthma can explode when stored in temperatures above 120 degrees. At high temperatures, the inhaler delivers less medicine than at room temperature.

If you did leave your inhaler in your car on a hot day, it would be recommended that you replace it with a new inhaler. The pharmacy should be able to help with this refill even if it is not due for a refill; make sure to inform them of this issue. If needed, the pharmacy can call your healthcare provider’s office for a new prescription.

Categories
Asthma, Medicines
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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