My Storage Plan to Keep Psoriatic Arthritis Meds Cold
Last updated: October 2020
It took almost five years of trial and error to find the right psoriatic arthritis treatment for me. This treatment requires refrigeration and must be used within a certain amount of time before it is deemed unusable.
What are your storage options?
Keeping my medication safe until I’m ready to inject is imperative. This is especially true during an active hurricane season. I live within a few minutes of a bay along the Gulf Coast of Florida. It’s been decades since the area has faced a hurricane, but it is always a concern.
Here’s my plan to keep psoriatic arthritis meds cold as hurricane season heats up:
- Checking my refrigerator and freezer maintain temperatures on a regular basis.
- Locating the best areas in the refrigerator that maintain a consistent temperature.
- Verifying my specialty pharmacy works with a brick and mortar pharmacy.
- Buying a cooler that can keep ice for several days and locating dry ice.
Currently, I use an analog refrigerator thermometer that I place in different parts of my fridge. I started relocating it in the fridge for a couple of reasons. First, it helps me track areas that could potentially freeze a liquid.
The importance of location
In the past, we’ve used bottles of water to determine the temperature of the fridge. It’s pretty funny, at first, to find an open bottle of water that has ice or frozen over. However, after placing a $42,000 medication into the refrigerator humor flies out the door. Second, it helped me locate bins that warm faster than others. These bins and shelves are located on the refrigerator door. For this reason, I do not recommend using door shelves or bins to keep your meds.
I’ve even toyed with using our digital meat thermometer to see if it tracks with the analog thermometer in the fridge. It has. I’m all about in case of emergency uses for whatever is lying around.
The back area of our produce bin and the back area of our deli bin have decently maintained consistent temperatures. Bonus, nothing has accidentally frozen in those areas. Depending on how filled either bin is will dictate where my medication box will live during its time in my home.
Relying on the pharmacy
Another way I keep my medication safely kept cold is by having them delivered to a brick and mortar pharmacy. Not everyone is able to do this, I understand. I do recommend speaking to your specialty pharmacy and ask if they work with a brick and mortar pharmacy. There are a few specialty pharmacies that now work with brick and mortar locations. Pharmacies usually have backup generators to keep their refrigerated items stable during extended power outages.
Having a linked brick and mortar pharmacy can also be useful if your neighborhood is experiencing porch theft. I’ve had my meds sent there and picked up on the day I was to inject.
During the times a storm has threatened our coast, I have delayed refilling until just before I need to inject it. I know this isn’t easy for those of us who have 30-to-90-day supplies at home.
The importance of a back up plan
For those of us who have to preserve a medication stash of refrigerated meds, dry ice and extended-use coolers are helpful. I also recommend speaking to your medication’s helpline to find out how long your medication can last at room temperature. This can help you make a pre-emptive plan should you have to evacuate on the fly.
The most important thing of all is communication and creating a backup plan with your specialty pharmacy. It is important to know your options should your medication become rendered unusable or if you had to relocate.
How do you keep your psoriatic arthritis medications cold?
Do you usually need to recover from a vacation?