Heat can harm medications

Excessive Heat Can Harm Medications, Expert Says

Don’t travel with meds in your car trunk or leave them in a parked car, she advises

Much has been in the news during the past couple of weeks. This syndicated piece comes from HealthDay and Butler University. To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com

SATURDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) — Medications can be harmed by high temperatures, say pharmacists.

Although just a handful of drugs have been tested at temperatures above 86F, all medications could be altered by extreme heat, they warn.

According to Dr. Amy Peak, clinical pharmacist and director of Drug Information Services at Butler University, several medications have been tested at high temperatures. She outlined some of the changes the researchers found:

  • Albuterol inhalers: The container could burst at temperatures above 120F. Moreover, when stored at high temperatures, there may be a decrease in the amount of medication inhaled.
  • Concentrated epinephrine: Cyclical heating could reduce 64 percent of the medication’s potency.
  • Diazepam: Concentration of this drug dropped 25 percent when stored at 98.6F.
  • Formoterol (capsules that are placed in inhalers): Following four hours of exposure to 158F heat, the amount released from the capsules was less than half the normal amount.
  • Lorazepam: When stored at 98F, concentration decreased 75 percent.
  • Mometasone (formoterol inhalers): Temperatures above 120F may cause the container to burst.

Peak says several more medications may be susceptible to excessive heat, including:

  • Insulin: Excessive heat could make the insulin less effective. It could also cause the insulin vials to explode.
  • Thyroid hormones: Thyroid hormones could be altered by excessively high temperatures, resulting in inconsistent doses.
  • Any medications in aerosolized canisters could burst when exposed to temperatures above 120F.

Although the United States Pharmacopeia Convention Inc. recommends that medications be protected from excessive heat, only a few drugs are actually tested at temperatures above 86F, Peak pointed out.

Nevertheless, she noted there are a number of steps people can take to ensure the quality of their medications during heat waves, including:

  • Be aware that temperatures inside cars can top 160 F. When driving, be sure to keep medications out of the trunk and in the climate-controlled passenger compartment.
  • Never leave medications in a parked car.
  • During heat waves, have medications shipped overnight in special cooled containers.
  • Request a one-time replacement from your insurance company or drug manufacturer for any medication that may have been affected by excessive heat.

More information

The National Institutes of Health provides more information on storing medicine safely.

— Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Butler University, news release, August 2011

‘PR News’ talks to Pepsi exec about social media

From PR News comes this Q&A on public relations and social media. To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com

PR News Q&A With Bonin Bough: Will PR
Miss Out on Social Media?

Bonin Bough

Successful social media
engagement is all about relationship-building and smart, focused communications
tactics—traditionally the domain of public relations professionals. In this
Q&A, Bonin Bough, global head of digital for PepsiCo, shares his insights
into why PR professionals must integrate social media into their broader
communications. He will expand on this theme in his keynote address,
“Digital Fitness: A Matter of Survival for PR Professionals,” at PR News’ Facebook Conference on August 9 in San Francisco.


PR News: Does the rise of the social Web represent an opportunity for PR
professionals to reposition themselves within corporate and nonprofit

Bonin Bough: Yes, I 100% believe that. I grew up in digital marketing
shops running digital media and have performed every role. My first agency was
a digital production practice within a PR firm, and the majority of our clients
were strictly digital, while others were shared with the PR team. These agency
of record engagements were big clients such as Kellogg’s, Novartis and Citi.
The second group I ran was a bit more integrated with the broader
communications team. So I have seen it from the inside, and I can tell you that
the core skills of communicators—storytelling, authentic communications and the
art of persuasion—are critically important.

At the same time, I often feel communications agencies and teams confine
themselves to a specific segment within social. They don’t necessarily take the
opportunity to lead. PR agencies are not adapting quickly enough, they are not
thinking broadly enough, they do not understand the stakes. Social media
success depends on relationship building and genuine, sustained authentic
engagement—the core competencies that PR is built on. But it also requires a
deep understanding of consumers and media. It is not too late for PR to capture
the massive opportunities in social media, but the industry needs to kick into
high gear right now.

As communications
experts, [we] have a right to lead strategy in digital and build the
relationships while delivering messaging, but oftentimes we fall short because
we don’t know the tools and have the measurement capabilities. Too often we view
“social media” as a discrete practice or discipline when in fact digital media
has changed every facet of marketing communications.

PR News: What is at stake if communicators don’t seize this moment?


Bough: Social media used to be lumped in with larger communications
programs, but more and more of that budget is being taken by specialty
agencies. Clients are starting to recognize—before the agencies, in many
cases—that social media requires particular expertise and know-how. If
conventional PR outfits don’t offer that, they will get it from new,
specialized players. Already this is happening with the huge growth of social
media agencies. That was their lunch. Digital did it to ad shops, so history is
a good predictor of the future. Again, it isn’t too late to win that confidence
(and business) back, but if communicators don’t seize the moment, the fastest
growing piece of communications’ budgets is going to slip out of reach.

PR News: How can communicators best prove the need for investment in social
media activity to top executives?

Bough: If you are faced with a situation in which a client wants you to
justify social media as part of a communications program, you really might as
well walk out the door. Having worked on the agency side for many years, I know
that isn’t realistic, but the point is that by now the importance of these
platforms should be self-evident. If an executive doesn’t believe that, tell
her to ask her neighbors where they go to see pictures of their kids, or who
broke the news of the death of Osama bin Laden or [about] the technology that
fostered the organizations behind the Egyptian revolution.

PR News: What do you hope attendees will take away from your keynote
presentation on August 9?

Bough: In a word? Fear…just kidding. Perhaps attendees will feel, at
least, urgency. I want people in this industry to be scared enough to change.

Attend PR News’ Facebook Conference on August 9 in San Francisco and learn more from
digital leaders like Bonin Bough




Near Record-Low Confidence in U.S. Public Schools

To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com


As reported last week, according to the most recent Gallup Poll on the topic, Americans continue to express near record-low confidence in U.S.
public schools — holding in the range seen throughout the past few years of tumult for the U.S. economy and state budgets. The 34 percent who say they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools is unchanged from last year and statistically similar to what Gallup
has found since 2005.

For the full  report, http://www.gallup.com/poll/148724/Near-Record-Low-Confidence-Public-Schools.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=Americas

Check out the protocol. It makes use of cell phone technology in its audience selection. Let me know your thoughts…  larry@larrylitwin.com.