Drug becomes less effective when it’s exposed to temperatures below 5 C
As temperatures begin to drop, health officials are war
ning British Columbians not to keep naloxone kits in their cars.
The medication, which can reverse a fentanyl overdose, is not as effective when it gets cold.
« Lots of people opt to keep their kit in their car so it’s handy, » said Katie Sokil, a health and wellness advocate at the Living Positive Resource Centre.
« That’s not best practice though, just because naloxone is temperature sensitive. »
Kits that have been exposed to temperatures below 5 C should be replaced, she said. The same is true for naloxone that’s kept anywhere about 25 C or warmer.
« You can still use it in an emergency situation, » Sokil said.
« But the user should be aware that it may require more doses to resuscitate somebody or reverse an overdose rather than just the standard. »
She said it’s not clear how much less effective naloxone is when it’s been exposed to colder temperatures and the number of additional doses is dependent on the overdose case.
Places like the Living Positive Resource Centre in Kelowna, B.C., where Sokil works, and other locations across the province distribute naloxone kits for free. They are also available at pharmacies.
Sokil recommended keeping naloxone in a place with a consistent room temperature, like a purse or backpack.
« We recommend trying to keep it on your person or indoors and away from light and extreme heat or extreme cold, » she said.
« In an emergency situation, do use it — just know that it might be less effective. »