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What Is the Importance of Amoxicillin Refrigeration?

Amoxicillin in liquid form requires refrigeration.
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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 07 August 2014
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Amoxicillin refrigeration is important for some liquid preparations of this drug. When amoxicillin needs to be refrigerated, the label should indicate that this is the case. Many amoxicillin pills, chewable tablets, and liquid suspensions can be kept at room temperature without going bad. If an oral suspension of amoxicillin is supposed to be kept refrigerated, the medication may lose its potency or may go bad if it is left out. Rather than risk taking a drug that may have gone bad, a replacement should be requested from a pharmacist if there is concern that the instructions regarding refrigeration have not been followed.

A combination of the antibiotics amoxicillin and clavulanic acid called amoxicillin clavulanate must always be stored in the refrigerator. Most patients are given a course of treatment with this medication that lasts from a few days to about two weeks. Leaving this medicine at room temperature for this amount of time can damage the drug and make the patient sicker. Following the proper amoxicillin refrigeration guidelines for this drug will help ensure that it is effective.

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It is important to follow amoxicillin refrigeration guidelines for other oral suspensions of amoxicillin as well. In most cases, however, liquid suspensions of this drug can be left at room temperature while the patient is undergoing treatment. A pharmacist will be able to determine whether a particular type of amoxicillin is safe to leave out, but refrigeration will not damage amoxicillin, so patients who are unsure of the requirements can always store the drug in the refrigerator. Flavored preparations of amoxicillin may also require refrigeration because the additives in the flavoring can spoil.

When amoxicillin is in pill or tablet form, refrigeration is not usually necessary. Pills can almost always be stored at room temperature without losing potency, though they should be kept away from heat and light. Amoxicillin pills can, however, smell unpleasant. The odor of the pills may be reduced if they are stored in the refrigerator.

Like all medications, amoxicillin has a shelf life. Patients do not need to worry about this, since the medication they are given should usually be taken immediately. Pharmacists, however may prolong the usefulness of the medication by refrigerating it. Following the proper guidelines for powdered or pill-form amoxicillin refrigeration is important so that patients receive active medication with the proper potency.

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Discuss this Article

candyquilt
Post 3

My infant was prescribed an amoxicillin suspension and I forgot to put it in the fridge before I went to bed. It remained in room temperature for about 11 hours. I wasn't sure what to do so I called up my pharmacist. He said that I need to get another prescription because there is a chance that the suspension will not work. So we ended up going to the doctor again for another prescription to be on the safe side.

If anyone has amoxicillin suspension or liquid and if the pharmacist said to refrigerate it, please do.

ddljohn
Post 2

@fBoyle-- I don't think so. Don't use medications past their expiration date.

Amoxicillin tablets/capsules don't have to be kept in the fridge. You can keep them in the fridge if you want, it's not going to harm them. The point is to keep them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. But I don't think it's a good idea to use medications past their expiration date regardless of how they're kept. The medication probably won't work so your infection will get worse and you will have wasted time.

fBoyle
Post 1

Will amoxicillin tablets last longer if I refrigerate them? Can I use them past the expiration date if I kept them in the fridge the whole time?

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