Appropriate handling of drugs, especially the cold chain, should be ensured and documented according to pharmacy regulations for drugs and substances that are thermolabile. This usually involves a cost, a lot of time and energy. There is also a risk that efficacy and quality will be compromised when medicinal products sensitive to changes in temperature are handled incorrectly. There are several options to meet this requirement, and one of them is:
- Use a thermally insulated container, e.g., a cava or thermal bag.
- Putting ice to create the cold environment, for this it is useful to have an ice maker.
- Finally, put the medicine into a suitable container for transport.
In that sense, an ice maker allows the production and storage of ice, ready to be used when needed. These equipment are designed to work efficiently (in space, in energy use) and replenish the ice that is consumed. Thus, when an ice bath is needed to transport drugs to a relatively remote site, a fast ice source is available.
Why is it important to keep the cold chain of some drugs?
Drugs are substances whose composition can become very complex, especially their three-dimensional structure for those that are proteinous in nature or those that are optically active; in such cases, temperature can degrade some of their initial characteristics. Most seriously, unlike in the case of foods, defects cannot be detected by an inspection of their organoleptic properties.
It should be noted that even slight changes in temperature over a short period of time, such as accidental freezing or improper storage of medicines after delivery, can lead to considerable replacement costs and loss of customer confidence. To prevent these changes, an ice container may provide a suitable means of protecting the medicinal product from a sudden change in temperature.
What drugs should be kept cold?
Proteins, in particular, react very strongly to the environment when the temperature is too low or too high: when stored below 0°C, their structure changes and they become almost ineffective. Toxic or antigenic breakdown products may form, or the active substance may crystallize and not be fully released when heated.
In addition, large temperature fluctuations or freezing can cause glass containers to crack or glass components to leak completely (so-called “leachates”). Thus, careful handling of drugs that require refrigeration is extremely important. These include:
- Some eye and ear drops.
- Vaginal rings.
- Certain medicinal juices.
If they are not stored or transported correctly, there is almost always a risk that they will lose efficiency and quality without this being evident. The case of vaccines deserves a separate mention: these are products of biological origin composed of proteins, nucleic acids and carbohydrates, and are therefore highly susceptible to modification if exposed to heat. In this sense, the stability of each vaccine is conditioned by its ability to resist physical degradation after exposure to high temperatures; it is very common to see that, in any vaccination day, vaccines go in ice cava. There are two types of medicines that require cold storage:
- Medicinal products subject to cold chain requirements.
- Preparations that do not require a cold chain but must be stored in a cool place.
Why choose an ice maker from Kalstein?
Do you need ice often to move medicine? Kalstein, a manufacturer specializing in the development of laboratory instruments that support research in different areas, has a variety of ice makers that can be reviewed at the following link HERE. These equipment are characterized by:
- Its high efficiency.
- All operation is controlled by an internal computer.
- Built in stainless steel.
- They are environmentally friendly, as the compressor operates with non-chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant.
Other technical details can be found at the above link or at the manufacturer’s main link HERE, to quote, know the price, manage the purchase of this and other products with the Kalstein brand quality seal.