Over the years, I have taken shelter ferrets to the vet for a variety of issues. I am very happy when I come home with banana flavoured Amoxicillin; even better if the ferret received an antibiotic injection of Convena. I’m crying inside if I have to give the poor ferret Metronizodole.
The Amoxicillin dispensing label will state Refrigerate. Easy Peasy! But there are so many other medications prescribed for our ferret that come in little dark brown bottles. We know that the dark brown bottle is because the medication is light sensitive. Got it! The label states the dosage, perhaps the label will say Shake before use or give with food. All good!
Where do we store the medication? Well, somehow most of us over 30 have grown up with the universal knowledge that to keep anything “fresh”, you store it in the fridge!! This mind set carries over to medications especially since the odd medication states right on the label, highlighted in yellow, REFRIGERATE.
Turns out most of us have been wrong, wrong, wrong when it comes to medications for ourselves, and our pets. A recent event brought the issue to the forefront. A foster parent accidently put the fostered ferret’s Prednisolone in the freezer along with the home made duck soupies. A phone call to our pharmacist confirmed what I already suspected. The Prednisolone was spoiled. That was a $25.00 Owie! The pharmacist went on to explain that Prednisolone should be kept away from light, in a cool, dark place. I nodded sagely and said all my medications were stored in my fridge.
Imagine my surprise when the pharmacist scolded me gently. He told me 90% of all medications in liquid or pill form should be kept at room temperature. But, but, “cool dark place” I said; the fridge is a cool dark place. Apparently cool as in you don’t want the medication sitting on the ledge over your stove and against an appliance that generates heat. You don’t want the medication sitting on your work desk under a lamp. You want the medication to be away from direct light, in a cool place. The pharmacist went on to say that a cupboard in your kitchen is a perfect spot; not the medicine cabinet in your bathroom which is a hot, humid place at the start of each day!
So I challenged him; Sulcrate – cool, dark place, Pepto Bismal – cool, dark place, Kaopectate – cool, dark place, cat hair ball remedy – definitely room temperature, bandages – your medicine cabinet. We had a good laugh.
I then spoke with our vet clinic and sure enough all medications should be kept at room temperate, in a dark place. Keeping the medication in the fridge can actually cause the medication to degrade and affects its stability.
The only medication that is weird is the Medicam for Cats. The external packaging saying refrigerate, but some vets will tell you to keep it at room temperature. Apparently it is one of those medications that can handle it both ways.
So, unless the label states in yellow highlight refrigerate, make room in a cupboard in the kitchen for all the medications. I want a white lab coat so I can pretend I run a pharmacy lol. I had to go out and buy a small two drawer cabinet to put all the assorted medications and ointments in for the shelter ferrets. My medications and vitamins are all now in a cupboard in the kitchen!