I have my birth control regularly delivered through the pill club. However, I live in Florida and the day my pill (Isibloom) came, it was 91 degrees outside. I was able to grab the package out of the mailbox within 15-20 minutes of it being there, but my pill pack was warm to the touch and the candy that was sent with it was sticky. Does this compromise the integrity of my pill? Should I be worried or can I take them still?
At a glance
- Isibloom (desogestrel ethinyl estradiol) should be stored at 68-77°F so storing it at a temperature above or below this range for a longer period of time could result in a loss of potency or stability of the drug.
- While there is no way for me to be sure the drug hasn't broken down and is still okay to take, in my professional opinion, a mild increase in temperature for 20 minutes should be ok.
- If the tablets look different in any way call your pharmacy and ask for a replacement.
- If the tablets look normal to you and you decide to take them, I'd recommend using a second form of birth control such as a barrier just to be on the safe side.
Hi Izz, thanks for asking your question.
While storage conditions can definitely impact the stability and potency of some medications, a transient increase in temperature like the one you described is probably OK.
Now, there is no way I can be certain the drug hasn't broken down and is still okay to take, but in my professional opinion, a mild increase in temperature for 15-20 minutes shouldn't really cause any issues for birth control pills. If it were a protein-based drug, biologic product (e.g. insulin), or something that required refrigeration, that would be another story. The hormones in birth control pills likely can withstand a short-term increase in temperature, however.
Isibloom (desogestrel ethinyl estradiol), the birth control pill in question, should be stored at 68-77°F. Storing it at a temperature above or below this range for a longer period of time is not a good idea as it could result in a loss of potency or stability of the drug.
Additionally, exposure to extremely high or low temperatures even temporarily may also negatively impact the integrity of the drug. The temperature you stated, 91°F, wouldn't necessarily be considered extreme, but it is obviously above the temperature range the medication should be stored at.
However, since it was only for 15-20 minutes the integrity of the medication is likely still intact. Consider the fact that most medications are packaged and shipped in conditions that are not necessarily temperature controlled. Medications that are greatly sensitive to changes in temperature are usually refrigerated and shipped in a cold chain of custody.
With birth control pills, we wouldn't necessarily be concerned about the actual hormones in the pills with a small increase in temperature, but rather the integrity of the pills themselves.
If any of the tablets look melted, distorted, discolored, or different in any way, then I'd contact your pharmacy and ask for a replacement pack. These things could be indicative that you won't be able to take a full, intact, dose. If they look normal to you, you can take them, but it might also be a good idea to use a second form of birth control such as a barrier (condom or diaphragm) in the meantime just to be on the safe side of things.
- Isibloom [Package Insert]. Florham Park, NJ: Xiromed, LLC; 2018., DAILYMED