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View Full Version : are multivitamin pills still effective after being refridgerated?


miragesyzygy
07-29-2011, 02:00 AM
I think the brand was centrum. The bottle says keep/store at room temperature. However, someone must have put it in the refridgerator, where it stayed for a few days.

If I intake the pills on a regular basis, will they still be effective, or will they instead be harmful?

kaltkalt
07-29-2011, 02:53 AM
I know they won't be harmful, the question is if it will either lose some of its potency or reduce the shelf-life. That's the worst that could happen, and a few days in the fridge won't even do that. It's not going to chemically change into some toxin. All the same vitamins/minerals can be found in frozen foods of one sort or another. Keeping them in the fridge won't hurt, especially only for a few days. If they could really become dangerous due to cold temps, there would be a huge warning label and temp-sensitive sticker on it. The main reason they say "store at room temp" is so people don't leave it in the heat for the product to melt.

I wouldn't hesitate for one second to take one of your "fridged for a few days" centrums.

Lestrade
07-29-2011, 03:00 AM
I believe that you could not use your pills within FDA recommendations. If, however, you tested the pills and found that 50% of subjects died due to the effect of refrigeration, you would have a very strong legal case against Centrum. I don't know what kind of damages you could reasonably expect to collect from such a case.

In the interest of the practical instead of the theoretical, the pills are fine.

Colophon
07-29-2011, 08:05 AM
Chemicals generally degrade faster at higher temperatures, so the "room temperature" warning really means "Don't store above room temperature".

The pills will be 100% fine.

chaoticbear
07-29-2011, 09:56 AM
But Colophon, the moooooisture! What if the pills stick together?

Joey P
07-29-2011, 10:16 AM
But Colophon, the moooooisture! What if the pills stick together?

That was my first thought as well. If the OP's house is at all humid, I'd just leave them in the fridge at this point until the bottle is finished up so the don't condensate and fall apart. If the bottle is still sealed, you could take them up and leave it sealed for a few hours until it comes up to room temp.

gotpasswords
07-29-2011, 11:32 AM
What if the pills stick together?
Give the bottle a good rap on the counter. They didn't teach you that in pharmacy tech class? :p

chaoticbear
07-29-2011, 01:30 PM
Give the bottle a good rap on the counter. They didn't teach you that in pharmacy tech class? :p

No, because our environment is kept perfectly in accordance with USP standards.

Well, that may or may not be true, I don't have any way of measuring humdity, but it doesn't come up terribly often. What would be of more concern is if the air in the container was humid enought to cause condensation when put in the fridge - I don't know how much time and humdity it takes, but I know I've seen a couple of bulk bottles in my life where the pills were just completely fused.

But as long as tablets in the OP's post don't completely disintegrate, I'd think it's fine.

(also, gotpasswords, terrifying fact: in many (most?) states, pharmacy techs don't require any school past high school. $120-ish dollars and a background check here and you're in.)

mnemosyne
07-31-2011, 12:30 PM
To get approval by the FDA the company that made your vitamin pills had to prove that they were stable under various conditions over the course of 3 years: typical testing involves batches stored at 5C/Ambient Relative Humidity, 25C/Ambient RH, (sometimes 25C/60% RH), 30C/60% RH and 40C/75% RH (sometimes this is only on shorter, accelerated stability runs). The label storage condition is essentially decided based upon results at these conditions. I only worked in the industry for 4 years (I got bored) but I did a lot of stability testing and never once have I seen something fail at low temperature but pass at a higher one. The opposite is often true.

If your bottle says "store at room temperature" then it was found to be safe at the 25 and 30C conditions. There's no problem at 5C (typical fridge temperature... +/- 2 degrees is, I think, the allowed range but it's been a long time since I looked at that!)

No testing gets done on frozen drug products, though.

I wouldn't worry at all about the bottle of pills described in the OP.

miragesyzygy
08-08-2011, 01:51 AM
now the concern is whether the pills lost some of their potency while in the fridge.

DrFidelius
08-08-2011, 07:30 AM
now the concern is whether the pills lost some of their potency while in the fridge.

If no chemical changes are likely to have occurred by the brief refrigeration, then the vitamin molecules are exactly the same as they were before the were refrigerated.

Telemark
08-08-2011, 08:27 AM
now the concern is whether the pills lost some of their potency while in the fridge.
Colder temps generally slow down degrading chemical reactions.

Fear Itself
08-08-2011, 04:40 PM
now the concern is whether the pills lost some of their potency while in the fridge.I am sure they will make your urine just as expensive as they did before refrigeration.