Long-term and short-term buprenorphine storage considerations
Keep buprenorphine in a cool, dark, dry, place, preferably in an
airtight container. Medications
can be affected by light, heat, and humidity.
Store pieces of tablets or films in a childproof containerout of reach and out of sight of everyone.
Do not store buprenorphine in the Freezer.
Buprenorphine Storage Considerations
Buprenorphine is stable and will not evaporate or significantly degrade over time with proper storage. It is likely to retain potency long after the expiration date. However, medications can be affected by light, heat, and humidity. Keep buprenorphine in a cool, dark, dry, place, preferably in an airtight container.
Short-term storage is also important particularly while tapering. Cut film or tablets should be stored in a childproof pharmacy tablet bottle. Include a fresh food-safe silica gel packet to absorb any humidity. Even a few hours of exposure to humid air can make film sticky or tablets crumbly. The silica gel pack helps prevent this.(Don't eat it.)
Another tip, especially for those who store buprenorphine in the fridge or freezer (not recommended by the way), is to let the contents reach room temperature before opening. If not, water vapor in the humid air will instantly condense on the cool tablet or film, making it sticky or crumbly. Allowing time to warm up prevents this. It's for this reason we don't recommend freezing your buprenorphine, plus the fact that it is unknown what other effect freezing may have.
Vacuum packing is another alternative for long-term storage of tablets. Although, if tablets have already been exposed to humid air and have become structurally weak, the air pressure exerted on the tablets from outside might crush them. Vacuum packing in a ridged container would prevent that problem.
Secure your buprenorphine
Equally as important as how to store it is where to store it. Buprenorphine should be out of reach of everyone. The medicine cabinet is not the place for buprenorphine. It isn't just children and pets to be concerned with, many people have had workmen, friends or family take medication from the medicine cabinet.1 Would your physician believe you and call in a replacement prescription?
Locking your buprenorphine in a safe or lock-box prevents both accidental and intentional missing buprenorphine. If there is an emergency where you live, authorities might see your buprenorphine in plain view and force you to answer for it. Although you may have a prescription and be in complete compliance with the law, it could still be a hassle and end up in some permanent record.
- Anecdotal evidence compiled from several social media sites over a period of several years
- National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment- www.NAABT.org