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Stability of the new Norvir capsules

Sep 9, 2000

Some of us are wondering whether a short period (say a few hours) of bringing Norvir capsules to above the optimum storage temperature (ie, above 46 degrees F) would set in motion an irreversible chemical breakdown of the drug, assuming it were returned to optimum storage within a few hours. Officially, the drug should be used within 30 days once it is brought to room temperature. I personally have on hand a three month supply (I pay the same co-payment for 30 days as for 90 days, so you can guess why I choose to get a 90 day supply). I know from reading past IAPAC material that Abbott labs was extremely conservative in its labeled storage requirements for liquid Norvir (such that Merck Medco initially refused to ship it). Discussions on this issue for liquid Norvir have appeared on the IAPAC website, and the gist was that there was a lot more leeway than the label would suggest, since many patients had to store the drug in the summer heat without air conditioning. I'm concerned that a recent power failure may have ruined several bottles of the new capsules, which reached around 60 degrees for two hours before the power came back. Would you have any info on this? Thanks

Response from Dr. Stryker

Sorry, no more info than you already have. Best to store them as recommended, though I seriously doubt that a few hours at 60 degrees would pose any significant risk to the potency. Obviously, if you note any breakdown or loss of integrity of the capsules (and this does happen if left at high temp for a long time) you should not use them. RAS

Rick Stryker, M.D., M.P.H.

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