If you lost power during Hurricane Sandy, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs is urging you to check your prescription medications because they may have been affected by temperature changes.

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"Through the State Board of Pharmacy, we have notified all pharmacists in New Jersey of the need to dispose of any temperature-sensitive medications that may have lost their effectiveness during blackouts caused by Hurricane Sandy," said Attorney General Jeff Chiesa.

"We are extending the same warning to customers.  If you have concerns about any prescription medication in your home, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.  Replace any medications that were exposed to temperatures beyond those recommended by the manufacturer."

Some medications sensitive to temperature changes

The warning doesn't apply to most medications that are commonly kept in home medicine cabinets.  But, it does apply to medications that are sensitive to temperature changes.

If you're wondering whether your medication could be at risk, Chiesa and Eric Kanefsky, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs, are offering the following advice:

  • Check the package your prescription medication came in to learn whether it's sensitive to temperature changes.
  • If you have concerns, contact your pharmacist.
  • If any medications were exposed to conditions that can weaken their effectiveness, discard and replace them.

"This warning is especially important for consumers who rely on emergency medications.  Take the time to check those medicines now, to make sure they will be fully effective when you need them," said Kanefsky.  "Do not hesitate to replace ay medicines that may have been compromised.  Your health and your life may depend on this simple decision."

Keep in mind, unused medications should not be placed in the trash or flushed into the water supply.  Project Medicine Drop enables New Jerseyans to safely and securely dispose of unused prescription medications 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at participating police departments.

For more information, visit www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov/meddrop