Why are there some medicines that are put in the fridge?


  • This seems to be a bit of a broad question, but a common one is insulin; although I believe some of it no longer has to be. – L.B. May 16 '18 at 16:59

Chemical reactions are slowed down at lower temperatures; refrigeration can increase the shelf-life of medicines that would not last long enough at room temperature.

Refrigeration could be important for the active ingredient or for the formulation as a whole.

Note that refrigeration can also be a problem for some formulations, so it's important to follow storage instructions.

The effects of short-term failure to refrigerate drugs that are supposed to be refrigerated varies, see Cohen et al. 2007 for a compilation of manufacturer instructions for a variety of drugs.


Cohen, V., Jellinek, S. P., Teperikidis, L., Berkovits, E., & Goldman, W. M. (2007). Room-temperature storage of medications labeled for refrigeration. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 64(16), 1711-1715.

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