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October 2, 1987

The Glove Compartment Is an Oven, Not a Medicine Cabinet

Author Affiliations

Visalia, Calif

Visalia, Calif

JAMA. 1987;258(13):1734. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400130048027

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To the Editor.—  The practice of keeping medications in automobile glove compartments should be reconsidered, because the solar heating effect causes excessively high temperatures, even in mild sunny weather. Temperatures in glove compartments from April to October in the northern hemisphere have been found to exceed outdoor temperatures by as much as 28°C (50°F), with the result that stored medications may be subjected to temperatures exceeding 66°C (150°F). These high temperatures can hasten degradation of the product.A pilot study in the San Joaquin Valley of California showed glove compartment temperatures above 66°C (150°F) on some afternoons, 54°C (130°F) as early as March, and 43°C (110°F) as late as mid-November. Temperatures of floor areas shielded from direct sunlight averaged 11°C(20°F) less.Prescription labels rarely bear any recommendation concerning storage temperatures. Medication kept in automobiles in warm or hot weather should be placed in insulated containers on the floor and shielded