Left Yaz Birth Control In Hot Car By Accident

Leaving Yaz or other birth control products in a hot car could potentially negatively affect them.

Question

I live in Texas and I left my Yaz in my car all day. It got up to around 80 degrees. Can I still use it or do I need to get a replacement?

Asked by Sandy On Nov 28, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Nov 28, 2018
Car In Sun

Answer

Anytime a medication is stored outside the recommended storage conditions for an extended period of time, there is a risk it could be less stable or lose potency.

Although there aren't many studies on the matter in regard to birth control like Yaz specifically, other studies have shown that both high temperature and humidity can accelerate drug decomposition, potentially making them less effective.

Therefore, it is important to know the recommended storage conditions for your medication.

Yaz, and most other birth control products are recommended to be stored at 'room temperature'. From the prescribing information for Yaz:

Store at 25° C (77° F); excursions permitted to 15–30° C (59–86° F) [See USP Controlled Room Temperature].
Yaz Prescribing Information

The problem with your situation is that you don't know the temperatures your birth control was exposed to when it was in the car.

Additionally, you also need to consider that the temperature in the car was likely much higher than the temperature outside, which could mean that the medication was outside the high end of the storage range (86° F).

Since we are missing some information, it is difficult to know what exactly the state of your medication is. 

Certainly some drug products, like insulin, will quickly lose potency if stored outside the recommended conditions. The good news is, for Yaz, it isn't likely to be significantly affected from being in a hot car.

According to some studies, most non-refrigerated solid dosage forms (e.g. tablets or capsules) are more at risk for the actual product being affected (e.g. Yaz tablets crumbling) rather than a loss of stability or potency.

Nevertheless, due to the potential consequences of using Yaz, or any other birth control pill for that matter, that may have been negatively affected by heat, it is recommended to get a replacement pill pack, just to be safe.

Section Summary
If Yaz (or any other birth control pill) has been stored outside the recommended storage conditions, such as in a hot car, there is a chance it could be negatively affected in terms of potency or stability. It would be prudent to get a replacement prescription.

About Yaz

Yaz is a combination hormone oral contraceptive pill. It contains:

  • Drospirenone
  • Ethinyl estradiol


Drospirenone is a fourth generation progestin, similar to spironolactone, which has anti-mineralocorticoid and anti-androgenic properties.

These properties can have beneficial effects (e.g. reducing acne) and improve many symptoms associated with premenstrual complaints, including negative mood, water retention, and increased appetite.

Drospirenone may increase potassium levels in some individuals and therefore, caution is recommended in those taking potassium supplements or who already have elevated potassium levels.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor Of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in several publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any questions or want to connect! [email protected]; Office: 716-389-3076

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