Is storing the antibiotics in a Mylar bag with oxygen absorbers (used for freeze-dried food preservation) a viable option for long-term storage?
I.e., will the degradation of exposed iron in the O2 absorbers negatively impact the chemistry of the antibiotics?
Current and ongoing research suggests that if antibiotics are stored under optimal conditions and packaged correctly, they maintain 90 percent of their potency for many years. Pharmaceutical-grade manufactured Mylar bags that are FDA and USDA approved offer a safe and effective storage choice for medical and pharmaceutical items, including antibiotics. Vacuum sealed for airtight optimization and made from thick but flexible laminated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) layers; they offer an extremely low Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR).
An oxygen-rich environment can destroy pharmaceuticals via oxidation and gradually degrade the effectiveness of the drugs stored inside. When correctly used, Mylar bags supply high-barrier protection against the effects of oxygen, moisture, and light. They have many beneficial properties which extend and preserve the shelf-life and potency of antibiotics- offering high-puncture resistance- although protection against rodents or critters who can chew through the material cannot be guaranteed. They come in assorted sizes, between 1 MIL and 7 MIL; theoretically, the thicker the bag, the more protection it can offer. When used with oxygen absorbers, preservation times depend upon several factors. Antibiotics can be safely preserved for 10 to 30 years if sealed correctly and stored in adequate atmospheric conditions.
Healthcare distributors and manufacturers increasingly turn to oxygen absorbers, also known as oxygen scavengers, to preserve medicine against oxidative degradation. Oxygen absorbers should be FDA-approved and made with paper and polyethylene packaging. If manufactured to certified quality standards, they are safe to use with antibiotics. They offer a non-toxic method of absorbing oxygen when designed with GRAS (generally regarded as safe) packaging materials to prevent direct contact with the pharmaceutical product.
The combination of vacuum-sealed Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers is a practical form of protection against oxidative degradation and is essential to preserving the self-life and potency of antibiotics. When adhering to manufacturer guidelines on usage and storage, this method removes up to 99.99 percent of oxygen levels in the surrounding atmosphere. They come in packets typically one inch by one inch and contain elemental iron granules. If split open, noticeable when a dark brown or rust-coloured material is visible, the iron can become toxic and pose an elevated risk to both drug and user. Subsequently, storing the bags in a cool, dark, and dry location is recommended. Keep the bags in high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic buckets at an optimum temperature and away from any light source for extra protection. Additionally, using too few oxygen absorbers will not ensure adequate oxidation; therefore, it is advisable to use as many that will fit into the bag because too many will not be harmful.
Amoxicillin-Clavulanate, Azithromycin, Ciprofloxacin, Doxycycline, and Metronidazole are dispensed in capsule, tablet, cream, gel, or liquid form, and each product will have a different shelf life. An antibiotic in liquid form will come as granules to dissolve in a special liquid provided. These granules will expire after two weeks if mixed with water. Oxygen absorbers should never be used in Mylar bags to preserve antibiotic forms that contain more than 10 percent moisture. This type of storage can increase the risk of botulism poisoning. Solid and completely dry dosage forms of antibiotics such as tablets and capsules are sensitive to atmospheric conditions. Still, they appear to endure past their expiration date when following the relevant parameters above.