Biological medications require the right storage conditions

Do you want to increase your knowledge of new biological pharmaceuticals? I will give you some interesting details about these products. Numerous revolutionary pharmaceuticals have been developed in recent years for the treatment of many long-term illnesses. We are able to more successfully treat diseases, for which the options, for example in the early 2000s, were very limited. Such diseases include, for example, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, MS disease and many cancers.

What is difference between traditional and biological pharmaceuticals?

The new pharmaceuticals are usually so called biological products. This means that the pharmaceutical is a protein structure, just like an egg white or a grilled fillet steak. Traditional pharmaceuticals such as Burana or aspirin are, in turn, synthetic and therefore do not contain protein structures at all. Biological pharmaceutical proteins are produced in laboratory conditions in cell cultures by recombinant DNA technology. “Breeding cells” may, for example, originate from yeast cells or from golden hamster ovaries. Exciting, isn’t it!

Biological medications are characterized by being given as infusions into the vein or by a pre-filled syringe/pen under the skin, they are expensive and they require the right storage conditions.

The protein structure of biological pharmaceuticals is susceptible to damage if the medicine is stored incorrectly. Pharmaceutical proteins have a very complicated three-dimensional structure – in fact, the function of these drugs is based on the interaction of three-dimensional protein structures with the body’s own cellular or mediastinal surface structures. If the biological pharmaceutical overheats or freezes, the folding of the protein chains and the three-dimensional structure are damaged. This leads to the fact that the drug molecule can no longer bind to its target and its healing power is lost. Therefore, the proper storage and transportation of the medicines are vital!

Which is safe storage temperature?

Safe storage temperatures for biological pharmaceuticals vary. Some products tolerate room temperatures (below 25 degrees) for a couple of weeks, others for just a few hours. Make sure you have received the proper storage instructions for your medicine and acted accordingly.

Sometimes the proper storage of medicines is challenging – for example, on holiday and business trips. Naturally also the refrigerator at home may be out of order and the medicine will be spoiled for this reason! With LIKELLE products the cold chain of medicines can be secured and storage temperatures easily monitored at home and in the free time.

Medical Doctor, Antti Puolitaival

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