Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) is an FDA-approved anti-inflammatory medicine used for the treatment of various autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and others.
Like most liquid injectable medications used for similar health conditions (Humira, Enbrel, Actemra, Orencia, or Simponi for example) Cimzia is highly sensitive to extreme temperatures and temperature changes.
As such, it demands specific storage conditions that can make traveling with your prefilled syringes of Cimzia quite challenging. Let's dig into the topic and find out how to keep Cimzia cool and safe while traveling!
Cimzia storage instructions
Cimzia is either self-administered at home or injected at your doctor’s office. When your doctor has planned for you to self-administer Cimzia, you will receive it in the form of single-dose prefilled syringes for subcutaneous injections.
You will have to make sure to properly store your medicine at home. Indeed, Cimzia requires precise storage temperatures.
How long can Cimzia be out of the fridge?
According to Union Chimique Belge (UCB Company), the manufacturer of Cimzia, your prefilled syringes must be kept in the refrigerator between 36°F and 46°F (2°C - 8°C). It additionally says: “if needed, Cimzia syringes may be stored at room temperature up to 77°F (25°C) in the original carton to protect from light for a single period of up to 7 days”.
In other words, Cimzia can only be left out of the fridge for a maximum of 7 days. Once it has been removed from the refrigerator or has reached room temperature, it cannot be placed back in the fridge. In any case, it should never be exposed to light or temperatures over 77°F (25°C) even for short periods of time.
Related article: What temperature drugs that require refrigeration must be kept at?
What happens if Cimzia is left out of the fridge?
Certolizumab pegol, the active ingredient found in your Cimzia prefilled syringe, is a biologic product, also called a biopharmaceutical.
Unlike chemically synthesized drugs, biologics are made from living sources like microorganisms, plants, animals, or even sometimes human cells. As such, biologic drugs like Cimzia are very sensitive to temperatures and can quickly spoil or get contaminated if not properly stored.
It means that if your Cimzia prefilled syringe is left out of the fridge for more than the recommended period (7 days max) it starts losing its efficiency and might get contaminated by bacteria. Never inject Certolizumab pegol that has not been stored according to these recommendations. When in doubt, immediately throw your syringe away and get a new one from the fridge.
How long is Cimzia stable at room temperature?
Cimzia's stability at room temperature is very short. The room temperature is meant to be below 77°F (25°C). Laboratory tests have shown that the active biologic ingredient, Certolizumab pegol, starts deteriorating and losing its efficiency after 7 days out of the fridge.
Thus, the efficiency and safety of your Cimzia injection after 7 days at room temperature are not guaranteed anymore. You should never use a syringe of Cimzia that has been left at room temperature for more than 7 days or exposed to temperatures over 77°F (25°C) even temporarily.
These rigorous storage recommendations can make traveling with Cimzia challenging and stressful. You will need to use a medical-grade travel cooler to keep your Cimzia syringes refrigerated or protected from the heat while not at home.
The Best Travel Cooler for Cimzia
Traveling with chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease or diabetes that require refrigerated medications is challenging but not impossible.
After the initial doses have been administered, the maintenance regimen for Cimzia is generally one injection every two other weeks or one injection every 4 weeks.
If your next injection comes up while you are away from home, you must organize and equip yourself to keep your Cimzia syringes refrigerated (if more than 7 days) or at least protected from the outside heat (if less than 7 days).
Related article: 5 Great Tips for traveling with Psoriatic and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Related article: 10 Useful tips for traveling with Crohn’s Disease and IBD
4AllFamily’s medical travel coolers
4AllFamily offers medical-grade portable fridges for travelers who need to keep their medicines refrigerated in any situation. Our product line includes a medical-grade cooler for everyone's own lifestyle and preferences.
Whether you're a backpacker, a road tripper, a museum addict, a beach lover, or a business class traveler, we've made it so you can find the most convenient refrigerating solution for your valuable medication.
Our best performing travel fridge for medications can keep your Cimzia syringes refrigerated between 36°F and 46°F (2°C - 8°C) for up to 52 hours with biogel packs and forever when plugged into a power source (when the outside temperature is at 86°F / 30°C). It can hold numerous syringes of Cimzia, yet it’s lightweight and easily portable.
Most of our cooling cases can work either with biogel packs or power. The biogel pack cooling method allows you to keep your medication cold even in situations where you don’t have access to electricity. It’s ideal for airplane flights, hiking trips, camping, or beach days for example.
On the contrary, the power cooling method requires electricity to function. But our USB and car cigarette lighter adapters make it compatible with pretty much any power source you can think of such as household power, your car, a travel power bank, or even a portable solar panel for example.
All our medical coolers are TSA-approved so you can board the plane with them and enjoy the peace of mind that your Cimzia syringes are safe and at the perfect temperature.
If you doubt which of our products would be best suited for you, please do not hesitate to contact us. We'd be glad to advise you!
More about traveling with refrigerated medications
Traveling with drugs that need refrigeration might stress you out and seem nerve-wracking, but with a good organization and a reliable cooler, you’ll be just fine!
Cimzia isn’t the only medicine that’s sensitive to heat. Insulin, eye drops, antibiotics, growth hormones, EpiPen, migraine injections, vaccines, and numerous other injectable medicines need to be kept refrigerated or protected from the outside heat. It means that millions of people travel with refrigerated meds all year round.
Here are a few tips to make sure your refrigerated medications are safe and don’t spoil during your travels:
- Use a medical-grade travel cooler
- Always keep your meds in the shade
- Avoid direct sunlight
- Use a thermometer to keep track of the temperature
- Pack your medication properly and keep the original containers
- If you’re flying, never pack your meds in the checked luggage. Keep them in the carry-on with you.
Related article: How to travel with refrigerated medications?
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