How to Safely Store Equine Medications

Updated May 5, 2023
tack room equine medication storage cabinet

Prescription medications are often kept in all sorts of interesting ways in barns and homes - some of which are appropriate and others not. Pharmaceuticals for horses are most stable in dry, cool places away from light, which fits the description of most tack rooms. 

Be sure to read the storage recommendation on the medicine’s label to learn how to store your horse’s medication properly. The same medicine in a different formulation will need unique storage. See below for safe storage for a few common equine medications: 

Banamine (Flunixin meglumine) Storage

  • Banamine Injectable Solution: Store between 36º - 86º F
  • Banamine Paste: Store below 77º F

Butazolidine “Bute” Storage

  • Phenylbutazone Injection: Store in a refrigerator between 36º – 46º F
  • Phenylbutazone Paste: Store at 59º – 86º F

Joint Medication Storage

  • Adequan i.m. Multi-Dose: Store at 68º – 77º F
  • Legend Injectable Solution: Do not store above 104º F.

Secure Storage

Having a secure, dry storage area for your horse’s medicine is highly recommended, especially in a boarding facility. Many boarding facilities will have a locked storage cabinet for medications to ensure they are used appropriately and kept out of the hands of children and other horse owners. Make sure the facility owner and manager know how to unlock the cabinet in an emergency.

Keeping Equine Medications at the Right Temperature

  • Temperature is a critical element of storing equine medications. Avoid storing medicines in vehicles, trailers, or open in tack rooms. These areas experience temperature fluctuations which are harmful to the medication. 
  • Vaccines need to be kept in a refrigerator until the vaccine is administered.  The FDA recommends refrigerators be kept between 33º F and 40º F. 
  • Miniature refrigerators are very popular due to their small size, but do not maintain a reliable temperature and should be avoided for equine medication storage.   The FDA recommends keeping a thermometer in your refrigerator or tack room to ensure it stays at the correct temperature. Using a thermometer, you can confirm that the storage location gets neither too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. 

When to Discard Equine Medications

If a medication, especially an injectable drug, looks cloudy, discolored, or forms crystals or solids, it should be discarded. As always, ask your veterinarian questions about storing your horse’s medications safely when in doubt.

The information provided in the Horsemanship Library is based solely on our SmartPak authors' opinions. SmartPak strongly encourages you to consult your veterinarian or equine professionals regarding specific questions about your horse's health, care, or training. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or behavior and is purely educational.