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How Long Can Humalog Stay Out Of Fridge

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How Long Does Insulin Last Once It's Been Opened?

A fellow caregiver asked... My mother has type 2 diabetes and needs help with her insulin injections. After I open a new bottle, how long does insulin last for, how should I store it, and how do I know whether it's gone bad? Expert Answers As a general rule, most bottles of insulin are good for 28 days once they're opened. Of course, how quickly a person goes through a vial is highly individual. Some may go through a bottle in a week or two. Others, on a lower dosage, may not use all the insulin within four weeks. But the drug's stability and potency is only guaranteed for 28 days. Opened insulin pens typically last 14 days, though some last only 10 days. If you're uncertain, check with your mother's pharmacist to find out how long her insulin should last. When either of you opens a new vial or pen, make a note on the calendar -- and note the date when you'll need to throw out any remaining insulin. It's best to store an opened bottle of insulin at room temperature, even though manufacturers often recommend refrigeration for opened containers. It's usually less painful to inject insulin when it's at room temperature than when it's cold. Store unopened insulin vials and pen cartridg Continue reading >>

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  1. GoRachel1989

    I bought two brand new vials of Humulin R on Friday afternoon, and forgot to put it in the refrigerator right away... so they ended up lying in a paper bag on my bed (away from direct sunlight, though) until Saturday morning, a few hours before dawn. When I realized what I had done, I refrigerated them immediately. Would my insulin have gone bad in that space of time? Has anyone here experienced leaving an unopened vial unrefrigerated for any period of time? What happened to it?
    I seriously hope those two vials don't go to waste because of all this... this disease is frustrating enough.

  2. noblehead

    Unrefrigerated insulin needs to be used up within 4 weeks.

  3. GoRachel1989

    noblehead said: ↑
    Unrefrigerated insulin needs to be used up within 4 weeks. Regardless of whether it was opened or not? The vials are unopened - the boxes haven't even been opened yet.
    What about the length of time that it was unrefrigerated? Would that not matter?
    I will not be using one of those unopened vials until the next month... and the other one won't be used until the following month.

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