diabetestalk.net

Do You Keep Insulin In The Fridge?

Best Spot In The Fridge For Storing Insulin

Best Spot In The Fridge For Storing Insulin

The most convenient places in a fridge to store our stock of insulin may not be the best places. We tend to think our refrigerators maintain a mostly consistent temperature throughout, but the average temperature over time can be 3 to 10 degrees (or more) above or below the thermostat setting—in different areas of the fridge. The temperature in our refrigerator also fluctuates in cooling cycles, so every few hours - at the peak and valley of each cycle - the fridge temperature might briefly drop below or rise above what we would expect. Tips For Fridge Storage It makes sense, then, to store insulin in the fridge where, and how it will most likely maintain its effectiveness: Least Used. If you have more than one refrigerator in your home, or workplace, consider storing your insulin in the one that’s used (opened and closed) least often. Best Spot. The part of the fridge most consistent with the thermostat setting is the center, or middle shelf of the refrigerator. Although many people like the convenience of storing items in the door’s butter compartment, it’s typically positioned at the top of the fridge door. This area is often a few degrees warmer than the recommended upper limit (46°F / 8°C) for insulin storage. On a colder note, keeping medication pushed into a back corner, especially on a lower shelf, puts it at risk for freezing. The warmest areas of a refrigerator are typically the top shelf, vegetable drawers, and door compartments. The coldest spots are the lowest shelf, and the refrigerator’s back and side walls. Fluctuation Protection. Be aware that cooling cycle fluctuations in a refrigerator may make the warmest and coldest areas even more unsuitable for insulin, since the cycle’s peaks and valleys can be unexpectedly high or low. To protect m Continue reading >>

Ask D'mine: Insulin On The Rocks

Ask D'mine: Insulin On The Rocks

Got questions about navigating life with diabetes? Ask D'Mine! Our weekly advice column, that is — hosted by veteran type 1, diabetes author and educator Wil Dubois. This week, Wil experiments with his home freezer after getting a question about how cold insulin can get before it proves unusable. Read on: you might just get chills hearing what he discovered! {Got your own questions? Email us at [email protected]} Mary, type 1 from North Dakota, asks: Lots has been written about insulin and heat, but what about insulin and cold? How cold can insulin get and still be "OK?" I know we store it in the fridge, but can it freeze? Well, of course it can, but is it more like water, or more like anti-freeze? How cold does it need to get before it freezes solid? If it did get frozen, can you thaw it back out and still use it? [email protected] D'Mine answers: For the sake of science, I put the last dredges of a vial of NovoLog into my kitchen freezer last night. Now, there wasn't that much left, maybe only 20 units or so, but this morning I was rewarded with Novo-ice in my Novolog vial. How cold is my freezer? I have no idea. It's a garden-variety Kenmore. It will make ice cubes and turn Häagen-Dazs into a solid rock, while leaving my pecans soft enough to eat right out of the freezer. So it's pretty much just like every other freezer in the country. My son Rio chilled a glass of wine in the freezer for me this summer, but I got home late and the vino was about half frozen. On the other hand, we chilled some whiskey shots overnight with no whiskey-ice at all. So from all this comparative science, we can safely infer that the freezing point of insulin is much closer to that of water than it is to wine (typically 13.5% alcohol) or to whiskey (typically 40% alcohol). Therefore the Continue reading >>

How Long Should Insulin Be Used Once A Vial Is Started?

How Long Should Insulin Be Used Once A Vial Is Started?

Editor’s comment: The commentary by Dr. Grajower has such important clinical relevance that responses were invited from the three pharmaceutical companies that supply insulin in the U.S. and the American Diabetes Association, and all of these combined in this commentary. The commenting letter and individual responses were authored separately and are completely independent of each other. Diabetic patients treated with insulin, whether for type 1 or type 2 diabetes, are prone to often unexplained swings in their blood glucose. These swings can vary from dangerously low to persistently high levels. Most diabetic patients, and most physicians, will adjust insulin regimens so as to avoid hypoglycemia at the expense of hyperglycemia. Among the “textbook” reasons for variable glucose responses to any given insulin regimen are 1) site of administration, 2) exercise, 3) bottles not adequately mixed before drawing the insulin (for NPH, Lente, or Ultralente), and 4) duration of treatment with insulin (1). A new insulin was marketed by Aventis Pharmaceuticals about 1 year ago, insulin glargine (Lantus). The manufacturer seemed to stress that patients not use a started bottle of this insulin for >28 days (2). Two patients of mine highlighted this point. L.K. is a 76-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes, diagnosed at 55 years of age, and treated with insulin since age 56. Her insulin regimen was changed to Lantus at night together with Novolog before meals. She monitors her blood glucose four times a day. She used a bottle of Lantus until it ran out; therefore, a bottle lasted for 2 months. Her recent HbA1c was 7.6%. I retrospectively analyzed her home glucose readings by averaging her fasting blood glucose levels for the first 15 days of a new bottle and the last 15 days of tha Continue reading >>

Storing Insulin And Prefilling Syringes - Topic Overview

Storing Insulin And Prefilling Syringes - Topic Overview

Insulin can become damaged and ineffective if it is not stored properly. Unopened insulin that is packaged in small glass bottles (vials) should be stored in the refrigerator. Liquid insulin that is packaged in small cartridges (containing several doses) is more stable. It may be kept unrefrigerated, but it will last longer if it is kept in the refrigerator. These cartridges are used in pen-shaped devices (insulin pens) with attached disposable needles. Powdered insulin cartridges are packaged in blocks of three on cards sealed in foil. Keep unopened foil packages in the refrigerator. After you open a foil package, use the contents within 10 days. And after you tear off and open a block of three, discard any unused insulin after 3 days. Always read the insulin package information that tells the best way to store your insulin. You can keep open bottles with you if you keep them in a dark place. The bottles should not be exposed to temperatures below 36°F (2.2°C) or above 86°F (30°C). Never leave insulin in the sun or in your hot car, because sunlight and heat reduces the strength of the insulin. Avoid shaking insulin bottles and liquid insulin cartridges too much to prevent loss of medicine strength and to prevent clumping, frosting, or particles settling out. Follow the storage information provided by the manufacturer. The first time you use an insulin bottle, write the date on the bottle label. Always store an extra bottle of each type of your insulin in the refrigerator. If you cannot prepare an insulin dose but can give the injection, you may need someone to prepare your insulin dose for you. A family member, friend, or health professional can prefill insulin syringes for you. If you prefill syringes: Store prefilled syringes in the refrigerator with the needle p Continue reading >>

Helpful Hints In The Use Of Insulin

Helpful Hints In The Use Of Insulin

How to store insulin Although manufacturers recommend storing your insulin in the refrigerator, injecting cold insulin can sometimes make the injection more painful. To counter that, you can store the bottle of insulin you are using at room temperature (36-86º) for about one month. Do not keep bottles in a hot place like near a heater or in direct sunlight. Also, do not keep them near ice or in places where the insulin may freeze. If you buy more than one bottle at a time, store the extra bottles in the refrigerator. Then, when needed, take out the bottle ahead of time so it is ready for your next injection. Unopened bottles are good until the expiration date on the box and/or bottle. Do NOT use insulin after it has been kept at room temperature for longer than a month. Also, do not use insulin after the expiration date printed on the bottle. Examine the bottle closely to make sure the insulin looks normal before you draw the insulin into the syringe. Insulin aspart, lispro, regular, or glargine should be clear and not cloudy. Check for particles or discoloration of the insulin. NPH, ultralente, or lente should not be “frosted” or have crystals in the insulin or on the insides of the bottle, or small particles or clumps in the insulin. If you find any of these in your insulin, do NOT use it. Return unopened bottles to the pharmacy for exchange or refund. Syringes Most people use plastic syringes, which are made to use once and then throw away. Some people use a syringe two to three times. If you reuse a syringe, follow the steps below: Flush the syringe with air to prevent the needle from clogging. Do not wipe the needle with alcohol. This removes the Teflon coating. Recap the needle when not in use. Store the syringe at room temperature. Keep the outside of the sy Continue reading >>

Buying And Storing Insulin

Buying And Storing Insulin

In the United States, Regular and NPH insulin types are available without a prescription (as are syringes). All other types of insulin require a prescription for purchase and can be bought at most any pharmacy. Many insurance plans offer a 3-month mail order service you can purchase a 3 month supply of insulin with. This may amount to a time and financial savings regarding your insulin purchases. Unopened insulin needs to be stored in the refrigerator. Once opened, Regular and NPH insulin last approximately two weeks outside of refrigeration (check drug insert for specifics) and the other insulin types last approximately one month outside of refrigeration. In that time, insulin must not get too hot or cold. The American Diabetes Association has tips on storing insulin: Do not store your insulin near extreme heat or extreme cold. Never store insulin in the freezer, direct sunlight, or in the glove compartment of a car. Check the expiration date before using, and don’t use any insulin beyond its expiration date. Examine the bottle closely to make sure the insulin looks normal before you draw the insulin into the syringe. There are products available that help people store insulin while traveling in hot or cold climates. For example, Frio cooling cases keep insulin at the same temperature while out in severe hot or cold conditions. People with diabetes often use these to make sure insulin stays at a safe temperature. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Photo Continue reading >>

Insulin Supplies: 6 Mistakes You Might Be Making | Everyday Health

Insulin Supplies: 6 Mistakes You Might Be Making | Everyday Health

Videos: Eating Smart With Martha McKittrick, RD If youre like most people, youre probably not giving your insulin medication all the proper care it needs. And that could cause an issue, since improperly stored insulin can lose potency, making it less effective at lowering your blood sugar levels , says Shannon Knapp, RN, CDE, the manager of diabetes education at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. In fact, about 25 percent of people who use insulin store it improperly, according to research published in the September 2016 issue of the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome . The study also found that fewer than half of the participants properly mixed their insulin before taking it, and more than 90 percent improperly disposed of their syringes. Are you storing and taking your insulin correctly? Learn more about these and other common insulin mistakes, and ways to avoid them. Mistake No. 1: Losing track of expiration dates. Expired insulin may not control your blood sugar as well as it's supposed to, according to Vanessa Ghaderi, MD , chief of endocrinology at Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center in Harbor City, California. "When insulin expires, it begins to break down, which means it becomes less effective," she explains. Storing unopened insulin in the fridge can help preserve it until its printed expiration date just be sure to keep the vials that will expire first toward the front of your refrigerator shelf so that they're the easiest to access, she suggests. Once opened (i.e., the seal has been punctured), insulin is only good for a limited time. How long can vary depending on the type of insulin you use; it can be as short as 10 days or as many as 56 days. Make sure you know how long the type of insulin you use lasts; ask your pharmacist or another healthcare professi Continue reading >>

How To Store Insulin

How To Store Insulin

If you need to take insulin to manage diabetes, your first concern may be when and how to give yourself injections. But learning how to properly store insulin should also be a priority. That's because insulin is sensitive to changes in temperature and will become useless if not handled properly. "Insulin is a small protein, and as such it can be denatured at a very high or very low temperature," says George Grunberger, MD, chairman of the Grunberger Diabetes Institute in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., a clinical professor of internal medicine and molecular medicine and genetics at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, and vice president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. "Extreme temperatures can destroy it." Some people become so worried about how to store insulin that they allow the medication to rule their lives. "I know people who haven't taken a vacation in 30 years because they don't have a refrigerator in their car," Dr. Grunberger says. But in truth, storing insulin is relatively simple, especially when you understand how to care for it properly. How to Store Insulin In general, store any unopened vials or pens of insulin in a refrigerator to protect the insulin from spoiling. Never store insulin in a freezer because the extreme cold will damage the medication. Be sure to never use insulin that has been frozen, even after it has been thawed. You can store insulin at room temperature once you've opened it for use, as long as you keep it away from direct sunlight and other sources of heat. Some people store opened insulin in a refrigerator, but Grunberger says that creates unnecessary discomfort because injecting cold insulin often stings. Once opened, insulin is good for only about a month before it should be thrown away, whether Continue reading >>

How Do I Store Unopened Insulin Bottles?

How Do I Store Unopened Insulin Bottles?

Store newly purchased, unopened bottles of insulin in the refrigerator in their original carton to keep them clean and protected from light. When you're ready to use a bottle of insulin, you can remove it from the fridge and generally keep it at room temperature (below 86 degrees F) for up to one month. But the sterility and potency of an opened bottle of insulin are affected by the number of insulin injections per day, the volume of insulin remaining in the bottle and exposure to light and agitation. For this reason, it's important to discuss your insulin dosage and storage—and review patient information available on the insulin manufacturer’s website—with the doctor treating your diabetes. You should also check opened bottles of insulin carefully for discoloration or particles. Never store insulin in the freezer or in direct sunlight and always be sure to check the expiration date. By Joyce A. Generali, M.S. FASHP, R.Ph., director of the University of Kansas Drug Information Center and the author of The Pharmacy Technician’s Pocket Drug Reference From our sister publication, Diabetes Focus, Summer 2011 Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at HealthCommunities.com Last Modified: 11 Sep 2015 Continue reading >>

Can Insulin Go Back In The Fridge?

Can Insulin Go Back In The Fridge?

After removing insulin glargine (Lantus) from the refrigerator for use, can it be refrigerated over and over again after having warmed to room temperature, or does this degrade it? Continue reading >>

How To Store Your Insulin

How To Store Your Insulin

Check the expiration date first. Do not use insulin past expiration. Keeping your ‘current’ insulin (i.e., a few days or a week’s supply) at room temperature can help alleviate injection discomfort. Insulin available in vials can usually be stored at room temperature for about a month. Insulin in a pen should be stored at room temperature once in use. Expiration date of insulin pens can vary depending upon the type of insulin. For disposable pens, the entire device is discarded when empty or when expiration date is reached. Store extra insulin (2-3 week supply or more) in the refrigerator. Do not expose insulin to excessive cold (e.g., in a freezer) or heat (e.g., in direct sunlight). Continue reading >>

Insulin Use Tips

Insulin Use Tips

Before each use, take a moment to inspect the insulin prior to drawing it into the syringe; clear insulins should appear not discolored and clear; suspended insulins should be uniform in their cloudiness. [1][2] Do not use the insulin if: The bottle looks frosted. [3][4][5][6][7][8] Clear insulin that looks discolored or has turned cloudy, contains particles or haze. [9] Cloudy insulin that appears yellowish or remains lumpy or clotted after mixing. [10][8] See Insulin problems for more information about "bad" insulin. Damaged Insulin: Insulin that is getting too old, or has been dropped or shaken or mishandled, or exposed to a lot of light or heat, will be less effective than before. Freezing [11] destroys the molecules of ANY insulin; any that has either been frozen or is suspected of having been frozen should not be used. Insulin which has been frozen will not be able to do an effective job of controlling blood glucose. [12] Check for discoloration or floating objects in the insulin -- it may also be contaminated. It's also possible that the new or newer vial from the pharmacy may be flawed. If you've recently started it and are having problems, this might be the case. Taking down the lot number and getting a new vial that has a different batch/lot number should take care of this. Frosted insulin: If insulin is subjected to temperature extremes, such as freezing or overheating, the insulin can precipitate [13] on the vial's walls, giving it a frosty or frosted appearance.[5] Another term used to describe this is flocculation. [7][14] In the photo above, the insulin vial on the right is a visual example of what a frosted vial would look like. You can see the precipitated insulin clinging to the sides of it. The problem seems to be a particular one with R-DNA/GE/GM NPH Continue reading >>

Insulin Pens Are Welcome Back To The Fridge!

Insulin Pens Are Welcome Back To The Fridge!

We all know that unopened insulin must be kept in the refrigerator. But once in use can we put it back in the fridge to protect it from excessive heat? The answer to this simple question is not as easy as one might think. All manufacturers explicitly recommend to ‘Not refrigerate’ insulin pens in use. This guideline that causes confusion among users is now being revoked by one manufacturer. Let’s try to understand the reasoning behind it and what it means for users now. What? I shouldn’t put my insulin pen back in the refrigerator? When it comes to storing medications, it is recommended you follow the leaflet or packaging instructions. For insulin in particular, there are two different situations: storing and in-use. · Before Opening: When insulin is to be stored long-term and has not been opened, keeping it in the fridge ensures it lasts until expiration date. · During Use: Once a vial, a cartridge or a new disposable pen are used for the first time, the insulin can be kept at room temperature. But it needs to be used within weeks. It makes sense: higher temperatures and an open product mean a shorter shelf life. But there is one extra sentence on insulin pens packages, which has caused quite some confusion: Pens in use — ‘Do not refrigerate.’ What does ‘do not refrigerate’ mean for users? Let’s take a trip back to 2003, when the recommendation to not refrigerate opened insulin first appeared. Take Lilly’s Humalog for example, for which the label was first altered 14-years ago: What was the reason behind this? People started to speculate this warning was a result of preventing any kind of temperature extremes from affecting the insulin once it is in use. Many insulin users know from experience that high temperature can lower the effectiveness of Continue reading >>

Tracking Insulin's Health In The Summer Heat

Tracking Insulin's Health In The Summer Heat

Sunscreen: check. Water bottle: check. Beach ball: check. Insulin cooler....? Yep. For those of us who use insulin, summer heat creates an extra level of complexity and worry. The real question we all ask ourselves in the heat of the summer is whether our fun-in-the-sun will cook our insulin and leave us having-not-so-much-fun in an air conditioned ICU unit? There's a whole industry of solutions dedicated to helping us keep our insulin cool, ranging from cooling packs such as the ReliOn and others, to portable fridges, to high tech cooling crystals. Hell, we're even running a Giveaway contest this week in which our readers can win some of these products! With much of the U.S. suffering under a stifling drought-baked summer, the question of just how hot insulin can get is on all our minds. But you have to wonder if these products are serving an important need or just preying on our fears. To find out, we asked the manufacturers themselves, some leading insulin experts, and the American Diabetes Association — and guess what? The answer isn't as clear as you might like. Not Your Grandma's Insulin First, a bit of history: Didn't grandma keep her insulin in the fridge all the time? Well, only if she read the label. The original pork and beef insulin formulations were supposed to be kept cold all the time. As cold insulin stings like hell to inject, the move to being able to keep the newer human insulin and later analogs at room temperature was a great victory (!) for those of us who are human pin cushions. But wait a minute... whose room temperature are we talking about? My father used to get annoyed with me when I'd shovel ice cubes into my glass of red wine. "Wine is supposed to be consumed at room temperature," he'd huff. "Yeah, in the frickin' French Alps,where room te Continue reading >>

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

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 cartridges in the fridge, though, where they should last until their expiration date. Insulin shouldn't be exposed to extreme temperatures, so don't leave it in the car, next to the stove, in the freezer, or in the bathroom. If the bottle freezes, it must be discarded. Two typical signs that insulin has gone bad: poor performance and unusual appearance. If your mother is following her treatment plan and her glucose levels stay stubbornly, inexplicably high, her insulin may have lost its potency. Insulin that's cloudy when it's supposed to be clear or that contains particles, crystals, or small clumps Continue reading >>

More in insulin