What Are Signs That My Insulin Is Not Okay To Use?
Never use insulin if it looks abnormal. Regular, lispro, aspart, and glargine insulins are clear. If you use clear insulin, always check for any floating particles, cloudiness, or change in color. This could be a sign that your insulin is contaminated or has lost its strength. Other types of insulin come as suspensions. This means that the material is not completely dissolved, and you might be able to see solid material floating in liquid. However, it should look uniformly cloudy. If you are using NPH, check that your insulin is free of any large clumps of material. Do not use any insulin if you see chunks of material floating around. These changes could mean that crystals or aggregates are forming and the insulin is spoiled or denatured. This can be caused by too much shaking of the insulin bottle or storing insulin at temperatures that are either too hot or too cold. If you have been instructed to dilute your insulin, use only the diluent recommended by the manufacturer. Properly diluted insulin is good for 2 to 6 weeks stored in the refrigerator. If you find anything wrong with your insulin right after you buy it, return it immediately. If the condition develops later, try to figure out whether you have handled or stored the insulin the wrong way. If not, talk to your pharmacist about a refund or exchange. Continue reading >>
What Does Cloudy Insulin Mean?
Insulin can change when stored, says the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Many factors speed up the change, including warm temperatures and shaking the insulin bottle. That’s why the ADA recommends that you avoid carrying your insulin in your pocket, especially if you are an active person. Keep it in a refrigerator, cupboard, purse, briefcase or backpack, and protect it from heat and motion. If regular insulin becomes cloudy, throw it away, says the ADA. It has lost its effectiveness, and won’t keep your blood sugar from getting too high. If your insulin is a mix of regular and NPH or ultralente insulins, you may be getting NPH or ultralente in the bottle of regular insulin. This, too, will make it cloudy. If in doubt, discard the old bottle and replace it with a new one. Reprinted from 101 Tips for Improving Your Blood Sugar by the University of New Mexico Diabetes Care Team. Copyright by the American Diabetes Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Play Video Play Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% Remaining Time -0:00 This is a modal window. Foreground --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Opaque Background --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Window --- White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan --- Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Font Size 50% 75% 100% 125% 150% 175% 200% 300% 400% Text Edge Style None Raised Depressed Uniform Dropshadow Font Family Default Monospace Serif Proportional Serif Monospace Sans-Serif Proportional Sans-Serif Casual Script Small Caps Defaults Done Connect with Us Get more healthy food for thought – check out our posts on Health Bistro and Lifescript TV videos on YouTube. Plus, join the fun and conversation on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Continue reading >>
Bad Insulin: When To Toss The Vial
Recently, the question was asked: "Does anyone have any tricks for knowing when it’s time to toss a vial of insulin?" The writer was concerned about whether a vial contains bad insulin - that is, insulin that has a diminished ability to decrease blood sugar levels compared to what was expected. There are lots of discussions on the Internet about how to identify bad insulin, so I’ll focus on what to do with the insulin and the vial when bad insulin is suspected. I’d like to point out that there are two different categories of what to do with bad insulin: First, contacting the manufacturer or your pharmacy about returning suspected bad insulin, and second, deciding to discard a vial of partially-used insulin. _Contacting the manufacturer or pharmacy: _ For many insulin products, the liquid that contains insulin should be clear and colorless. Therefore, if you open a box of this kind of insulin, and find that the liquid in the vial is discolored, or that the liquid has particles floating in it, there’s something wrong. In such a case, the insulin should not be used, and the manufacturer should be notified. They will want to take back the vial and test it, and they will arrange for you to get a replacement vial. For example, one label states "Only use XXX that is clear and colorless. If your XXX is cloudy or slightly colored, return it to your pharmacy for a replacement." If you are using a type of insulin that is naturally cloudy (such as NPH), you might find small white clumps that sank to the bottom of the bottle, or a white coating or “frosting” on the inside wall of the glass vial. Again, the insulin should not be used, and arrangements made to return the vial for replacement. There’s another circumstance about bad insulin that might occur, and doesn’t Continue reading >>