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 >>
Keeping Insulin Cool
Tweet Firstly, check if you do need to keep your insulin cool. While it’s best to be prepared, insulin can handle short trips when not refrigerated. It’s the exposure to extremes of heat that can deactivate it. Keep insulin in hand luggage if you are taking a plane - if it goes in the cargo hold with the luggage it might freeze which will deactivate it. Cool on long journeys It’s fine in the cabin where it does not need to be refrigerated. If you are going on a long, hot car journey or to a very hot country then you might want to look at ways to keep the insulin protected. Methods to protect your insulin Below is a selection of bags, wallets, fridges and travel friendly accessories that will allow you to keep your insulin cool on the move. In some kitchen shops there are clever lunch boxes with little freezer packs, often used to keep salads cool and fresh and these too would work for keeping insulin safe and cool and you can choose from different sizes as to what would work best for you. Medicool: PenPlus range Medicool has a range of bags that include insulation such as the PenPlus case which can protect valuable supplies. Useful for men, women, children, seniors, and medical personnel it can be attached to a belt, placed inside a purse or briefcase, or carried by its detachable hand strap. It can be used for either insulin pens or those who use insulin vials and injections keeping them cool for hours using a refreezable gel pack. This case can hold up to four vials of insulin or two insulin pens keeping them safely cool for up to 12 hours. Medicool carry case review Frio Wallets and Carry Cases Another brand that focuses on keeping insulin cool is Frio which has a series of simple and convenient cooling wallets. Light and very compact Light and compact, they ar Continue reading >>
Thermometers + Insulin
Sometimes diabetes pushes us to our limits. Sometimes it feels like we are pushing our diabetes tools to their limits. If you’ve ever wondered how long was too long to keep that vial of insulin in your desk drawer at work, or if you’ve accidentally left the pharmacy bag in the front seat of the car overnight (in winter or summer), check out this guide to learn the effects of temperature on insulin. At what temperature should insulin be kept? When keeping insulin in your fridge at home for long-term storage, the MedAngel team recommends storing it on a center shelf. This helps avoid the back of the fridge, where it could freeze, and the door — even though the butter shelf makes for a handy insulin shelf — where insulin can get too warm due to opening and closing. “We recommend storing it in a Tupperware box or airtight container, mostly the center shelf,” says Laura Krämer, a pharmacist at MedAngel. “[Storing it in] a fridge that is used less is even better because opening it frequently changes the temperature. Typically you get quarterly or half-year prescriptions, so you have meds in the fridge for at least three months. It’s important to get that right.” Do I really need to keep a thermometer with my insulin? If you want to know for sure what your fridge is doing to your medications, because as is the case with other aspects of diabetes, knowledge is power. Laura warns, “There’s a temperature monitor in every warehouse, ship, plane, and truck that stores medications. If there is a slight deviation from the norm, the distributor needs to call the manufacturer and consult based on documentation [to determine] if the product is still good for sale. But then, medicines stay at our house and travel with us for months.” Without a thermometer, Laura Continue reading >>
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 >>
How Long Should You Keep Your Open Insulin Vials?
With so many different insulin and insulin-like products out there these days it can be hard to keep track of when your vial should be tossed. Depending on your dose, you may still have insulin left in your vial by the manufacturer-recommended time to throw it away. If this sounds like a familiar situation, know that it is important to throw away your vial regardless of whether you have any leftover. You might think it is wasteful to throw out what you may consider “perfectly good insulin,” but using the medication past the recommended time can actually do you more harm than good. You may notice that if you continue to use insulin from a vial past the manufacturers discard date, your blood glucose could be higher or a greater dose may be needed to achieve a normal blood glucose reading. There are several different types of insulin and a variety of other injectable diabetes medications, and the recommendations for how long they keep varies. For a quick overview, the different categories of insulin are: Rapid-acting Short-acting (regular) Intermediate-acting Long-acting So how long can you hold on to your insulin after you start using a vial? Rapid-acting insulin Short-acting insulin Humulin R: use within 31 days after puncturing vial Humulin R U-500 concentrated: use within 31 days after puncturing vial Intermediate-acting insulin Long-acting insulin Other injectable diabetes medications in vials A glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is a preferred screening test for diabetes. Done easily with a fingerstick in your physician’s office, it eliminates the need for fasting (not eating) prior to the test. The diagnosis of diabetes is confirmed if two consecutive A1c levels are greater than or equal to 6.5. What is the HbA1c? Red blood cells are permeable to glucose (sugar)—so Continue reading >>
NovoLog® Storage Home or Away, NovoLog® Goes With You NovoLog® lasts up to 28 days without refrigeration after first use, so it can be taken almost anywhere. Once in use, NovoLog® FlexPen® must be kept at room temperature below 86°F for up to 28 days. Its ability to stand up to heat is equal to, or better than, other major fast-acting insulin brands. Here is a quick guide to NovoLog® storage: Storage for NovoLog® FlexPen® 3 mL PenFill® cartridge,a and 10mL vial: Temperature Use up to In useb,c (opened) Room temperature: up to 86°F 28 days Not in use (unopened) Room temperature: up to 86°F 28 days Not in use (unopened) Refrigerated: 36°F to 46°F Expiration date a3 mL PenFill® cartridge is available for NovoPen Echo®. bFlexPen® and PenFill® cartridges in use (opened) must NOT be stored in the refrigerator. cIn use vials (opened) may be stored in the refrigerator. Do's: Don'ts: Do store unused NovoLog® in a refrigerator between 36° to 46°F (2° and 8°C) Don’t store NovoLog® in the freezer or directly adjacent to the refrigerator cooling element Don’t freeze NovoLog® or use NovoLog® if it has been frozen Don’t draw NovoLog® into a syringe and store for later use Do keep vials at temperatures below 86°F (30°C) for up to 28 days after initial use. Opened vials may be refrigerated Do use unpunctured vials until the expiration date printed on the label if they are stored in a refrigerator Do keep unused vials in the carton so they will stay clean and protected from light Don’t expose vials to excessive heat or light Do keep NovoLog® FlexPen® at temperatures below 86°F (30°C) for up to 28 days once it is punctured Don’t store in use NovoLog® FlexPen® in the refrigerator Do keep NovoLog® FlexPen® and all PenFill® cartridges away from Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
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Managing diabetes often requires taking insulin shots throughout the day. Insulin delivery systems such as insulin pens can make giving insulin shots much easier. If you currently use a vial and syringe to deliver your insulin, switching to an insulin pen may make it easier to take your insulin and increase your compliance. Insulin pens do not eliminate your need to poke yourself with a needle. They simply make measuring and delivering your insulin easier. Insulin pens deliver anywhere from .5 to 80 units of insulin at a time. They can deliver insulin in increments of one-half unit, one unit, or two units. The maximum dose and the incremental amount vary among pens. The amount of total insulin units in the cartridges vary as well. The pens come in two basic forms: disposable and reusable. A disposable insulin pen contains a prefilled cartridge, and the entire pen is thrown away when the cartridge is empty. Reusable pens allow you to replace the insulin cartridge when it’s empty. The insulin pen you use depends on the type of insulin you require, the number of units you typically need per insulin shot, and the available pens for that insulin type. The needles on insulin pens come in different lengths and thicknesses, and most fit on all of the available insulin pens. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to decide which pen is best for you. Similar to vials of insulin, insulin pens do not require constant refrigeration once they’ve been opened. Insulin pens only require refrigeration before their first use. After its initial use, simply keep your insulin pen out of direct sunlight and in a room-temperature setting. Insulin pens typically stay good for 7 to 28 days after the initial use, depending on the type of insulin they contain. However, if the expiration da Continue reading >>
How To Store Insulin
Insulin is measured in units. Most bottles, cartridges, and pens of insulin sold in the United States have 100 units of insulin per milliliter of fluid and are labeled U-100. Different strengths, like U-500, also are available in the U.S. Different strengths are used in other countries. It's important to know the type of insulin you take and whether it should appear cloudy or clear. When you prepare to use a bottle, cartridge, or pen, check the insulin: NPH should look uniformly cloudy after you gently roll the bottle or pen. All other insulin should look clear. If your insulin doesn't look right, don't use it. Take it back to your pharmacy. Don't shake your insulin. Gently roll it. Don't toss it around or handle it roughly. If you don't handle your insulin correctly, it's more likely to clump or frost. Don't use the insulin if you can see clumps after you gently roll the bottle or pen, or if the sides look frosted. Storage Guidelines Take steps to store your insulin correctly, or it might not work. Keep your insulin away from heat and light. Any insulin that you don't store in the refrigerator should be kept as cool as possible (between 56°F and 80°F.) Never let your insulin freeze. If your insulin freezes, don't use it, even after it's thawed. Keep unused bottles, cartridges, and pens of insulin in the refrigerator (between 36°F and 46°F). If stored properly, these will be good until the expiration date listed on the insulin. Keep insulin cartridges and pens that you're currently using at room temperature (between 56°F and 80°F.) Expiration Guidelines An open insulin bottle, cartridge, or pen is only good for a limited time. Follow these guidelines for discarding insulin: Glargine (Lantus): Discard opened bottles, pens, and cartridges 28 days after you've starte Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
What's The Best Way To Store Insulin?
The best way to store insulin depends on when you intend to use it. You often buy more than one bottle at a time, and how you store it will depend on when you are going to use it and where you keep it. Here are the rules of thumb and how to store insulin safely. Store the Insulin You're Currently Using at Room Temperature The insulin you are currently using on a daily basis should be kept at room temperature. Not only is room temperature insulin more comfortable to inject, but it remains stable and potent for at least 28 days unless it is exposed to temperatures that exceed 86 F or 30 C or temperatures that go below 36 F or 2C. If you anticipate room temperatures to be outside that range, it’s best to keep the insulin in the refrigerator. But be aware of where you are keeping your insulin, because room temperature may be different in different areas of your "room." Keep your insulin out of direct sunlight. Shield it in an area where it won't get sun through a window, whether it is open or closed. Don't keep your insulin next to a heater or heating vent as that area may reach the temperature danger zone. Your car is a hazard area for "room temperature." It can get too cold in winter weather and freeze your insulin. On a sunny day, even in cool weather, a car can heat up to above the danger zone. Never store your insulin in your glove compartment or anywhere in your car. Store Insulin for Future Use in the Refrigerator Insulin intended for future use should be kept in a refrigerator at a temperature between 36 to 46 F (2.2 - 7.8C). This includes any unused, prefilled pens and insulin cartridges. But you do not want to store it any colder or the insulin will freeze and become unusable. Do Not Allow Insulin to Freeze Frozen insulin is not usable. Be sure your refrigerator Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>