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HomeFactsDo Insulin Pens Need To Be Refrigerated

Do Insulin Pens Need To Be Refrigerated

Why Is Using Expired Insulin Risky

Storing your insulin pen

Depending on how much insulin you need with each dose, you may still have insulin left in your pen by the time you reach its expiration date. And while it might seem wasteful to throw out unused insulin, its important to do so because expired insulin can actually do you more harm than good.

The effectiveness of expired insulin is hard to predict. Using insulin past the manufacturers expiration date can cause your blood glucose to be higher than expected if you stick to the same dosing youve been using all along.

High blood sugar can cause symptoms like thirst, fatigue, blurry vision and a frequent need to urinate. If your blood sugar is extremely high, you may even feel nauseous and faint. And underlying all of these symptoms is the potential for organ damage with uncontrolled diabetes.

There Are Some Very Simple Products To Help Protect Your Insulin

The Frio Pack is one of the simplest and most affordable storage products to keep your insulin cool in hot environments. The basic model costs $22.99, and requires zero refrigeration. Instead, its a unique technology that is activated by immersing the pack in water for a few minutes. Give it a quick towel-dry, put your insulin inside, and off you go. You can reactivate it as often as you need to.

When Unused Or Unopened

Unused NovoLog Mix 70/30 FlexPen should be refrigerated between 36° to 46°F until the expiration date.

When refrigerating, make sure its not directly adjacent to the refrigerator cooling element and never store it in the freezer. This can potentially freeze the medication, and its never advised to freeze insulin or use medication that is frozen.

Unused NovoLog Mix 70/30 FlexPen can be stored at room temperature below 86°F for a period of 14 days.

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Be Careful When Traveling By Plane

Never, never, never put your insulin in a suitcase that is going to be checked and stored in the luggage section of the airplane. It can be really hot or really cold in that part of the plane, and youll arrive at your destination with a batch of useless insulin. Always keep all the insulin youre traveling with in your carry-on.

Response From Eli Lilly

Why Do Insulin Pens Need To Be Refrigerated

We appreciate the opportunity to respond to Dr. Grajowers letter concerning in-use dating of insulin products manufactured by Eli Lilly. There are many issues affecting recommendations for storing insulin, and the labeling is controlled by global regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Considering the large number of factors that go into these recommendations, it is not surprising that there may be confusion about insulin potency during use.

When unopened vials, cartridges, or prefilled insulin pens are stored at the recommended temperatures , insulin may be used until the expiration date printed on the insulin container or carton. At expiry, regulatory requirements state that the insulin product must retain at least 95% of its labeled potency.

However, once an insulin product is in use, the recommended durations of in-use differ depending on the particular formulation of insulin , its primary container , the ambient storage conditions , and regulatory requirements.

Patients should not use insulins that have changed in appearance due to heat exposure or freezing. Freezing will cause modified insulins to resuspend improperly after thawing, reducing the accuracy of dosing.

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Things That Damage Insulin

There are two things that insulin should be protected from at all times extreme heat and extreme cold. Both ends of the spectrum will damage insulin. All insulin manufacturers and the FDA warn that if insulin is frozen, it should be discarded and replaced. Simply thawing it out wont fix the problem.

The other end of the spectrum is extreme heat. According to, unopened insulin should be stored in the refrigerator, between 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit. Once opened, insulin vials should be kept in the refrigerator or at controlled room temperature and used within 1428 days . Opened insulin pens should not be stored in the refrigerator, but should instead be stored at controlled room temperature and used within 728 days .

If insulin is exposed to extreme heat, it should be thrown out.

Insulin Kept Improperly For 25 Hours Per Day

Insulin needs to be stored in a refrigerator at a temperature around 28°C in order for it to be effective. If carried in a pen or vial, it must be stored around 230°C .

Dr. Braune and her colleagues examined the temperature at which insulin was stored in domestic fridges and carried around by 388 people with diabetes living in the U.S. and European Union.

They installed temperature sensors next to the volunteers home fridges or in their diabetes bags. These sensors took measurements automatically every 3 minutes, or 480 times per day, for a period of 49 days.

The measurements were sent to a database though an app. Overall, the analysis comprised 400 temperature logs, 79 percent of which fell outside of the temperature guidelines.

The analysis found that 11 percent of the time or 2 hours and 34 minutes each day the insulin was stored in the fridge at improper temperatures. Carried insulin fell outside of recommendations only 8 minutes per day.

Freezing was also a significant problem, with sensors detecting temperatures below 0°C around 17 percent of the time, or 3 hours per month.

Dr. Braune comments on the findings, saying, Many people with diabetes are unwittingly storing their insulin wrong because of fluctuating temperatures in domestic refrigerators.

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How Do You Keep Insulin Cold When Traveling

Being a diabetic doesn’t make travel easier. Keeping insulin cool is not always an easy task. There are various ways of keeping your insulin and diabetes supplies cold and protected while traveling. It all depends on the length of travel and the conditions you are traveling in. Thanks to the invention of an insulin cooler and ice packs, it becomes easier to keep insulin cool during your trip. Below I listed a few of the options to keep your medication cool and protected.

How Refrigerating Conditions Differ For Different Insulin Types

Insulin pens and injections – learn how to do it correctly

Its important to remember that these refrigerating temperatures will vary depending on different factors like brand, type, and even whether or not insulin is in use or not.

As a good example, an unopened disposable insulin pen can be kept outside at room temperature below 86 degrees Fahrenheit for a maximum of 4 weeks. And when refrigerating, it has to be kept between 35.6 and 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit until expiry.

An opened disposable insulin pen will last for only four weeks maximum regardless of the temperature it is stored in. So, its important to remember that merely refrigerating will not make insulin more effective or last longer.

When it comes to types, its said that rapid-acting insulins spoil faster than the regular insulins. For example, rapid-acting insulin, like Humalog and spoil more quickly than regular and NPH insulins. Its always recommended to keep these insulins under refrigeration from the start or as early as possible. As always, if in any doubt, consult your doctor.

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Insulin Pens For Diabetes

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 manage your diabetes.

Insulin pens dont eliminate the need to poke yourself with a needle. They simply make measuring and delivering your insulin less complicated.

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.

Does Nph Insulin Need To Be Refrigerated

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Similarly, you may ask, do you refrigerate NPH insulin?

Store unopened containers in a refrigerator. Do not freeze. Do not use if it has been frozen. If an unopened container has been stored at room temperature, be sure you know how long you can leave insulin NPH and insulin regular at room temperature before you need to throw it away.

Also, how do you store NPH insulin? Storage guidelines

  • Keep your insulin away from heat and light.
  • Never let your insulin freeze.
  • Keep unused bottles, cartridges, and pens of insulin in the refrigerator .
  • Keep insulin cartridges and pens that you’re currently using at room temperature
  • Also question is, how long can NPH insulin be unrefrigerated?

    Opened vials, whether or not refrigerated, must be used within 28 days. They must be discarded if not used within 28 days. If refrigeration is not possible, the open vial in use can be kept unrefrigerated for up to 28 days in a place away from direct heat and light, as long as the temperature is not > 86°F .

    Does Insulin go bad if not refrigerated?

    Insulin that is not in use should be stored in the refrigerator. If refrigeration is not possible, it can be kept at room temperature for 28 days. In use cartridges should be kept at room temperature and SHOULD NOT be kept in the refrigerator. Insulin has a ‘use by’ date as well as an expiry date.

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    Hemophilia And Rare Bleeding Disorders

    Prior to reconstitution, store NovoSeven® RT and histidine diluent between 36ºF-77°F . Unreconstituted NovoSeven® RT stored between 36ºF-77°F will retain biologic activity until the expiration date specified on the package label. NovoSeven® RT should not be used after the expiration date. Exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided. Do not freeze NovoSeven® RT or histidine diluent.

    Reconstituted NovoSeven® RT may be stored either at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 3 hours. Administration should take place immediately or within 3 hours after dissolution and any unused solution should be discarded. As indicated in the prescribing information, Novo Nordisk recommends that reconstituted NovoSeven® RT be discarded after 3 hours.

    Prior to reconstitution, Novoeight® and diluent can be stored between 36ºF-46°F for up to 30 months from the date of manufacture until the expiration date stated on the label. Within the 30-month period, Novoeight® may also be stored at room temperature not to exceed 86°F for up to 12 months or up to 104°F for no longer than 3 months.

    If Novoeight® is stored at room temperature, record the date the product was removed from the refrigerator in the space provided on the outer carton. At the end of the 12-month period, immediately use the product or discard it. Do not return Novoeight® to the refrigerator.




  • Ozempic® Prescribing Information. Plainsboro, NJ: Novo Nordisk.
  • Why Are Mini Fridges A Necessity For People With Diabetes

    Do Novolog Pens Need To Be Refrigerated?

    Diabetes is one of the biggest health problems facing the United States, with over 29 million cases and over one million diagnosed every single year.

    Its no wonder that more and more Americans are turning to a better way to store their insulin and protect their investment in their health this stuff doesnt come cheap.

    If youre diabetic, an insulin fridge is a necessity: something reliable, with consistent temperatures, and where you can trust thousands of dollars of medicine to not go bad overnight.

    Were going to go over the right temperature to store insulin, why it needs to be refrigerated, and how long it lasts when not stored in a proper refrigerated space.


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    Response From The Ada

    Thank you for asking the ADA to respond to Dr. Grajowers letter. He raises several very important points regarding the storage of insulins and its possible effects on blood glucose control. His specific comments regarding the various insulins and what their manufacturers state regarding storage and product expirations will need to be addressed by the manufacturers themselves. If their guidelines were only evidence based, then they would have that data. I will comment on the general topic of insulin use as regards the guidelines that come from our 2003 Clinical Practice Recommendations. In general, patients are instructed that once opened, an insulin vial need not be refrigerated and can be kept at room temperature for 1 month. Extremes of temperature should be avoided because these can lead to significant changes in insulin action. How long an insulin can be stored while unopened is based on the expiration date.

    Is Insulin Safe If Not Refrigerated

    To ensure that your insulin remains effective, stable and undamaged you should discard your in use insulin after 28days, whether in a vial or cartridge. Insulin that is not in use should be stored in the refrigerator. If refrigeration is not possible, it can be kept at room temperature for 28 days.

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    Does Insulin Need To Be Refrigerated


    Why Insulin Should Be RefrigeratedThink of insulin as a form of meal. If you keep it out for long it’s going to get spoiled. More clearly, what exactly happens within insulin kept outside is that bacteria starts growing. Insulin kept out of the refrigerator will not poison you or even make you sick.

    Likewise, can insulin pens be stored at room temperature? Once you stick a needle in the vial, it is OPEN. OPEN vials can be stored in the fridge or at CONTROLLED room temperature. PEN: Once used for the first time, insulin pens should not be stored in the fridge. Instead, they should be stored at CONTROLLED room temperature.

    Similarly, do insulin pens need to be refrigerated?

    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.

    How do you travel with insulin that needs to be refrigerated?

    To store your insulin properly and keep it cool, you need: Insulated cooler bag. Reusable ice gel packs.How to keep insulin cool while you travel

  • ?
  • Store the refreezable ice gel pack in the pouch compartment.
  • When you arrive at your destination, unopened insulin pens/cartridges/vials should be kept in the fridge.
  • All Insulin Pens And Vials Starting Breaking Down After 28 Days

    Insulin Pens

    As soon as you open a vial or pen of insulin, it has about 28 to 30 days when stored at room temperature before it starts to gradually breakdown even if you continue to store it in the fridge between doses. This doesnt mean you necessarily have to throw out all opened insulin after 28 days but be very mindful of your blood sugars. Many insulin users have shared using insulin past the 28-day mark, but remark that day 45 is when it truly loses its potency.

    As insulin breaks down, it becomes less effective at managing your blood sugar. When this becomes noticeable in your blood sugar, definitely consider swapping that vial or pen out for a new one.

    Many people use a pen or vial completely before the 28-day mark, making this a non-issue.

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    Do Insulin Pens Need To Be Refrigerated

    Similar to vials of insulin, insulin pens do not require constant refrigeration once theyve 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.

    How do you travel with insulin that needs to be refrigerated?

    To store your insulin properly and keep it cool, you need: Insulated cooler bag. Reusable ice gel packs. How to keep insulin cool while you travel

    Insulin Storage And Syringe Safety

    Although manufacturers recommend storing your insulin in the refrigerator, injecting cold insulin can sometimes make the injection more painful. To avoid this, many providers suggest storing the bottle of insulin you are using at room temperature. Insulin kept at room temperature will last approximately one month.

    Remember though, if you buy more than one bottle at a time to save money, store the extra bottles in the refrigerator. Then, take out the bottle ahead of time so it is ready for your next injection.

    Here are some other tips for 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.

    If you use regular, check for particles or discoloration of the insulin. If you use NPH or lente, check for “frosting” or crystals in the insulin on the inside of the bottle or for small particles or clumps in the insulin. If you find any of these in your insulin, do not use it, and return the unopened bottle to the pharmacy for an exchange and/or refund.

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    Does Insulin Go Bad If Not Refrigerated Guide On Insulin Storage

    For those that take insulin, the daily routine is not something you want to be further frustrated by thinking about taking care of your insulin storage. But, its important to ensure insulin is kept at the appropriate temperatures to ensure its effective use. So, do you refrigerate insulin?

    In this article, were going to discuss temperatures that insulin should be stored in, as well as guidelines for different brands and some helpful tips on storage and use.

    Does Insulin Go Bad If Not Refrigerated? As a general rule, insulin should be refrigerated. However, insulin can be kept at room temperature, meaning not in the refrigerator for an approximate of 28-30 days. Up to a maximum of one month, insulin should be refrigerated at a temperature between 36 degrees and 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Insulin has significant usage in the USA because of the increasing rate of diabetes. Because of this, appropriate insulin usage and storage has always been a concern for many.

    First of all, insulin is sensitive to temperatures that are too high or low. So, its always recommended to store all the insulin supplies in the refrigerator as a habit. Apart from that, if youre here to look for information on why insulin needs to be refrigerated and other What Ifs, then read on.

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