Expired Insulin?

Hi all

I have heard people say that opened insulin expires after 28 days. I use pens, Lantus and Apidra. Do you all hold strictly to that 28 days. Do you toss your insulin after that? Does it ever lose strength sooner than that? I wrote next week down on my calendar for 28 days but noticed my numbers are higher than usual today. I’ll see what happens tomorrow but just thought I’d ask you experienced people what you do.

I really wouldnt know, I am on lantus as well and I don’t even make it though 28 days before I start a new pen, so I can’t really say though when I asked the pharmasist he did say that 30 days would be alright, but that 28 was the safe deal.

Hey Zoe,

It depends on the insulin. Lantus starts losing potency & is kaput by the 28th day. It could lose potency sooner, but you’re right that one day of higher numbers isn’t enough of an indicator. My rule is: when in doubt, throw it out. One of the reasons I like Levemir better is that it lasts 5-6 weeks. It may even last longer, but I don’t want to experiment past 6 weeks.

I’ve used Apidra for 32-35 days once opened.

Brand-new vials or pens are the most potent.

Even though it’s not stated as necessary, I keep my insulin refrigerated or in a Frio wallet all the time.

It really depends on where it is while it’s in use and out of the fridge. Left in a hot car, maybe will go off sooner. But most insulins these days are pretty stable and stay potent for the entire 28 day use-by (and beyond).

I’ve had situations when after 14 days, I’ve ditched the vial thinking it was off, and opened a new one and got better BGLs. That’s just my experience and really it might not have been the insulin at all. I’ve also used insulin that was way out of date (a different problem) and it was fine, although I’d never advise anyone to do that!

If you have higher BGLs, and you can’t find any other cause, open another one and see if that makes a difference. There are lots of reasons your numbers can be higher. I can attest to days, when under tight control, my BGLs went haywire for no discernible reason.

Thanks guys. I’m going to see how I do today (I take my Lantus at night) and then try opening up another one and see how it goes. I think now that I’m more stable I’m in denial about random surges in blood sugar, which considering that I’m Type 1.5 is probably overly optimistic…lol