Floating particles like tiny fibers in Novolog vial

Hey guys,

I noticed today that my insulin in the vial was not clear like water…which I was told it should look like. Instead there were little floating particles like tiny fibers in the Novolog vial. I usually do not inspect my insulin so closely but since I have not been feeling well lately, I am searching for anything that could be causing the fatigue etc.

Anyway, has anyone else seen floating particles in their insulin vial? Just curious what it could be…a bacteria? Strange. I’m just wondering how often this happens to others. Thanks!

While it is unlikely that this represents bacterial contamination, you should not use this insulin. Most likely this is flocculaiton and is caused by aggregation or clumping of the active protein. It can be caused by a number of things, but at any rate you should replace it. If the vial is new, I would call your supplier - pharmacy, PBM, whatever and ask fror a replacement. Anytime insulin turns cloudy or throws particles, it is better to discard it.

It sounds like some of the insulin has dropped out of the solution - has the vial been exposed to heat? How long have you been using it? If the particles are tiny, and you haven’t noticed a change in your blood sugars, I would just keep an eye on it. However, if they aren’t very tiny, I’d go to a back up vial.

I definitely wouldn’t inject anything into my body that had unknown particles floating in it! I would go to a new vial and/or ask for a replacement from your supplier.

When mixing two different types ofinsulin, clouding may occur. However, most immediate-release insulins are clear. This is an excerpt for the label of NovoLog, but there is similar language in most FDA-approved labels:

Only use NovoLog® if it appears clear and colorless. There may be
air bubbles. This is normal. If it looks cloudy, thickened, or colored,
or if it contains solid particles do not use it and call Novo Nordisk

Thanks for the feed back - I started a new vial and its clear as water. I called Novo Nordisk and they are great…they will send me paperwork to get my money back for the bad vial and they are sending me a postage paid envelope to send the bad vial back to them so they can determine what the floaters are. Nice customer service…that always makes the day brighter!

Great to hear!

Two quick points -

    • It is hot everywhere and heat effects insulin - make sure it is kept cool and
  1. It cold be bacteria - especially if you happened to use any alcohol swabs that where manufactured by Triad - the manufacture that the FDA closed down. They make MOST of the alcohol swabs if the US - including those for Walmart, CVS, RiteAid, and many others. This is a very serious possibility, and I too would not use the insulin.