Furious

Novolog is supposed to be refrigerated until opened for use.

Pharmacy techs are supposed to be educated.

I just spent twenty minutes watching the pharmacy tech at my HMO cradling my Novolog pens AGAINST HER CHEST with her arm wrapped around the boxes while she scanned labels and typed things into the computer and walked away and walked back, all the time holding my SUPPOSED 90 DAY SUPPLY against her heaving, sweaty bosom, with her big, hot arm – warming it all up really, really well with her body heat.

I asked her FOUR TIMES if I could please just put the pens into my insulated bag with the blue ice in the bottom and she wouldn’t let me, apparently because she wasn’t done heating them up for me yet.

I COULD SCREAM.

Who hires these idiots? Why has healthcare in this country gone ROCKETING to the lowest common denominator in the past twenty years?

It says right on the package that the Novolog should be stored between 36 degrees and 46 degrees and that once you raise it to room temp, it has about 28 days of useful life. She was heating up my 90 day supply. HELLO?!?

Her STUPID boss said, “Oh, we mail it all the time.” IDIOTS. IDIOTS. IDIOTS.

Fellow diabetics: THIS is why sometimes your insulin just…stops working. It’s being handled by IDIOTS. And 28 days (or less, depending on the temp range it was subjected to) after being handled by IDIOTS its potency rapidly declines.

Time to write a letter, maybe?

Yes, I will write to them when I’m more calm, Terry.

If I wrote right now, I’m afraid I’d use words unbecoming a lady. ;0)

Insulin survives very well for 3 or 4 days in the post. Really! Insulin for Life receives donations all the time, and we check very carefully before it’s sent overseas for use by people who can’t afford it. Many pharmacies mail insulin and it’s perfectly fine.

While I wouldn’t want anyone cradling anything of mine in their sweaty anythings, believe me, it will be ok, despite the pharmacy’s apparent unprofessional handling of your insulin.

Even out of date insulin that has been refrigerated all along is usually (not always) fine unless it’s cloudy or otherwise not looking normal. The use-by dates are pretty generous.

I’ve used insulin from vials that were out of the fridge for more than 30 days and it was also fine. That may not always be the case, but it was fine for me and it seemed not to have degraded in any way. That 28 or 30 day limit errs on the side of caution. Unless you live in a really hot climate or somewhere that a vial will freeze out of the fridge, again, it’s usually ok.

But dispensing is best done by putting the box on a desk while all the paperwork is completed, not against your sweaty body for 20 minutes. While the insulin will perfectly be ok, the mere fact that someone would do this would gross me out. Eeeeew!

Yeppers my Novolin N can be at shelf temp til opened. But I bring it home and frig it…and when I need my shot it can come down to room temp and then use. I have never had a problem.

I know when I have seen it sitting in the bin at the Pharmacy, I am sure it has been there for days. So not sure what others feel, but this is what I was told.

Thanks for your replies, however, the insert with the Novolog pen says, “Unopened vials can be used until the expiration date on the Novolog label, if the medicine has been stored in a refrigerator.” It also says to keep it between 36 degrees to 46 degrees until you’re ready to use it (and drop the clock on the 28 days). If a person is getting one month’s dose at a time, then this isn’t so important, but a 90 day dose is something else altogether.

Once it reaches room temp, it needs to be used within 28 days or discarded, even if it’s unopened. It loses potency and there’s no way to “tell” if you’re injecting “good” insulin or insulin that is no longer potent, except to note how it behaves in your body. I don’t want to wake up one morning at 500 because my insulin was warmed up by a pharmacy tech who’s clueless.

Sitting on the counter for five minutes is one thing. Hugging it for twenty minutes against a heaving bosom is something else altogether. The surface temperature of the human body can be has high as 92 degrees (axillary temp without a fever).

If I were depending on insulin mailed overseas as my only choice, I’d be deeply grateful and hope for the best, but as I’m paying a boat load of money to my HMO for their services, I expect them to behave. ;0)