How to tell if my insulin froze?

Hello Everyone,

Here I am, new to this group, but with a question.

I'm new to insulin, and I'm traveling. I put an unopened pen cartridge of insulin in the hotel refrigerator last night. Some other items in the fridge are frozen this morning. I've read that it loses its potency if it freezes.

Is there any way to tell whether my insulin also froze?

Thanks for reading this!


Hi Ash24,

Thank you for the information. The unopened insulin cartridge doesn't have any air in it (that I can see) and I didn't know any other way to tell whether it was still liquid. It's my first cartridge. Do you know whether a cartridge will become cloudy or have particulates if it has been frozen?

Thank you!


This reply is too little, too late, but I'll just add my own experience for others who may happen to read this. The same thing happened to me -- the hotel fridge decided to go haywire and freeze everything inside, including my insulin. I know it froze because the cartridge got all cloudy from condensation when I took it out of the fridge (which only happens with an extreme temp difference -- it wasn't hot in the room). If other items froze, I would definitely assume the insulin froze, too.

I complained to the hotel, and they said that the mini fridges are set to adjust to the ambient room temperature. In other words, the internal temperature setting (1-7) is not absolute, but relative. If the temperature in the room changes drastically, as it did when I left the window open overnight, the fridge can turn itself into a freezer without warning. Great. DON'T LEAVE YOUR INSULIN IN A HOTEL MINI-FRIDGE. Either ask at the front desk if they can hold onto it for you in a kitchen fridge (ideal) or rig and constantly replenish an ice bath (less so).

The good news is that my hotel paid for a doctor visit and also paid to replace the insulin that froze (retail price). After all, I had chosen that hotel partly because of the in-room refrigerators, and there was no warning about temperature instability on the fridge. However, going forward, I will never again trust hotel fridges with my precious insulin!