Insulin question!

I recently switched from using insulin pens to pumping. So far, so good–I’m in better control than I have been in a long while! Here’s my question, though. When I was using the pens, I’d keep them in the fridge until I was ready to use them. Then I took them out, used them for a month, and repeated the cycle. Now that I have little bottles of insulin for my reservoir, do I need to keep that insulin in the fridge too? Once I open it, it’s into that month of use, right? What about an unopened bottle?

I just realized that the day I trained on the pump, I got a bottle of insulin that hadn’t been opened, and it’s been sitting at room temperature. It’s been five days now, so I don’t know if I have to give up the ghost on that one or what the deal is.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

I keep unopened vials in the fridge and the opened vial at room temperature. My OmniPod has to be filled with insulin at room temperature.

Exactly the same for me!

Keep all your insulin in the fridge EXCEPT the insulin that is in your pump cartridge. While most insulin can be kept at room temp for extended periods of time, it will keep better while refrigerated.

:wink: I would recommend keeping your pump in the fridge whenever you’re in the kitchen, but that “might” be going too far :smiley:

Fair Winds,

Unopened vials should be kept refigerated. Opened vials don’t have to be refigerated as long as they don’t get hot (or freeze).

Once you’ve drawn insulin from the vial, it’s into that month’s use, yep.

Unopened, refigerated vials are good until the expiration date.

You might be ok with the one that’s been unrefigerated for only five days if it was kept in a cool place. Once air has been introduced into the vial from drawing out insulin, it begins to lose potency.

When in doubt, call your pharmacy.

I keep opened and unopened insulin in the fridge. I know a bottle can stay at room temp for 30 days without loosing potency but I would rather not worry about that.

Are you using Humalog?

If so, your 5-day old bottle should be fine. Pop it in the fridge.

FWIW, here is what Eli Lilly says about storage:

How should I store Humalog?
• Store all unopened (unused) Humalog in the original carton in a refrigerator at 36°F to
46°F (2°C to 8°C). Do not freeze.
• Do not use Humalog that has been frozen.
• Do not use after the expiration date printed on the carton and label.
• Protect Humalog from extreme heat, cold or light.

After starting use (open):
• Vials: Keep in the refrigerator or at room temperature below 86°F (30°C) for up to 28 days.
Keep open vials away from direct heat or light. Throw away an opened vial 28 days after
first use, even if there is insulin left in the vial.

The link to the full pdf is here.

If you are using Novolog from their FAQ:

  1. How and where should NovoLog® be stored?

NovoLog® should be stored in the refrigerator—between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F)—until first use. Do not freeze. NovoLog® FlexPen®, cartridges and vials that are in use may be kept at room temperature—below 30°C (86°F)—for up to 28 days. Do not store NovoLog® in areas of extreme moisture and where there may be extreme temperatures, such as in a freezer or car.

Note that Novolog says cartridges and vials in use “may” be kept at room temp. Clearly that does not exclude keeping it in the fridge.

Fair Winds,

I would mark the box, just so you know which one it is, put it in the fridge, and next month use it. If for some reason it being room temperature it “went bad” (which I doubt) you will be able to tell right away because your bs readings will be higher than you think they should.

Mike answered the question with facts about Humalog. I will add my experience. I keep the in-use Humalog bottle in my non refrigerated kit bag of supplies for pump set changes. I never refrigerate the opened bottle. So far, I have had no problems. If I am driving in the hot summer or cold winter, I take the bag inside when I leave the car for a restaurant or other destination. Insulin is not so sensitive that a few minutes of hot or cold is going to ruin it.