Recycling Insulin?

I find that every time I throw a Pod away there’s around 30 - 40 units of insulin still left (I fill it with the minimum insulin and don’t use much of it). Has anybody tried to recycle it (taking it out form the old pod with the syringe and shooting it in the new pod) ? It feels wrong to throw this insulin away.

i’m not sure, but i;m interested to know as well. When I change my pod, I usually have 30-40 units still in there ( I fill it with 80/the minimum) and I hate wasting so much insulin.

Ive actually thought about that too and unfortunately have not been able to remove unused insulin from the pod. Ive actually used the pump longer than your supposed to. When it tells you, you need to change it, I dont. I let it go until it deactivates itself. It usually gives me a few more hours and I usually end up using the rest of my insulin and leave literally 5 or so units behind! You have to make sure to always keep an extra pod and insulin with you when you do this because once it deactivates, thats it, you have nothing. But thats what ive been doing so I dont waste as much!

Yes I do that too, it usually lasts for about 8 hours more and then starts screaming like crazy ! But I still have a lot of insulin left in the end. I remember a couple of times when I was changing pods, and the new one didn’t start right and had to throw it away (after filling it with new insulin) that time I recycled the insulin and there was no problem. Just pulled it out with the syringe (if the pod is upside down it works better) But after 3 days I’m not sure if I should.

Im not sure. I would say no just because its so close to your body that it gets really warm from your body heat. Im not sure mixing new insulin with warm insulin would be a good idea.or even as effective. Im sure the effectiveness changes after those three days! Its definately something worth looking into and asking some doctors! Insulin is way to expensive to waste! I hate when you fill a new pod and then it doesnt work! Ive never been able to save that insulin! Its so frustratin. They need to develop a way so we can save the insulin and reuse it if possible!

I would advise against it. One reason is because you are using so little insulin you are probably already extending the “good” vial pasts it’s 30 days. With only about 80 units in 3 days (even if you waste a bunch) that would end up being about 800 units in 30 days with a vial holding 1,000 units. Once you open a vial you are supposed to only use it for 30 days. Since the insulin is usually in a controlled environment I would think using this extra 200 units after the 30 days shouldn’t cause too much problems. But if you start adding insulin that is leftover after3-4 days of use (especially during the summer months) you are going to at some point add insulin into this that is not as potent (if indeed the insulin IS less potent- How would you know for sure?), in effect dilluting the rest of the vial.

Yeah I think so too, I would say the best solution would be for insulet to allow the minimum insulin on the POD to be less than 80 units.

Yes you can recover the insulin. I had a pod go bad on me only an hour after filling, and there was 200 units in it. You can see the reservoir that it is stored in through the plastic covering. The white plastic covering comes off, with a little prying, and once it is off the innards as I like to call them are exposed. Very carefully remove the plastic piece that is over the fine thread screw that is the top to the insulin reservoir, Once removed the plunger/screw can easily be moved up, and taken off, once off, just use a syringe and remove to insulin. From my point of view, it gave me a better understanding of how the mechanics of the pod work, kinda cool for me. I hope that this helps, and if I do it next time I will take a video.

I’ve done it, just out of curiosity, and haven’t noticed any difference.

If you don’t mind my asking how many units do you usually go through per day?

yeah ! you should, I’ll try to do it with an used pod.

No problem MossDog.

Anywhere from 22 to 25 a day. I’ve used as little as 18 and as much as 27. I usually fill up just above the 80 unit mark which gets me through the 3 days +.

I do that all the time and have no troubles.

So when you do it do you have a “used” vial and also a “fresh” vial. Just curious. E.g. do you put the used insulin back in to the same vial? I did this for a while and kept a used insulin vial and a fresh insulin vial. I did notice over time I had a harder time controlling my blood sugars but as you all know that could have been from any number of things and not necessarily the insulin.

Very interesting. I think it might depend on if it is repeated over and over. There are a lot of different people that have had a lot of different results doing this type of thing so I say if it works for you do it!

I also have a ‘used’ and a fresh vial. I usually toss the used one after a couple of weeks and start again. I’ve gotten fairly good at estimating how much to fill my animas cartridge, so there’s not usually a lot left. Still don’t want to waste it!

Yeah, I don’t do it as a matter of practice and I don’t know that I would recommend doing it regularly. The occasional re-use, for me when the opportunity presents itself, hasn’t been an obvious problem but the amount I usually end up with is typically trivial, a few uints here and there. Like you say, it might be an issue if done repeatedly.

I have done this twice and have no problem with the used insulin. I don’t see it as being used though because it did not enter into my body. The vial in the pod is sterile, so I don’t see it as being used. I end up with almost 100 units left and could not see throwing it away.

How long the “used” insulin is kept is probably one of the factors. Having a “used” vial that is repeatedly getting filled without ever being thrown away or emptied out you would probably start to loose potency over time. Doing it once or twice in a vial it seems like most people don’t have a problem. I guess there are so many factors involved (time of year and heat etc) it is hard to know for sure.

I by no means like to waste insulin but I have the doc write my scripts knowing that there will be some waste and adding that in to how much I use.

I used to if my pod quit for some reason b4 day 2, but now I don’t cuz I found that sometimes I would get another failed pod(usually an occlusion), or my sugars would soar, so I decided I’d rather waste a little than highs. Just my personal experience. I never re used after day 2 though.