My doctor told me not to use a novolog pen for more than 28 days after first use. On my restricted carb diet I find myself using less than 10 units a day. Some days I don’t use any. Should I just dispose of it after 28 days.
Well - it’s a good problem to have. I can’t give medical advice but I have used open vials of humalog for a little more than a month without any problems. Insulin isn’t like a lithium battery that works and then suddenly stops working entirely. Performance may downgrade but it happens more gradually. I would immediately toss a pen open more than 28 days if I started getting funky numbers.
There are too many variables involved such as average temperature your insulin will be at after it is opened, etc. Best is just to try and see if it affects your BG numbers. I am on MDI and have always extended any of my basal insulns from the recommended 28 days up to 48 days and it did not affect my BG numbers at all, however based on your circumstances you may have issues. You won’t know until you try, but in general patients stretch their insulins well beyond the use by date without negative consequences.
Your doctor probably also tells you to use a new lancet and swab with alcohol before every finger stick as well as a new needle for every injection. I swap out my lancet about once every 6 months, don’t wipe finger before finger stick with alcohol but usually wash hands. My needles are usually OK for about 150 injections with Humalog, less with some other insulins that tend to plug needle if not flushed out with Humalog.
I only quit using my Novolog pens when the insulin isn’t working as well. Much of the time I only use 10 units daily also.
Most of us consider insulin liquid gold and never waste any of it. That being said, the only way to tell is try it. I do use my vial past it’s expiration date and have never had a problem. But I do know when I get close to the end and blood sugars are “off” I understand it might be the older vial and have to suck it up and open a new one. Diabetes is an experiment everyday. Nothing wrong with seeing what happens!
I think I pretty routinely used a single pen for longer than 28 days back when I was doing MDI. Now I’m on a pump I still have a prescription for them to use in case of emergencies (pump failure, or more commonly if I want to extend my pump reservoir to the end of the day rather than change it in the a.m. and waste the insulin still in it, I’ll bring a pen along to work to bolus from), and as long as I remember to put one back in the fridge between uses that might extend to several months. Never had a problem.
Thanks to all for excellent responses I will continue to use it till it quits working or runs out. Hopefully someday I can leave it in the fridge unused.
Look and see what your patient information says. You might find out what they recommend. Nancy50