When do you throw out your insulin?

i know that my insulin, once opened is supposed to be trashed after about 28 days. but i also know that the dexcom sensor is supposed to be trashed after 7 days…and we sensor users all know that that doesn’t have to be the case.

so, i was just wondering if anyone continues to use whatever insulin is left-over in their vial until they have completely used it up…or, do you say so-long once you hit that 28 day mark?

I generally use mine up (Apidra). Although I threw the last bottle out before it was used up when I spent the day outdoors and it was particularly hot and high humidity and my blood sugar was obstinate and wouldn’t come down.

Depending on the context, it would be completely absurd to toss insulin for no other reason than because you opened the vial 28 days ago. I throw the vial away after I have emptied it and not a second before.

My preference is to keep the unused but opened vial refrigerated along my other unopened insulin vials. Others don’t even bother to do that. Insulin is fragile, yes, but it is not that fragile. :astonished:


I just use the pens until they run out and don’t keep track. They sometimes go well past 28 days… I do take care to not expose them to excess temperatures but I gave up on keeping track of the 28 days a long time ago.

One vial, 1000 units, lasts me a little over three weeks counting the infusion set and other waste. I store my current and active vial in a Frio pouch, so it’s protected from getting too hot.

I would use insulin past its 28-day published limit but would keep that in mind if I experienced any unexplainable hyperglycemia. I suspect insulin is good, if not heated or frozen, well past its 28-day limit.

I don’t throw out insulin. that 28 day thing is nonsense.

Agree, when I first came to australia I took 12 months supply of insulin with me. I never refrigerated it and I never had any problems, what was left at the end of the 12 months was still working fine.

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One vial lasts me over a month, usually 40-45 days. At somewhere around $300 a vial I keep them until they’re empty unless they have gone bad. I also suck any left-overs out of my pump cartridge. Sometimes there’s over a days worth of insulin left in the cartridge. Sometimes I go as far as sucking it out of the tube, too. 16u (that’s the amount in my tube) is a little more than my daily basal rate, I hate throwing insulin away!

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I also don’t throw out insulin. Way to expensive and way to valuable for me to even think about throwing it out. I use between 30-40 units a day so it works out to just under a month per bottle. I also don’t keep open one in the frig. I hangs out in my meter case soi always have back up with me due to pump issues. Go old school sometimes.

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Ditto with those who do not throw out insulin. My open vial is in my small case with a reservoir, etc for the next change, at room temp. I only heard about that 28 day thing a couple years ago and I have taken insulin since 1982, and never had to discard an open vial.

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It confuses me a little why folks would carry a vial of insulin in case of a pump problem when the pump already contains a vial of insulin. Maybe it’s a difference between the luer lock pumps and Medtronic’s proprietary system?

In general, I’m not a fan of proprietary. However, in this case I always assumed I could draw a syringe from my Paradigm reservoir because the type of closure of the reservoir is similar to that of an insulin vial.

Now if I would just remember to always carry some lo-dose syringes with me … :disappointed:

The only time I ever tossed insulin is when I forgot it in my car during the summer and it was exposed to +120F temperatures. When I first started using insulin I would keep bottles at work, home, and my moms house and it would take me months to use them up. I do sometimes suffer from set rejection that causes high BG but as soon as I change locations it’s fine.

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I don’t keep mine refrigerated once i open it either. i do keep it away from the sun or the heat. but i have heard that when insulin is at room temperature it is more effective. do you have any say on that? i don’t know for certain if that is true. thanks, though.

didi you ever find that the effectiveness of your insulin was compromised in any way? i pay an arm and a leg in co-pays if i can’t get samples from my endo, so i like to use every last drop. i only go through about 20 to 25 units per day, so i don’t want to toss the vials if i don’t really need to. but my endo was very clear about the 28 days rule of effectiveness.

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I try to take care of my insulin, I really only started keeping open bottles out of the fringe since I started pumping but I never leave it in the car or in a space that’s not air conditioned. There was a time when I would do corrections with pins and I would carry these pins around for several months before I used them up and they always worked fine.

My BG levels have always been unstable and unpredictable so it would be hard for me to blame a couple of high BG on bad insulin.

There has been insulin on the market that did not fall within the guidelines for U100 insulin, and the manufacturers have had there hands slapped by the FDA…Does this happen all the time…
how would we know…the manufactures are responsible for testing the potency (U100).

I try to treat everyday with diabetes as a new day, good, bad or ugly there always changing…:slight_smile:

dont listen to the endo about the 28 day “thing”. it’s pure BS

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i am sorry that you find me rhetorical. i am a very very slow learner. i need info to be drilled into my head several times before i thoroughly understand it. :frowning:

don’t be sorry! I just feel that any of us that have been diabetic for many years, KNOWS that this disease is sometimes unpredictable. Sometimes not; but sometimes it is and it will always be that way. Just do your best! For better control, eat low carb. Other than that little tidbit, I can’t offer a way to prevent ups and downs.

my uncle went blind and lost both his feet and then died of pancreatic cancer. i have a lot of respect for this disease. it scares the sh*t out of me most days. i know that it is Just One Day at a Time, but the days add up, and when neuropathy sets in and the eyes start getting funky, i want desperately to control everything that ultimately cannot be controlled the way i intend it to. but, i also want to enjoy my life w/ as much flexibility as possible. i want to eat well and enjoy what i am eating. i have lived w fear of the ups and the downs, so i have deprived myself of so many delicious foods. so, what do i do? well, i start by asking questions. and i keep asking till i understand what i think i need to understand. that’s all. that’s just me. i’m nuts. i get kooky. i’m a control freak who cannot be in control, ultimate control of this darn D.

sorry this is on the wrong site.