General Insulin Overview
All insulins must be stored with care to ensure that they remain safe and effective. Improper storage could result in the breakdown of insulin, affecting its ability to effectively and predictably control your blood sugar level.
Depending on the type of insulin you are prescribed, there may be some subtle differences in how best to store it and how long it will last once open. Ask your doctor or diabetes educator for specifics on how to store your own insulin prescription.
General Insulin Care Protocols
Here are some general rules that reflect best practices for properly storing insulin:
- All insulins are sensitive to temperatures that are too high or too low. Once you receive your insulin, you should store all the supplies you’ve received in the refrigerator.
- Once you open a new vial (meaning once you stick a needle in the vial) or pen, use a sharpie to note the date you opened it right on the packaging. This will help you remember when to stop using it.
- Once you open a vial or a pen, you can store it at room temperature. Be aware that injecting refrigerated insulin may be more painful than an insulin that is kept at room temperature.
- Ask your doctor if your particular insulin has a shorter or longer lifespan. Some insulins must be used in as little as 10 days and some can be kept for 28 days after been open.
- If you suspect your insulin was ever frozen, you should not use it. Insulin could freeze if it was left outside in extreme cold temperature and insulin could also freeze in our refrigerator.
Insulin is also sensitive to hot temperatures, so do not leave it outside in extreme heat. This could happen in the summer, especially if you leave your insulin in the car for several hours, or you keep a spare insulin sample in the glove compartment of the car as backup.
- It's best practice to keep your insulin on you throughout your day if you are on-the-go. Never leave it in your car or checked luggage. The inside of a vehicle could easily get to 20 degrees hotter than the outside, and the conditions of cargo are unpredictable. You will only know the temperature of your insulin if it is with you.
- Get an insulin temperature storage kit and keep it in your bag. If you're spending time outside, always keep it in the shade and place your bag underneath trees and on cold surfaces. Explore some cooling pouch solutions here.
- Always remember to check the expiration date and never use expired insulin.
- Inspect your insulin before each use. Look for changes in colour or clarity. Look for clumps, solid white particles, or crystals in the bottle or pen. Insulin that is clear should always be clear and never look cloudy.
Taking care of your insulin might seem tricky, but you can feel confident going about your normal day to day without spending most of the time worrying over this. We know how important it is to make diabetes routines as seamless as possible, so that you can focus on you. Learn more about our Glucology Cooling Pouch: a timeless solution that can be used for years to come and lasts up to 5 times longer than using a bulky icepack.
Please remember, it is important to consult with a doctor or diabetes healthcare professional for personalised advice and guidance on how to manage diabetes.
Remember to always seek advice from your medical practitioner before changing anything about your diabetes management. The above information is not medical advice.