How Should I Use This Medicine
This medicine is for injection under the skin. Use this medicine at the same time each day. Use exactly as directed. This insulin should never be mixed in the same syringe with other insulins before injection. Do not vigorously shake before use. You will be taught how to use this medicine and how to adjust doses for activities and illness. Do not use more insulin than prescribed.
Always check the appearance of your insulin before using it. This medicine should be clear and colorless like water. Do not use it if it is cloudy, thickened, colored, or has solid particles in it.
If you use an insulin pen, be sure to take off the outer needle cover before using the dose.
It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.
This drug comes with INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE. Ask your pharmacist for directions on how to use this drug. Read the information carefully. Talk to your pharmacist or health care provider if you have questions.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Last On The Subject Of Hot Weather
The insulin that has already been injected into your body needs to be considered when youre in extremely hot temps, too. Dehydration raises the concentration of sugar in your bloodstream because theres simply less water in your blood, too. This results in high blood sugar levels, and means you either need more insulin or you need to keep yourself more hydrated…likely both! Water, water, water!
How To Safely Store Insulin
Insulin is a medication that needs to be kept at the proper temperature. If it freezes or gets too hot, it can break down and no longer help you control your blood sugar level. This could hurt not only your health but your wallet, since the cost of insulin has risen dramatically in recent years.
Read on to learn why proper storage is essential and get tips for preventing your insulin from becoming damaged.
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Does Novolog Insulin Need To Be Refrigerated
If this question focuses on whether Novolog insulin needs to be refrigerated as soon as you get it, then the answer would be no. Insulin does not need to be immediately placed in the fridge to ensure its effectiveness.
Most insulin manufacturers say that a vial of insulin including Novolog can be kept at room temperature for up to 28 days. However, for unopened insulin to maintain effectiveness until the expiration date, it should be refrigerated.
The room temperature for Novolog in-use can be kept at ranges between 59 degrees and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature for not-in-use Novolog insulin can range between 36 degrees and 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
This temperature range can vary as it may depend on the place you live in and other environmental factors.
If the temperature gets colder or warmer than these recommended temperatures for Novolog insulin, then it means that the insulin will either freeze or will end up breaking down when its too warm.
Breaking down in this respect means that the insulin will allow the growth of bacteria, which will make the insulin less effective or potent.
So, if you live in a place that has a room temperature above or below the recommended temperature, its advisable to refrigerate your Novolog insulin to keep it at the recommended temperature.
Note When Novolog insulin is kept at room temperature, its important to make sure its kept away from sunlight, heat, and any other direct heat sources.
We All Know That Unopened Insulin Must Be Kept In The Refrigerator But Once In Use It Cant Go Back The Story Of Origin And Quiet Disappearance Of A Confusing Guideline
All manufacturers explicitly recommend to Not refrigerate insulin pens in use. Why? It was kept in the fridge before, how can it hurt the insulin now that its open? Lets imagine it was a hot summer day. Is it worse to put my insulin pen in the fridge or expose it to heat? What is even more confusing, the guidelines start changing now! Lets take a step back and look at the basics:
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There Are Some Very Simple Products To Help Protect Your Insulin
The Frio Pack is one of the simplest and most affordable storage products to keep your insulin cool in hot environments. The basic model costs $22.99, and requires zero refrigeration. Instead, its a unique technology that is activated by immersing the pack in water for a few minutes. Give it a quick towel-dry, put your insulin inside, and off you go. You can reactivate it as often as you need to.
Risky Places To Leave Your Insulin Or Diabetes Kit Include:
- In your pocket during outdoor winter activity
- Sitting in direct sunlight during outdoor summer activity
- Letting your insulin pump rest directly on your skin in hot weather or during exercise
- Near a heater or heating vent
- In a suitcase during air travel do not let your insulin get stored on the plane, keep it with you!)
Remember even if your insulin is in a diabetes kit or pouch, its still vulnerable to extreme temperatures.
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Storage And Transport Of Insulin When In Use
For PwD, the insulin in-use is a daily companion, and therefore, is exposed to numerous environmental factors. The average ambient temperature in many regions can be much higher than the recommended 30°C in summer or can drop below 2°C in winter. Package leaflets, in addition to a temperature range, recommend keeping insulin away from sunlight and do not freeze.
There is little research on how insulin is transported when in-use and its quality at the moment of administration. Observational data from users of the insulin pen cap Insulclock showed that during a study period in Spain in summer, injections were performed at an average temperature of 27°C , with 11.7% above 30°C up to 41°C .46 There are also a few documented cases of diabetic ketoacidosis of pump users, whose insulin had stopped working because of exposure to heat or freezing.47,48
Protect Your Insulin From Freezing
On the contrary, suppose youre living in or traveling to a freezing cold destination. Youd need to protect your insulin from freezing or it would break down and lose its potency. When outside, keep your insulin in your inside pocket. Your bodys warmth should be enough to prevent it from freezing. Of course, never leave your insulin outside.
If you use an insulin cooler for hot weather, be sure it has an anti-freeze security. Some coolers that are not specially designed for medicines can reach very low temperatures that could freeze your insulin. 4AllFamilys medical-grade coolers all guarantee your insulin cant freeze.
Related: Can you freeze insulin and what really happens if you do?
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Is Insulin Still Good If It Gets Hot
A: Insulin you are not using should be kept between 36 degrees and 46 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets colder than that it can freeze. If it gets warmer than that, it will be good for a while, but eventually it will start to break down.
Can insulin go bad if not refrigerated?
A: Yes, the standard recommendation from all the insulin manufacturers is that a vial of insulin you are using can be kept at room temperature for up to 28 days. Room temperature is defined as between 59 degrees and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Be Careful When Traveling By Plane
Never, never, never put your insulin in a suitcase that is going to be checked and stored in the luggage section of the airplane. It can be really hot or really cold in that part of the plane, and youll arrive at your destination with a batch of useless insulin. Always keep all the insulin youre traveling with in your carry-on.
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Guidelines For Proper Insulin Storage
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.
Here are some general rules that reflect best practices for properly storing insulin:
Finally, if you have any doubts, start a new vial or pen to avoid unpleasant surprises.
About the Author
Elena Toschi, MD, Contributor
Why Does This Guideline Still Exist For Pen Cartridges
Novos medical information clarifies: We wanted to allow refrigerator storage for insulin pens in-use again. However, pen cartridges were not cleared by the authorities, because many of the new pens have built-in digital functions, which can be affected by condensation in refrigerators.
When asked what to do, if no other cooling option than a fridge is available, they also had a solution at hand: a zip lock bag to protect from moisture.
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Products To Help Store Insulin Safely
Just as new insulins have rapidly been developed, more efficient methods of keeping insulin safe have evolved as well.
Three such products have now come forward with unique and simple ways to carry insulin products with you, whether it be on short hikes, or traveling the world.
MedAngelis a handy smart thermometer for medications that need to be stored at certain temperature ranges. You keep it next to your insulin and it will alert you on your phone if the temperature is out of range. You can customize the temperature range for your specific medication, which is great.
Frio Cooling Packs can work up to 5 times longer than ice packs and seem to keep insulin products at a more consistent temperature. They can last up to 45 hours or more and are easy to store and use, coming in a variety of styles and colors. They require soaking in water before use as instructed on the website.
TheVivi Cap is a cooling device for insulin pens. It simply clicks onto an insulin pen instead of the cap and with the push of a button, the device then works to keep insulin at the proper temperature for as long as you need it to. No ice packs or preparing necessary. The battery lasts as long as the device, which can be active for several years.
While The Insulin Affordability Crisis Has Opened Up Discussion About Right To Care And Treatment Insulin Safety Hasn’t Been Addressed
The price of insulin and its impact on lives and early death has become a daily global discussion for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes on social media. Often social media posts demonstrate advocacy efforts, and/or peer to peer support or country to country interest . The insulin affordability crisis on social media also includes discussions about insulin expirationwhen to throw away insulin, hoarding insulin as a measure against supply issues and gifting insulin pens or vials to those in need. What hasnt been discussed is how insulin storage, use and lifespan affect your safety.
There is a need now more than ever to increase awareness that storage/lifespan of insulin is an important variable in managing blood glucose levels. In addition, expiration dates on vials are to be taken seriously. When insulin has expired, it is not safe to inject. Living with diabetes takes vigilance on so many fronts and this includes looking out for degraded or out-of-date insulin. The risks are high if your insulin is no longer effective, including Diabetic ketoacidosis and hospitalization.
What follows are a few general rules compiled for your well-being and safety:
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How To Store Insulin Pens
Similar to vials of insulin, insulin pens do not require constant refrigeration once theyve been opened. Insulin pens only require refrigeration before their first use. After its initial use, simply keep your insulin pen out of direct sunlight and in room temperature.
Insulin pens typically stay good for 7 to 28 days after the initial use, depending on the type of insulin they contain. However, if the expiration date printed on the pen or cartridge has passed, you should not use the insulin.
Each time you use your pen:
- Check the expiration date and type of insulin .
- Check to make sure that your insulin is not clumpy and that your fast-acting insulin is clear and colorless.
- Roll the pen in your hands, and then gently tilt the pen if it is an insulin mix.
- Remove the pen cap and clean the top with sterile alcohol.
- Attach the needle to the pen. Use a new needle each time.
- Prime the pen, and then dial up the correct dose. Double-check the dose before you inject.
- Remove the cap and choose a clean site to inject. Hold the needle at a 90-degree angle, unless you are instructed to do otherwise by your doctor.
- Push the button to inject the insulin and wait 5 to 10 seconds to be sure all of the insulin has been absorbed.
- Remove the needle and dispose of it properly.
How To Use An Insulin Pen
Many of the general guidelines for using an insulin pen are the same as for administering an injection with a vial and a syringe. For additional tips and techniques for taking insulin injections, we recommend reading our comprehensive guide.
The process for administering an insulin injection using an insulin pen is as follows:
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Can I Carry An Insulin Pen While Flying
Yes. TSA rules specifically state that diabetes-related supplies, including liquids, are allowed onboard once they have been screened by X-ray or hand inspection. You should declare your insulin pen and other diabetes equipment and separate them from other items when going through TSA screening.
Always pack your medications in a separate clear, sealable bag and never place insulin in a checked bag as changes in pressure and temperature can affect it.
How To Save On Insulin Pens
There are a few ways you can save on insulin pen costs:
- Many insulin pen brands offer coupons and special programs that can reduce your out-of-pocket cost, so be sure to visit their websites for more information. Here are a few programs from popular insulin pen brands to help you get started:
- Sanofi-Aventis Insulins Valyou Savings Program
For even more tips on how to reduce the cost of managing diabetes, we recommend reading our full article on the subject.
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What Is An Open Vial
Vial: Once the vial is punctured, it is OPEN. Once you stick a needle in the vial, it is OPEN. OPEN vials can be stored in the fridge or at CONTROLLED room temperature. Regardless of where it is stored, OPEN insulin will only last 28 days before it must be thrown away. Insulin kept in the fridge should be removed and allowed to reach room temperature before injection.
PEN: Once used for the first time, insulin pens should not be stored in the fridge. Instead, they should be stored at CONTROLLED room temperature. The number of days you can use the pen will depend on which pen you use. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Pens last 7-28 days if stored at CONTROLLED room temperature. The number of days depends on which pen you use.
Where Should You Not Inject Insulin
DON’T: Inject insulin just anywhere. Insulin should be injected into the fat just underneath the skin rather than into muscle, which can lead to quicker insulin action and greater risk of low blood sugar. The stomach, thighs, buttocks, and upper arms are common injection sites because of their higher fat content.
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