General Guidelines Of Insulin Storage And Handling
In general, insulin formulations should be inspected for physical changes, such as clumping, frosting, precipitation, or discoloration, that may be accompanied by a loss of potency. Insulin formulations should be optimally stored at refrigerated temperatures before use . Insulin formulations should never be allowed to freeze.
Extreme temperatures or excess agitation should be avoided during storage to prevent loss of potency of the formulation. Regardless of the temperatures experienced during storage, insulin formulations should never be used after the expiration date printed on the label and carton.
When a formulation is in use, insulin should be kept unrefrigerated to minimize local injection site irritation, which may occur after injection of cold insulin solutions . Unrefrigerated insulin formulations that are in use should be kept as cool as possible and away from excess heat or sunlight .
Can You Still Use Insulin After The Expiration Date
Using expired insulin is absolutely not recommended and should only be done if you have no other option.
The effectiveness of insulin degrades over time and its impossible to predict how well expired insulin will work or if it will even work at all!
Insulin is a bit unusual in that it had two expiration dates one is the expiration date if insulin is unopened and stored at the proper temperature. The second expiration date is the date the manufacturer suggests insulin is good for after opening and when kept at room temperature.
Be sure to check both dates so you know if your insulin is still safe to use.
Is There An Expiration Date On Insulin Vials
Is there an expiration date on insulin vials? The ADA reminds health care professionals that even though each insulin vial is stamped with an expiration date, a slight loss of potency may occur after the vial has been in use for > 30 days, especially if stored at room temperature .
Do you need to keep opened vial of insulin? Indeed, the comprehensive, well-written, and up-to-date American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Diabetes Guidelines do not refer to the issue of storage of an opened vial or cartridge at all, either as an issue for the physician to be aware of or as a point of discussion with patients as part of their self-management .
When does an insulin bottle lose its potency? Although an expiration date is stamped on each vial of insulin, a loss of potency may occur after the bottle has been in use for > 1 month, especially if it was stored at room temperature . The importance of not using bottles past their expiration date after opening is critical to good patient care.
Do you always have a spare bottle of insulin? When addressing the issue of insulin storage in the ADAs Clinical Practice Recommendations 2002, it is stated that The patient should always have available a spare bottle of each type of insulin used.
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Where To Donate Expired Insulin
If you are not going to risk using expired insulin, the issue then becomes what can be done with it.
When I think of the people who cannot afford or struggle to get it, it just feels wrong to toss it out, Spector says.
Groups and programs like Life for a Child and Insulin for Life cannot, by law, accept expired insulin.
Other options do exist, though.
- Many doctors and clinics are unable to take any donated insulin once its opened or at all, given the uncertainties of whether its already been compromised by the time theyd receive it. But this policy does depend on the particular doctors office or clinic, so its definitely worth calling around to ask.
- Local animal hospitals may also accept expired insulin, depending on their policies and where they are located.
- Private hand-offs are also possible. With the insulin affordability crisis in America, a growing black market has materialized where people within the community regularly donate various types of insulin to each other directly, or through grassroots efforts. The #insulin4all hashtag on social media is full of requests, as well as networks of people who focus on getting insulin donations to those in need. While this isnt technically legal, given that prescriptions should be not shared with those who are not prescribed, it is common within the D-Community, and points out providers should be aware of these underground networks, to understand their patients resources and potential risks.
How Are Doses Scheduled
Follow your doctor’s guidelines on when to take your insulin. The time span between your shot and meals may vary depending on the type you use.
In general, though, you should coordinate your injection with a meal. You want to time your shot so that the glucose from your food gets into your system at about the same time that the insulin starts to work. This will help your body use the glucose and avoid low blood sugar reactions. From the chart on page 1, the “onset” column shows when the insulin will begin to work in your body. You want that to happen at the same time you’re absorbing food. Good timing will help you avoid low blood sugar levels.
- Rapid acting insulins: About 15 minutes before mealtime
- Short-acting insulins: 30 to 60 minutes before a meal
- Intermediate-acting insulins: Up to 1 hour prior to a meal
- Pre-mixed insulins: Depending on the product, between 10 minutes or 30 to 45 minutes before mealtime
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What Type Of Insulin Is Best For My Diabetes
Your doctor will work with you to prescribe the type of insulin that’s best for you and your diabetes. Making that choice will depend on many things, including:
- How you respond to insulin.
- Lifestyle choices. The type of food you eat, how much alcohol you drink, or how much exercise you get will all affect how your body uses insulin.
- Your willingness to give yourself multiple injections per day
- Your goals for managing your blood sugar
Your doctor may prescribe more than one type. You might need to take insulin more than once daily, to space your doses throughout the day, or to add other medicines.
Afrezza, a rapid-acting inhaled insulin, is FDA-approved for use before meals for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The drug peaks in your blood in about 15-20 minutes and it clears your body in 2-3 hours. It must be used along with long-acting insulin in people with type 1 diabetes.
The chart below lists the types of injectable insulin with details about onset , peak and duration . These three things may vary. The final column offers some insight into the “coverage” provided by the different insulin types in relation to mealtime.
|Type of Insulin & Brand Names||Onset|
|30 min.-2 1/2 hours||16-20 hours|
|*Premixed insulins combine specific amounts of intermediate-acting and short-acting insulin in one bottle or insulin pen.|
How To Use The Lantus Solostar Insulin Pen
Now that you and your doctor have decided Lantus is right for you, watch this step-by-step video to learn how to use the Lantus SoloStar pen. But always follow your healthcare providers instructions.
Rotate your injection sites as instructed by your healthcare provider to reduce your risk of getting lipodystrophy and localized cutaneous amyloidosis . Do not use the same spot for each injection or inject where the skin is pitted, thickened, lumpy, tender, bruised, scaly, hard, scarred or damaged.
- Removing and discarding the needle
Super: WHAT WELL COVER:
Step One: Inject the insulin
Step Two: Attach the Needle
Step Three: Perform a Safety Test
Step Four: Select the Dose
Step Five: Inject the Dose
Step Six: Remove and Discard Needle
It is important that you go over these instructions carefully before you using your SoloStar pen.
Step one: check the insulin.
SUPER: An unopened SoloSTAR® Pen should be refrigerated until first use. Do not store an opened SoloSTAR® pen in a refrigerator.
Laura: If your SoloSTAR® pen is in cool storage, take it out 1 to 2 hours before you inject to allow it to warm up. Cold insulin may be painful to inject.
SUPER: Check the label on your SoloSTAR® pen.
Laura: First, check the label on your SoloSTAR® pen to make sure you have the correct pen and insulin. The Lantus® SoloSTAR® pen is gray with a purple injection button.
Check the expiration date on the label of your pen. Do not use a SoloSTAR® pen after the expiration date.
Storing your pen.
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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.
Does Insulin Expire Storage Safety And How To Tell If Your Insulin Has Gone Bad
Being a pharmacist, I have often been asked if its safe to use expired insulin and how to tell if insulin has gone bad from exposure to heat or cold.
Medications have an expiration date because their stability cannot be guaranteed, based on clinical studies, past that date.
Taking a chance on eating an expired food product is one thing its quite another taking a chance on insulin that may not work at maximum capacity, and therefore may cause harm to your overall health.
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Insulin Is A Protein And It Can Wery Easily Spoil Under The Wrong Temperature Conditions
Insulin prefers to be kept between 36° to 46°F. When an insulin vial or pen is opened, it will retain its potency to help you manage your blood sugar for up to 28 days before it starts to break down. Using insulin that has broken down due to time or temperature results in higher blood sugars because your usual dose doesnt contain its usual strength and efficacy.
What About Wearing Your Insulin Pump In Extremely Hot Weather
If you live out west where 100 °F are the norm throughout the summer, this is crucial and youll want to make sure its protected from the suns rays by putting it in your pocket. Even in milder summer temps, be sure it isnt up against your own skin. When youre on a bike ride, for example, your direct and rising body heat could easily cook it.
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Can We Use Expired Drugs Besides Reduced Efficacy Are There Any Major Side Effects Associated With Expired Products
In my opinion the expiration date of any medication is a conservative estimate of a time until when the medication retains its potency. Conservative because it is determined by subjecting the medication to very strenous and unfavourable conditions of transport and storage . This is termed accelerated stability studies and the expiration date is determined from the data obtained from this kind of an experimental procedure . As a pharmacist in making your understanding of the science behind expiration date should not be extended to the patient via counselling . Always consumer safety is a primary objective. On the contrary you could always advice the patient to adhere strict storage and handling procedures to enable them to use the medication till the maximum date of labelled expiry date.Continue reading > >
The True Cost Of Having A Diabetic Dog
There are days it feels like Bender is a drain on my wallet. And it really doesnt help that every time I visit the vet I see the total amount that Ive spent that year. But what does it really cost me? Bender is a 50lbs dog. High energy and Im giving him a lot of insulin. He isnt an extreme case but he is worse than most. For one month. 1 bag of W/D food 30lbs $62 2 Vetsulin 10ml $50 62 needles $7.13 5 testing strips $5 Total: Roughly $125 a month. That doesnt include if I need to take him to the vet or any other treats/general care items. Ive switched his food to natural home cooked food. Im hoping to reduce the amount of insulin. Although the cost of his home cooked food will be about the same as his W/D. The cost will probably be more if you have a larger dog and of course less if you have a smaller dog.Continue reading > >
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Using Insulin Past Expiration Dates
The reality is, many do use insulin past the expiration date.
For Elena, whos had T1D for 19 years and struggles at times to afford co-pays, using expired insulin is way better than rationing, she says. She stretches each vial as long as she can.
I admit, also, to finding one in a purse and just thinking, Hmm, Im going to try this, she says. It was fine. But I also checked my blood sugars a ton more while using it.
Which is sage advice. Should you choose to stretch insulin, experts say , you should amp up your glucose oversight.
What Is The Right Storage Temperature For Unopened Insulin
The ideal temperature for a vial or pen of insulin is between 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit when its being stored in your refrigerator. Some parts of your fridge might be colder than others, so be sure to check the temperature setting.
You might want to avoid keeping your insulin in the back of the fridge, too, because things can get a little too cold back there. Instead, consider keeping your box of insulin pens or vials in the butter compartment, the door shelving, or one of the produce drawers.
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Dont Leave Insulin In Your Carever
The inside of a car can easily be 20 degrees hotter when its closed up while youre at work or getting groceries. Leaving your insulin in the car for more than a few minutes during any time of year is risky and could easily destroy a small vial of insulin worth hundreds of dollars. When youre out and about, at work wherever keep your insulin in a safe zipped-up kit and keep it in your purse or backpack.
What Are The General Storage Recommendations For Insulin
Most insulin manufacturers recommend storing your unused insulin vial or pen in the fridge at temperatures between 36°F and 46°F.
Dont freeze your insulin or place it near the cooling element in the fridge . If your insulin freezes, you shouldnt use it even after its thawed. Once frozen, insulin may not work as well.
Store your insulin away from heat and light for the same reason: heat and light can break insulin down. Dont store your insulin in your car or in warm areas of your house, like near the stove.
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How Do I Use An Insulin Pen
Select a clean, dry work area. The supplies you will need include:
- The prescribed insulin pen
- Pen needles and alcohol wipes
- A container for used equipment. You can use a hard plastic container with a screw-on or tight lid, or a commercial sharps container.
Here are the steps you will take:
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Storage Of Unopened Insulin:
Insulin is very sensitive to sunlight, indoor lights, and to extremely hot or cold temperatures.
Insulin is not OK to use if exposed to very hot or cold weather. The three drug manufacturers of insulin in the United States say UNOPENED insulin is best stored inside the fridge . UNOPENED insulin stored in the refrigerator is good until the expiration date printed on the insulin box. The expiration date will usually be 1 year from the date of purchase but you have to check the box to find out
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