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Do I need to throw out all my insulin?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by pinewood, May 1, 2016.

  1. pinewood

    pinewood Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    So my fridge door was left a little open last night. The thermometer showed a temp of about 11 degrees this morning.

    Will my insulin be okay given it was only at the increased temperature for a short while or should it be thrown away?

    I know it's probably safer to not risk it but I have a fair quantity so would rather not waste it if the risk of it being damaged is very low.
     
  2. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    You can still use the insulin over the next 4 weeks, but just to be safe I wouldn't risk keeping it any longer and would just reorder more.
     
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  3. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

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    On a pump forum it was stated that it takes ages for insulin in cartridges and vials to deteriate at room temperature apparently so even if a fridge malfunctions, the insulin should still be ok but if in doubt then see a pharmacist
     
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  4. copepod

    copepod Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't throw it away yet, at least not until you have checked with a pharmacist as they're the experts in medicines use, storage etc. For a start, temperature of 11oC isn't much above 4 - 8oC of normal refridgeration, and anyway, temperature varies within fridge - lowest in bottom drawers and back of fridge, slightly higher in door and top of main body of fridge. If and when you get new insulin, make your you mark packs, so you know the difference between the batch you have now and the next lot, so if you do find this batch is less effective than usual, you only discard this batch, not both old and new.
     
  5. B583

    B583 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I keep my insulin at room temperature for years with no effect. Keep it chilled if you prefer & ask pharmacist on Tues!!
     
  6. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    "11 degrees". Was that ambient temprature? Or the fridge interior temp. Either way. Your insulin shouldn't be spoiled by this..
    What I'm saying is (from my own perspective.) no major "flap" to refresh the script on Tuesday..
    By all means discuss with a pharmacist.
     
  7. Kristin251

    Kristin251 LADA · Expert

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    I thought it only mattered after it is open. Then 30 days but unopened I thought was ok to keep at room temp
     
  8. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    The advice is to only keep it 30 days at room temperature whether it's opened or not.

    Some insulins say 28 days, some 40 days, etc, but the principle is the same. Insulins come with storage instructions so you can check, or look online for specific information :)

    Eg:

    http://www.bd.com/us/diabetes/page.aspx?cat=7001&id=7247
     
  9. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    No, the leaflet says to store unopened ones below 8 deg C in the fridge but I suspect 11 deg C for a while would not be problem. The producers will have allowed for some leeway. I believe it doesn't go 'off' but loses it's potency but I could be wrong.
     
  10. LucySW

    LucySW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    http://www.iddt.org/about/living-with-diabetes/storing-insulin

    The above has quotes from Novo Nordisk among others. Insulin in fridge shd be between 2 and 8 degrees. But limited exposure above that won't hurt too much: see table.

    Ultimately, Pinewood, mark it and see if it works properly. If it does, no prob; if it doesn't, chuck it out. I've had both.
     
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  11. Geoff-O

    Geoff-O Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    "Ultimately, Pinewood, mark it and see if it works properly. If it does, no prob; if it doesn't, chuck it out."

    Exactly Lucy SW.
     
  12. jeb

    jeb Type 1 · Active Member

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    In my 62 year experience, a short time like that is no problem. If the temperature had been around 28-30 then it might be a different matter.
     
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  13. PD Oz

    PD Oz Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I think the big problem is if it is accidentally frozen. In that cash throw out as useless. However I have seen literature which queries whether these synthetic insulins need to be stored other than at moderate room temperature. Of course if the effects are not acting as would normally be expected then get a new batch in.
     
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  14. hh1

    hh1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm really interested in this, because there have been (rare) times when, towards the end of a vial - especially Humalog - I've noticed a reduction in potency. I keep my insulin pen in the same place (a drawer in the house) which stays slightly below room temp, and am careful if I ever need to take it out of the house. I'm Type 1, 30 years, and always been advised to keep my unopened insulin refrigerated, which I do. Has anyone else experienced this?
     
  15. PD Oz

    PD Oz Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have sometimes doubted when I am toward the end of a pen and for some unexplainable reason, it does not seem to be working as effectively. Then just when I am about to throw the pen the insulin will start working a treat once again. Another thing is when I have had the pen on me on a hot day and in a pocket I have wondered whether the insulin will become less effective. Generally I have found it keeps doing its work up to the 28 days without problem. Another tip I was once given is that when travelling by air, never keep spare insulin in checked in baggage as it is likely to end up being frozen in the unheated baggage hold. So hand luggage only it is for all supplies.
     
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