1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Insulin pen storage period

Discussion in 'Type 2 with Insulin' started by Bassalt, May 20, 2020.

  1. Bassalt

    Bassalt · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hello All

    I'm a recently inducted member of the diabetic community and am concerned about my storage of insulin pens (amongst other things).

    Basically my first supply of unopened pens have sat for two weeks in a cool place but not in the fridge at required 4 - 8 degrees.

    I now have them in the fridge but wonder if it is too late to save them-will they have to be ditched in two weeks or will putting them in the fridge extend their life a bit.?

    Many thanks
     
  2. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,527
    Likes Received:
    5,899
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hello, @Bassalt , and welcome to the forum!

    I would be wary after a couple of weeks. Why not call your pharmacist to ask?

    I've had my fridge malfunctioning for a few weeks last year. The insulin stored still worked, but as far as I know not nearly as good as it's supposed to. In my country insulin is covered by insurance so I ditched the whole lot after only a little experimenting. Had I lived in a country where you have to pay for insulin I would have experimented a little more.

    I've heard many people say they've used unrefrigerated insulin without problem, but that's not my experience.
    Seeing as you're new to diabetes, you might still be working out dosage. Insulin only working a little could set you back in that.

    If you decide to keep using it, take special care when you start your next batch of insulin, if the current supply has lost some of it's potence you might go hypo when you get fresh insulin.

    Good luck, and let us know how this ends!
     
  3. Flora123

    Flora123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,059
    Likes Received:
    599
    Trophy Points:
    173
    I read somewhere today to ditch after 28 days if not being refrigerated.
     
  4. MarkMunday

    MarkMunday Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    173
    Trophy Points:
    83
    That 28 day period is after opening. Unused vials, cartridges or pens last for years if refrigerated. I haven't had problems with unrefrigerated insulin either, but then I haven't allowed it to get too hot.
     
  5. Flora123

    Flora123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,059
    Likes Received:
    599
    Trophy Points:
    173
    New at this, but I agree if unopened and refrigerated lasts for ages/to its date. If unrefrigerated or opened and unrefrigerated then it’s 28 days. I guess it will say in/on the pack.
     
  6. masonap

    masonap Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    78
    If you use so little that a pen lasts more than 28 days why don’t you get a cool pack to keep it in then you shouldn’t have any issues.
     
  7. Providence 62

    Providence 62 LADA · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    820
    Likes Received:
    5,190
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I use Lantus and only refrigerate unopened pens in the summer. I always put it in the fridge after it has been opened.
     
  8. becca59

    becca59 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,974
    Likes Received:
    2,500
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Wrong way round. Unopened pens should always be kept refrigerated. Opened can remain out, unless very hot. Then something like a Frito bag can be used. In the Uk about once in a blue moon!
     
  9. MissJenniferJones

    MissJenniferJones Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    23
    I'm afraid I would ditch them. Insulin must be kept in the fridge. Once you start on a pen its fine at room temp. for two weeks but no more. As yours has already been out of the fridge for two weeks, its won't then keep for a longer period if you put in in the fridge now. I always write the date on my pen when I remove it from the fridge then throw it away if any remains after two weeks.
     
  10. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,238
    Likes Received:
    10,575
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Hi,

    Insulin can be stored at room temp for upto 28 days..
    More info here; https://www.uclh.nhs.uk/PandV/PIL/Patient information leaflets/Looking after your insulin.pdf
     
  11. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,527
    Likes Received:
    5,899
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Most insulins are good for at least 4 weeks outside the fridge, according to the leaflet. Some of them like tresiba are even fine for double this time.
     
  12. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,238
    Likes Received:
    10,575
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Yep, Frio wallets are great at keeping at a stable temp. Either holidaying in hot climates or a hot day working in a van or truck??
    With or without AC a vehicle can get hot when stopped on the "job."
    (Not wise to cook it.)
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook