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 2020 »
    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 »

Question re unopended Insulin that has reached room temp and then put back in fridge

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Judd120, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Judd120

    Judd120 · Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hi Everyone,

    I am a Type 1 diabetic on a pump and have a question about insulin storage. If unopened insulin reaches room temperature (Novorapid Aspart) can it be put back into the fridge and stored without it breaking down and losing it's potency for the shelf life of the vial/cartridge?

    In other words, does reaching room temperature impact on the potency and shelf life of the then re-refrigerated, unopened insulin?

    I've checked online and the insulin package information and there is no clear answer to this question.

    The reason I ask is I travel a lot and need to take large amounts of insulin with me. I put into a cool bag or wrap it silver foil, but after a long journey and customs now-a-days forcing all liquids to be x-rayed out of their boxes and cool bags I'm pretty certain the insulin is reaching room temperature while travelling. Further, I've noticed that my pharmacy sometimes delivers my insulin in a paper bag and it is not always cold... I'm last on their delivery route. I get a 3 month supply minimum due to my work lifestyle.

    As I've also been struggling to keep my blood sugars below 15... I'm regularly 12-22 for 4-5 hours after eating and I've checked my insulin/carb ratio, site rotation, correct catheter insertion, bleeding at catheter site, stress levels, etc, but even though I'm doing all this right it's like my insulin sometimes stops working and I've often have to double dose to get an affect... which of course puts me at risk of a hypo. In fact, sometimes I have almost no impact on my blood glucose levels despite taking double... I just can't work it out! Other times it works fine at normal dosages.

    I was wondering therefore, because this is happening regularly and I'm beginning to guess at a later in the month possible pattern, whether it could be something else? For example, the insulin being effected by reaching room temp when travelling or in transport to my home from the pharmacy. As I keep a pack of 5 penfill vials in my coolbag to use to fill my pump and to fit my injector pen if the pump was ever to break I was thinking that either all or some of the vials, perhaps the last one or two nearing week 3, (I go though 5 in 3 weeks), is losing it's potency because it had begun to break down near the 28 day-ish rule. Or... it already was breaking down because it had reached room temperature when delivered weeks or months before during transit/travel and then the extra time unrefrigerated in my coolbag is making it even less effective?

    Any thoughts?

    Any answers on the specific insulin storage issue?

    Many thanks,

  2. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    Whenever I travel, I take spare insulin which, like you, often reaches room temperature. I never experienced a problem with it losing its potency when I put it back in the fridge.
    Regarding your issue with regular highs, one thought I had is when my BG goes above about 15, I start to become insulin resistant and tend to need twice as much nsulin. Once my BG returns to normal, my insulin doses return to normal.
    Whilst your highs may not be caused by illness, it maybe worthwhile reading about sick days rules and ketones. This advices about increasing your doses.
  3. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    HI. I've also had insulin go up to room temp for a few hours (no more) and happy to put it back in the fridge and it seems fine.
  4. Ann1982

    Ann1982 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    It should be cold at the very least when received from your pharmacy,I would have a word with them. As for travelling I use a frio bag, available in many sizes and it only requires recharging with cold water. I have never had a problem going through airports with it. Just tip it out of the frio bag and put the bag alongside it to be scanned.
  5. fallongerie

    fallongerie Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Frio bag for travelling
  • 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