How Should You Store Your Insulin?

Insulin injection pen
Many diabetics wonder whether or not they should refrigerate their insulin. Perhaps the confusion stems from the fact that insulin may come refrigerated from the pharmacy.

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Regardless, the fact remains that insulin does not need to be refrigerated after you bring it home and have opened it.

Likewise, other injectable diabetes medications don’t have to be kept cold either. But, there’s a catch.

How Should You Store Insulin?

Insulin and other injectable medications can lose potency if they’re not properly stored. Here are some storage guidelines:

• Vials and pens that you are currently using can be stored at room temperature. This is a good thing, since injecting insulin when it’s cold can make the injection more painful or cause a local irritation around the site.

• Insulin that is not in use–that is, insulin that you’ve not yet opened–should be refrigerated at a temperature between 36 degrees F and 46 degrees F.

• If insulin ever gets frozen, throw it out, since it loses its potency.

• Once opened, insulin actually expires anywhere from 14-28 days, depending on the type of insulin it happens to be. Most opened vials of insulin can be stored at room temp for 28 days. Insulin pens and other injectable medications can be stored, once opened, at room temperature for anywhere from 14 days to 28 days, depending on the type of insulin.

• Always check the expiration date on your insulin’s box or vial. Do not use that batch of insulin (or of any medicine) if it’s past that date.

If you have any questions about storing your medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.