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Basic Knowledge

Care and Storage of Insulin

By in Basic Knowledge

The following rules apply to the care and storage of the following types of insulin: Humalog, Novolog, Admelog, Apidra, Fiasp, Lantus, Basaglar, Levemir, Tresiba, and Toujeo.

If you are using a less common insulin (Humalog Mix 75/25, Novolog 70/30, NPH or Regular), refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

When to Refrigerate It

  • Keep unopened vials, pens, and cartridges in the refrigerator.
  • Keep open vials at room temperature (less than 86° F or 30° Celsius).
  • Do NOT keep insulin in the freezer, or leave it in the car, as it will not work properly if at anytime it gets too hot or too cold.  Use a cooler or insulated bag, such as a FRIO, to protect insulin from hot temperatures.

When to Throw It Away

  • 28 days after first use, even if there is insulin left.  Use a sharpie to write the date you opened the vial or pen on it.
  • If it has expired, even if it’s been unopened.
  • If it is cloudy, colored or has particles or clumps in it.
  • If it’s been frozen or been in temperatures greater than (less than 86° F or 30° Celsius).

Keep Supplies on Hand

  • Store at least one extra insulin pen or vial in the refrigerator.
  • If you are on an insulin pump, store Lantus, a long-acting insulin,  in the refrigerator in the event that your pump stops working.
  • If you need to keep insulin with you at work, store it in a cooler or an insulated bag. (Never leave insulin in a hot car.)

 

Reviewed by Angelina Bernier, MD, 7/15/19 

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.


Recommended

How Does Insulin Work?

Different Types of Insulin

Smart Insulin Pen

What is a Pump?

Benefits of Pumps

 


Sources

Storage of Insulin — ConsumerMedSafety.org

FRIO Insulin Cooling Case

Reusable Insulin Cooler Pen Cap