Handling and Storing Insulin
When insulin is not handled and stored properly, it may not work right, so be sure to read the directions that are packaged with your insulin vials or pens.
To keep insulin in good condition, you must do the following:
- Keep your extra supply of insulin in the refrigerator.
- Never let your insulin freeze.
- If you use a vial, keep the vial you are currently using in the refrigerator whenever possible.
- Your unused pens should be stored in the refrigerator.
- The pen you are currently using should not be stored in the refrigerator.
- Keep unrefrigerated insulin as cool as possible (below 86°F) and away from heat and light.
- Never shake your insulin hard or let it get tossed around. Insulin that's handled roughly is more likely to clump or frost.
Check the expiration date
Always look at the expiration date printed on the insulin box before you buy it. The date must allow enough time for you to use all the insulin in the vial or pen. Do not buy or use insulin past its expiration date.
Make sure you're buying the right kind of insulin
Using the wrong insulin can affect diabetes management, so check the box and label carefully before you buy. In order to make sure you're getting the right kind, you must know the exact kind and brand name of insulin the doctor has prescribed.
Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.
Make sure the contents are in good condition
- should be clear and have no color
- must not be used if it looks cloudy, thickened, even slightly colored, or has solid particles in it; if any of these conditions appear, call the insulin manufacturer
- should have an even, cloudy appearance after gentle mixing/rolling
- must not be used if there are clumps in the insulin after mixing or if there are particles on the bottom or wall of the vial that give a frosted appearance; if any of these conditions appear, call the insulin manufacturer