By carithers Latest Reply 2011-05-30 09:47:25 -0500
Started 2011-05-08 21:53:12 -0500

what happens if insuliin is not cold?

34 replies

headkeep 2011-05-11 14:45:54 -0500 Report

I'd like to add one item. I must buy a 90 day supply of insulin (as well as all of my other prescription drugs) from a mail order company or my insurance won't pay. I live in TN and it gets hot here in the summer. I'm very conscious of when I'm ordering insulin as I don't want to be ordering it in July or Aug! It sits in UPS's warehouse, then sits in the back of their brown truck and when I was still working it would sit on the front step of my home. While it's shipped in an insulated box with cool packs, I won't take a chance! I wear an insulin pump and one full reservoir will last up to 3 days. I figure if it's too hot for me, then it's too hot for my insulin. Haven't had any problems in over 15 years.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-11 16:15:40 -0500 Report

I actually got a small refrigerator for our front porch. I have it labeled "UPS for Medco shipments". Met up with my UPS "man", Lisa, and she is fine with it. I have found that most of the companies do not ship Insulin on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, so usually you will get it the next day. The cool packs, not only keep the Insulin cool, but also help to prevent it from getting hot, after the coldness is gone. I believe that as long as the insulin remains clear, it should be good. For awhile I was having it shipped to work, but because I work at a camp, that didn't work out. If you have a neighbor or family member in the area that is usually home, maybe you can have it shipped there. Jim

jayabee52 2011-05-11 18:50:22 -0500 Report

Actually Jim that's not quite right. My NPH is supposed to be cloudy, It does settle out a bit, but rotating it between one's hands a bit will bring it back to its cloudy appearance. In this, James Bond would not like it as it is "stirred not shaken". They tell you not to shake it, I forget the reason for that.

James . . . . James Baker

Chris92 2011-05-11 13:42:47 -0500 Report

You should only keep your pens which you are not using cold. As I'm sure many others have said.
You keep them cold as when the insulin is at too high a temperature it affects te proteins ( insulin is a protein ).
It breaks certain bonds which means it cannot perform it's function. Therefore the pen doesn't work like it should.
I once knew a man who kept his insulin above his fire and then wondered why it didn't lower his levels…

So basically it's like preserving food :-D
Hope it helped!!!

ESTIMAGE 2011-05-10 15:09:37 -0500 Report

Well all my insulin pens i kept in the refrigerator becasuse i make sure they dont get hot, just a habit. I thought all insulin are at least supposed to be kept at room temperature.

carithers 2011-05-10 15:23:14 -0500 Report

when I pick it up ftrom walgreens they have it refrigerator.
when I home i keep it in refrigator.
but someitimes I take it to work and it is just out.I think it is good at room temperature

ESTIMAGE 2011-05-10 15:29:57 -0500 Report

Yeah i think that is why i started that. Because when you do go to drug store to pick it up they have it refrigerated so i just do the same. Better safe

kdroberts 2011-05-10 15:39:15 -0500 Report

Pens come with a warning NOT to refrigerate the pen you are using, only the ones you are waiting to use.

Zolar1 2011-05-15 18:26:24 -0500 Report

I refrigerate my pens and bottles, even the one's in use. Never had any problems and they keep MUCH longer. Insulin in your pocket can be destroyed in a matter of a scant few hours.

34-38F is ideal.

I have some NPH that I have used from time to time for several months. Good as the day I bought it.

carithers 2011-05-15 20:09:17 -0500 Report

My insulin is totallly different it is humlog and I use lantus and they are in pen form. they seem too be concern that it is effective within a 28 day period.

carithers 2011-05-10 20:22:48 -0500 Report

The insulin I take when I pick up from walgreens comes from refrigerator.I think I am going to read the package insert.

kdroberts 2011-05-10 20:46:01 -0500 Report

Right, because you haven't started using it. The pen you are using you should keep out, the rest of the box you keep refrigerated until you start using them.

carithers 2011-05-10 21:14:36 -0500 Report

you are right the pen I am using should be kept out at room temp. The pens I am storing should be kept in I did not know Thanks.

Tigereyze209 2011-05-09 15:48:22 -0500 Report

Insulin will keep for a while as long as it is kept cold. Once you open it, the stuff expires in about a month or so. Not really sure how long unopened and uncooled insulin will last, but I would tend to definatly not trust it after about a month and a half.

carithers 2011-05-09 23:23:57 -0500 Report

I just want to know if it can be used at room temperature

Tigereyze209 2011-05-10 21:42:40 -0500 Report

The short answer is, YES! You can keep your insulin at room temperature after you open it, and it is safe to use. Depending on the type you have, and it should be marked on your container, some only last 28 days before you need to quit using it, and some will last as long as 40 days.
You simply can't let it get too hot, or too cold, or it goes bad.
Sometimes, I think we try to give too much information when someone asks, or we try to anticipate and answer all possible situation.

rwb 2011-05-09 12:51:47 -0500 Report

i agree with k d roberts i take 2 diff types insulin i never put mine in the fridge

kdroberts 2011-05-09 07:44:40 -0500 Report

It depends on the type, if it's a vial or pen, if it's in use or not and how hot it gets.

carithers 2011-05-09 23:27:19 -0500 Report

I use the pen humlog and lantus

kdroberts 2011-05-10 07:31:21 -0500 Report

As long as the pen you are using stays under 80 degrees you not refrigerate it. Once open you have 28 days to use both types. Lantus especially should not be refrigerated. You should keep the pens you aren't using in the fridge but not the ones you are using.

jayabee52 2011-05-09 04:52:06 -0500 Report

Could you put your insulin in an insulated lunch bag together with a frozen gel pack?

diabetesfree 2011-05-09 05:32:24 -0500 Report

I've done it before while on trips. Depending on outside temperatures, the ice (and cold) is only going to last so long though. Usually, a few hours. If you are having to go on a car trip that lasts longer than that, you might want to look into storing the medication in a package that contains dry ice (basically, frozen cabon dioxide). It usually lasts quite a bit longer, and is often used when shipping items that need to be kept cold through the mail. I doubt you would be allowed to bring dry ice aboard a commercial airline flight these days though.

As to where to get dry ice from… that depends on your area. Check the phone book for "ice" or maybe a butcher shop or local seafood distributor. One caveat… NEVER let the dry ice come into DIRECT contact with the insulin or water of any kind. Otherwise, your car will look something from the atmosphere or a cheap horror movie, or a 1970's rock concert!

jayabee52 2011-05-10 03:02:05 -0500 Report

and don't let the insulin freeze. It becomes unsuable when it freezes.

diabetesfree 2011-05-10 03:22:53 -0500 Report

Absolutely. You will want to put some sort of "buffer" between the insulin and the actual ice, so that they do not come into direct contact with one another. Wrapping the insulin bottle in a paper towel, inside a small, plastic bag should suffice. Its the cold air that should be keeping the insulin from overheating, not the ice itself.

Harlen 2011-05-08 22:03:54 -0500 Report

For me if it come up to room temp I will only keep it for 30 day's
If it gets hot I will get rid of it over 95
hope this helps
Best wishes

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