If you are using the pen to inject insulin, must it be kept refrigerated as well?

By nzingha Latest Reply 2011-09-23 23:05:54 -0500
Started 2011-09-16 20:34:20 -0500

I was told that using the pen with the insulin, there is no need to refrigerate? I have the 'lily' pen and I just keep it in my b bag. What happens if u dont refrigerate your inslin or dont have access to keep it so throughout the day? what effects will it have on you.?

11 replies

Type1Lou 2011-09-17 18:31:12 -0500 Report

I use NovoLog. Unopened vials or pens should be refrigerated but I was advised that I could keep the NovoLog Flexpen I was using at room temp and then to discard it after 28 days. Now, I'm using NovoLog vials to refill my new insulin pump every 3 days. I keep the opened vial in the fridge and take it out so it warms to room temp before refilling my pump reservoir. My pump trainer said that insulin at room temp is less likely to have bubbles in it and you don't want bubbles in your pump tubing. Doryian and I both deal with the Florida heat as I also believe you do, so Doryian's advice to make sure your insulin doesn't get overheated is "right on". Sounds to me like you're doing the right thing! (You also don't want insulin to freeze, but we Floridians seldom have that problem.)

nzingha 2011-09-17 18:36:36 -0500 Report

oh i am no where near or in florida or the usa.. but it does get hot where i am.. i keep the unopened insulin in the fridge… its the one in the pen i was enquiring about.. and it doesnt last for 28 days so yes i have been doing the right thing.. new to this insulin thing.. hate it but my body just doesnt seem to be coping without it so.. such is life…thnks for the info…

shoulders 2011-09-17 18:24:32 -0500 Report

No and Yes, No you don't need to keep the pen that you are useing in the fridge. Cause you are going to us that pen up with in 30 days or less according to your units that you use a day. And some of us just leave the pen on our tables, or near our other medicines, and our apartments are cool from the air conditioning. Yes any un-opened insulin pens that you are not useing should be kept refrigerated till you need them. Take Care

Doryian 2011-09-17 05:45:49 -0500 Report

I live in Florida and it does get HOT here. I take novolog and lanuts in pen form. The drug insert from the company says to store all pens in the refrigerator - except the one pen you are currently using. The pen you are using should not be refrigerated - it says cold insulin is painful to inject. You can leave the pen currently in use at "room temperature" for 28 days then must discard. I think it said "room temperature" to not let it get over 86 degrees. Since it's so hot here in Florida, I found a little carry case designed for insulin that uses an ice pack to keep it cool. The ice pack that came with the case was melting within 4 hours, so I replaced it with a better brand ice pack. Now my insulin is in the target range, even if I'm out on the 100 degree prairie. Always carry it with you - don't leave it in your car. I've never experienced this - but I think if it gets too hot the insulin changes color and texture and quits working.

nzingha 2011-09-17 07:06:19 -0500 Report

i keep the unopened ones in the fridge..it's the one in the pen i am using I was asking . Its hot here but my bag is in the AC office most of the times and I dont ever leave it in my car… not where i live lol!.. so I guess I have been doing the right thing because I was thinking if i keep putting it in and out of the fridge depending on where I am, that can't be good.. so once I start using it in the pen its always with me in my bag. thnks all for ur help and info. I thnk when next I travel I will look for one of those carry cases as u suggested u have Doryian. thnks again… off to my swimming now I go.. I tell u this is a hard challenge keeping up with this disease… but gotta do what I gotta do.. right?

Bonnie K.
Bonnie K. 2011-09-16 22:55:02 -0500 Report

I was told that you refrigerate all your insulin but that you can take out the one your using and leave it out up to 28 days, I would keep it cool in a cooler if really hot though. The place I get my insulin from gave me this information. I take humulin R U-500 it is 5 times the strength of humalog but now since I have take the cinnamon tabs I have cut the dosage by 50%. Bonnie K

Auburn Bill
Auburn Bill 2011-09-16 21:55:50 -0500 Report

I was told to keep all isulin refreg'd regardless. When traveling I carry ice packs to keep my insulin at the right tmep. Play it safe then sorry, why ruin $230 worth of medication! Grandpa Bill

Abby888 2011-09-16 20:46:28 -0500 Report

I was told by my pharmacist that my insulin did not need to be refrigerated unless it got over 86 degrees. I take Humalog and Levemir. Unfortunately we had some pretty hot summer days in NH and my insulin got ruined. The way I figured it out is my blood sugars went through the roof even though I had given myself my regular dose of insulin. Now I always keep my insulin in the fridge.

nzingha 2011-09-16 22:02:50 -0500 Report

but what if u dont have the facility to refrigerate? how do u know its been ruined? what r the signs?

Type1Lou 2011-09-17 18:34:04 -0500 Report

It may get cloudy or you may see little floaters in your insulin. Years ago, my husband and I were traveling and I forgot and left my insulin in the car for several hours on a hot summer's day. I wound up buying a new bottle rather than risk using something that was spoiled. With no refrigeration facilities, I would not purchase any more than one vial at a time since the vial you are using may be kept at room temp. Some insulins are also sensitive to light so the vials should not be exposed to daylight…I keep the vial I am using in the box it came in to limit light exposure.

cbelyea 2011-09-23 23:05:54 -0500 Report

Yup. In 21 years that's the only way I have ruined a good vial of insulin-on the dashboard of my car during a hot Missouri summer, and it looked just like that. My rule of thumb is if you're comfortable, your current use vial probably is, too.

Next Discussion: Eating binge today »