Insulin that's been in my car for weeks

By DietAudreyCola Latest Reply 2012-02-28 10:27:29 -0600
Started 2012-02-27 16:36:08 -0600

I accidently left a bottle of insulin in my car the weather has been hot-cold during this time. today I am at work and I am out of my insulin. I left my spare at home.. I live far away so this would mean calling off work to go home and get insulin. I know I am irresponsible with my diabetes.. but can i use the bottle that's been sitting in my car?? I've been meaning to throw it away since I figured it's no good, but since I haven't and now I need it. what should I do? what will really happen if I used this insulin?
Any information would be helpful.


7 replies

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-02-27 21:56:26 -0600 Report

It will not hurt you to use it, I had some freeze on me and had to ask the pharmacist. But you need to check your numbers to see how well it is working. Insulin can be kept out of the fridge for a month at normal temps and be good. But too hot or cold can alter it.

Type1Lou 2012-02-27 17:10:57 -0600 Report

If the temperature dipped below freezing or the temp in the car got very hot (90's and 100's F) you should not use the insulin as it's effectiveness will have been compromised. It should be thrown out. (Depending on the type of insulin you use…if it is normally clear and is now cloudy, don't use it; if it's developed clumps and/or granules, don't use it).

DietAudreyCola 2012-02-27 17:13:58 -0600 Report

I use novolog. and it's clear.. still looks clear. It did not get to freezing but it may have gotten to 90F. I was desperate and used it. I don't mind so much that the effectiveness might be compromised, it's more like I don't want to get some king of insulin or blood poisoning. Can that happen?

door331 2012-02-27 19:20:52 -0600 Report

Under normal circumstances I would toss it but in this situation it should not hurt to use it. Insulin is a protein and basically the protein chain breaks down when the temps get too hot— its not an automatic on/off thing it would slowly start to break down but should not hurt your body as far as I know (I am not an expert here..).

actually I just looked it up on and here is a little excerpt form that: "If it starts to spoil, bacteria growing in it breaks down the insulin. It won't hurt you to use this. However, its not as effective so your blood sugar will be higher than you expect even though you took the right amount of insulin at the right time."

DietAudreyCola 2012-02-28 10:27:29 -0600 Report

Thanks for looking that up. I couldn't find anything on it yesterday.
It's a relief to know it won't do physical harm. I just took a chance. It worked.. it brought my sugar from 387 to 288 in an hour. I took an injection and a bolus from that insulin. Then threw it out once I got home.

Type1Lou 2012-02-27 17:38:53 -0600 Report

I really don't know Audrey. How well did that Novolog work for you? Before going on the pump, I used Novolog and Lantus. Now I use Novolog in my pump. I've had Type 1 for 36 years and resisted going on the pump until last August. I'm now kicking myself for having waited so long..pumping is great…no more forgetting to bring my insulin along. It's in my pump! Wishing you well!

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