Preservatives in Insulin

Dr John
By Dr John Latest Reply 2013-04-25 08:43:15 -0500
Started 2013-04-19 13:15:06 -0500

Preservatives in Insulin

There are preservatives in insulin vials and insulin pens. Oral-Lyn, an oral spray insulin, does not contain preservatives. Ora-Lyn is not FDA approved as of this date July 29, 2012.

Why are preservative used? Before insulin can be drawn from a vial, a equal amount of air must be pushed into the vail. This air can be contaminated with bacteria. Consequently, preservatives must be used to kill this bacteria to prevent transmitting an infection through the insulin injection. Little, but some air can get into the vial of an insulin pen and therefore require preservative. The Oral-Lyn container is filled with insulin under pressure, not allowing any air to get into the container and therefore doesn't require preservatives.

Preservatives in insulins:
Lantus: 2.7 mg/ml Meta-cresol
Levemir: 2.06 mg/ml Meta-cresol, 1.8 mg phenol
Humalog: 3.15 mg/ml Meta-cresol
Novalog: 1.72 mg/ml Meta-cresol and 1.50 mg/mL Phenol

Meta-cresol is also called M-cresol. Phenic Acid is also called Phenol.

Cresol solutions are used as household cleaners and disinfectants, perhaps most famously under the trade name Lysol. Cresol solutions can also be found in photographic developers. In the past, cresol solutions have been used as antiseptics in surgery, but they have been largely displaced in this role by less toxic compounds.

Cresols are found in many foods and in wood and tobacco smoke, crude oil, coal tar, and in brown mixtures such as creosote, cresolene and cresylic acids, which are wood preservatives. Small organisms in soil and water produce cresols when they break down materials in the environment. Cresols are also a chemical component found in Sharpie Markers.

Some types of insulin solution contain metacresol. Each milliliter of Humalog injection contains 3.15mg Metacresol Also, metacresol hydrophobic structure has been shown to interact with plastic and tubing used in drug administration products such as PVC IV bags and catheters.

The major uses of phenol, consuming two thirds of its production, involve its conversion to plastics or related materials. Condensation with acetone gives bisphenol-A, a key precursor to polycarbonates and epoxide resins. Condensation of phenol, alkylphenols, or diphenols with formaldehyde gives phenolic resins, a famous example of which is Bakelite. Hydrogenation of phenol gives cyclohexanone, a precursor to nylon. Nonionic detergents are produced by alkylation of phenol to give the alkylphenols, e.g., nonylphenol, which are then subjected to ethoxylation.

Phenol is also a versatile precursor to a large collection of drugs, most notably aspirin but also many herbicides and pharmaceutical drugs. Phenol is also used as an oral anesthetic/analgesic in products such as Chloraseptic or other brand name and generic equivalents, commonly used to temporarily treat pharyngitis.

"Metacresol Material Safety Data Sheet, Inc.
14025 Smith Rd. Houston, Texas 77396

Section 3: Hazards Identification
Potential Acute Health Effects: Very hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation. Hazardous in case of skin contact (corrosive, permeator), of eye contact (corrosive). Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (sensitizer). Liquid or spray mist may produce tissue damage particularly on mucous membranes of eyes, mouth and respiratory tract. Skin contact may produce burns. Inhalation of the spray mist may produce severe irritation of respiratory tract, characterized by coughing, choking, or shortness of breath. Severe over-exposure can result in death. Inflammation of the eye is characterized by redness, watering, and itching. Skin inflammation is characterized by itching, scaling, reddening, or, occasionally, blistering.

Potential Chronic Health Effects: CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Classified POSSIBLE by IRIS. MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available. The substance may be toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, skin, central nervous system (CNS). Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. Repeated or prolonged contact with spray mist may produce chronic eye irritation and severe skin irritation. Repeated or prolonged exposure to spray mist may produce respiratory tract irritation leading to frequent attacks of bronchial infection. Repeated exposure to a highly toxic material may produce general deterioration of health by an accumulation in one or many human organs.

Last Updated: 11/01/2010 12:00 PM"

2 replies

manapua72 2013-04-24 00:06:22 -0500 Report

Thanks for pointing out that the life sustaining insulin that I'm taking is also killing me … It's like everything is bad for you these days … I tell you what though , I'm gonna keep taking my Novolog … Right now it honestly keeps me alive , that's what matters …

Dr John
Dr John 2013-04-25 08:43:15 -0500 Report

My problem was with Lantus, which made me sick. I do ok on Novolog. That is mainly why I went to the pump.