Expiration of Lantus/Novolog

By alwaystryin Latest Reply 2011-06-06 11:55:02 -0500
Started 2009-04-12 19:58:10 -0500

I've been told Lantus looses some of it's effectiveness after 30 days or so after initial stab. What about Novolog? And is the 30 day thing accurate for Lantus?

13 replies

JoleneAL 2011-06-06 11:55:02 -0500 Report

My pharmacist advised that the bottle was good for up to 60 days after opening as long as its kept cool. I find no drop off of effectiveness going to 60 days. I believe it is a waste to through it out after 28 days because I still have over 80% of the bottle left after 28/30 days.

Sarguillo 2009-04-13 12:32:30 -0500 Report

As stated, and from what I was told. all insulin should be descarded after 30 days of first use. If you buy 2 motnh supply, keep it in fridge and it will be ok untill you can start using it a month later. I myself buy my insulin, keep it in fridge till its time to uncap. When I do uncap, I mark the bottle with the date. Use it, throw it away after 28 days. Pens should be about the same.

This is what the ADA says about this.

Insulin Storage and Syringe Safety Information


Insulin Storage

Although manufacturers recommend storing your insulin in the refrigerator, injecting cold insulin can sometimes make the injection more painful. To counter the reaction, many providers suggest storing the bottle of insulin you are using at room temperature. Insulin kept at room temperature will last approximately one (1) month.

Remember though, if you buy more than one bottle at a time — a possible money saver — store the extra bottles in the refrigerator. Then, take out the bottle ahead of time so it is ready for your next injection.

Do not store your insulin near extreme heat or extreme cold. Never store insulin in the freezer, direct sunlight, or in the glove compartment of a car.

Make sure that you check the expiration date, especially if you have had the bottle for a while. Don't use any insulin beyond its expiration date and examine the bottle closely to make sure the insulin looks normal before you draw the insulin into the syringe. If you use regular, check for particles or discoloration of the insulin. If you use NPH or lente, check for "frosting" or crystals in the insulin on the inside of the bottle or for small particles or clumps in the insulin.

If you find any of these in your insulin, do not use it, and return the unopened bottle to the pharmacy for an exchange and/or refund.


alwaystryin 2009-04-13 07:48:01 -0500 Report

Thanks for the updates. I had a post yesterday asking for brainstorming on my carb to insulin ratio. It seemed we were slowly everyday losing ground (higher numbers). When it is seeming more than likely the expiration factor is mainly to blame. We have been on an every other month schedule of buying insulin. So that would keep both lantus and novolog in the frig for almost 60 days.

NOT GOOD…thaks again all.

kdroberts 2009-04-13 07:54:01 -0500 Report

That wont work. Essentially he will be taking lantus one month and novolog the next. They wont last an extra 30 days, maybe a couple then after that they will loose effectiveness and very quickly not work at all.

You may find pens are better for your use. Since they come in boxes of 5 with each pen holding 300 units you only open 1 pen at a time so the remaining pens have a much longer expiration. Since I take a small amount of lantus and humalog I can get 5 months from a box of lantus and 4 months from a box of humalog. The pens are more expensive up front but may work out cheaper in the long run.

kdroberts 2009-04-13 07:28:43 -0500 Report

As far as I know all insulin has a 28 day expiry after first use, all the pens I have at home have it marked on them and I'm sure the vials would do as well. From what I understand you may be able to get away with an extra day or so but Lantus is notorious for essentially turning into water almost immediately after 28 days and since Novolog is made on the same principles I would think that would do as well. You would notice it if it expired, it would be like you didn't inject anything.

dj7110 2009-04-13 01:27:02 -0500 Report

I take both of these insulins and too have been told not use the bottles after they are more than 28 days old.. however mine are empty by than. other than that they loose there effectiveness if ever exposed to high or low temperature. Should be kept refigerated till opened and kept from temps above room temp or freezing tempatures till 28 days than replaced after 28 days to keep there effectiveness.

Pluckinfool 2009-04-12 23:01:03 -0500 Report

The original N and R insulins (circa 1950's) were only supposed to be good for 28 days. I used bottles for 3 months, and occasionally got two bottles open at once, for a total of 6 months or so. I always figured if the stuff quit working right, I'd throw it out, but that didn't happen. Now they're up to 30 days expiration! I suppose the manufacturers made a deal with the insurance companies, now they only try to make you throw away the remains of 12 bottles a year rather than 13. The idea seems to be, to make low-dose people make as many co-pays as high-dose people.

Avera 2009-04-12 22:10:12 -0500 Report

This is a question I am not sure of the answer, but I am sure of where to find out.

Always when I have as question such as this, I call the Pharmacy where I purchased the medicine. The people working there are always helpful and I have found that going right to the source, you will get the best answer.

great dane
great dane 2009-04-13 08:49:45 -0500 Report

The best answer to this question is your own experience. If the insulin loses efficacy, your blood sugar readings will be higher than you expect. If so, discard the insulin. I have also been told that 28 days was the limit for opened (unrefrigerated) insulin but found it not to be true in my case. Keep good records! Good luck. Art

alwaystryin 2009-04-13 09:16:17 -0500 Report

I was 'stuck' on thinking I was just mis-calculating the carb to insulin number. I totally overlooked the expiration factor.

Which also makes be continue to ask why the Manufact. do not make smaller vials?

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