Insulin that was left out

By Dietbeeties Latest Reply 2016-06-22 07:09:39 -0500
Started 2009-05-25 09:40:28 -0500

Just curious how long can insulin be left out and still be usable? We went to a birthday party last night (for one of the kids' friends) and it was late when we left. When we got home I grabbed all their treat bags and prizes and totoally forgot about my insulin pouch! (I had put it in the glovebox to kind of hide it from the kiddos). Anyways, when I went to take my shot this morning is when I realized what I did. The cold pack wasn't necessarily cold anymore. I went ahead and opened a new bottle of N, but was out of the R…which I am supposed to pick up a refill tomorrow. I went ahead and took some of the R, and I only need to use it til tomorrow. Just for future long can it stay out and still be good?

22 replies

Sarhindi 2015-05-16 16:25:57 -0500 Report

I am new here, been diabetic type 2, for the past 8 years. Just one query, I am on lantus, i keep my lantus penfil stock refrigrated, living alone and not using refrigerator for quite some time, my refrigerator gave up on me with out me knowing, the temperature inside was moderate and not ideal (between 2 - 8 C) i had roughly 3 packs full of lantus, so are they all gone BAD?

jayabee52 2015-05-17 00:48:18 -0500 Report

Howdy Sarhindi
I use the farenheit scale to measure temperature so I had to go and find a converter between celsius and farenheit (here ~

According to this it would seem that your insulin was kept cool enough so as not to go bad, I would however check when opening a new bottle and if the insulin doesn't seem to work well for you, then it may have gone bad.

I pray it hasn't


NateB71 2011-11-16 20:22:34 -0600 Report

Hello All,
I am new to the Group but I wanted let you now what I have learned latley. For 8 months I had been leaving my lantis out on the night stand and for 8 months I have had to increase the CC and still maintain 200 to 300 level's. (not Good) so 2 months ago I started refridgerating it and my blood sugar levels are holding between 105 and 150 with a 10cc decrease. I know how frustrating this can be and I was at a point of giving up.
So maybe this might help someone elses level.. Give it a try.

ali eletre
ali eletre 2009-05-30 07:03:26 -0500 Report

it depend on the tempreture of the plase you kept it in .. & I think four hours or more little dose not effect

Goddess 2009-05-28 17:49:39 -0500 Report

my endo told me to refrgerate them. but once they were opened they could stay out.the unused ones had to be refrigerated.

RaleTrail 2009-05-28 17:39:44 -0500 Report

Insulin does not have to be refrigerated. I've been a diabetic for 55 years. When storing keep it in the refrigerator. After that and when using at room temperature. Keep supplies in a medport carry case. Keep this in your handbag and you can go any where without worrying.

lipsie 2009-05-27 08:22:30 -0500 Report

I agree with you, I LOVE this place, its a home away from home. I have learned so much and feel comfort here. As far as your question they answered it…the 28 days out on the one you're using and unused stay in fridge according to to dates on the boxes. *Hugs* Love yassss Sheila

mamaoak 2009-05-26 20:18:12 -0500 Report

i was told to keep un open in fridge and once used out.

Dietbeeties 2009-05-27 07:11:22 -0500 Report

I just totally love all you guys! My outlook has changed so much since I joined this group and I tell all my friends and family that I wish I would've known and joined years ago. You all give me confidence in controlling this disease that I didn't have before. And to be able to ask for advice and log on a couple hours later and its there!! I wish I could hug each one of you and tell you what an inspiration you are! I have to let my Quaker side come out a little bit and say "thank God for this site! and Bless you all!"

dj7110 2009-05-26 09:22:27 -0500 Report

from what I have been told insulin is good for 28 days after opening. opened bottles can be kept at room tempature without loosing effectiveness. I always keep mine refrigerated untill opening. than keep them in my insulin pack. these are cheap and do a good job for easy storage. this link is the to one I use.

Sarguillo 2009-05-26 16:27:37 -0500 Report

I use the same pack, and that site has the pack at a better price than what I bought mine for. I too keep my insulin out at room temprature for 28 days. A week ago, I was in Reno. After I checked out of the hotel room, I packed up my truck. Went site seeing with my wife. Came back later. Forgot my insulin was in the truck and the temprature was 104 that day. Talk about being worried that my insulin had turned bad. Decided to take my pills. Take my insulin line normal and see what my readings were. Turns out, my readings were fine. So I have to assume my insulin was fine. I did check to make sure my insulin was not seperating or clumping in the bottle. So I dodged that one. I am more carefull now. Only takes a time or two to learn the lessons. Hope you all had a great weekend.

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2009-05-25 23:30:49 -0500 Report

I have an insulin lunch box in my backseat. I carry ice water, a container of decorator icing, crackers ect. but also keep my insulin in there when I go visiting or just out for the day. I have a little insulin insulated case just big enough for my insulin and a few cap needles. I leave that in there all month and never put it in the fridge…Debe

donsqueen 2009-05-25 11:45:58 -0500 Report

My pharmacist said that the bottle I'm using can be left out for up to a month. I don't leave it out intentionally, but sometimes I do forget to put it in the fridge or I'm out for the day so it's in my purse. She also said to always (whether left in or out) check the appearance for cloudiness or crystals. As long as it's still clear, you are fine using the R. Harder to tell with N of course, but if you've been using it for a while, you should be used to what it looks like. Hope this helps.

ewskis 2009-05-25 11:52:22 -0500 Report

The information I have is that insulin is good for up to 28 days after it is opened when stored between 40 degrees and 80 degrees heat id the killer of insulin.

dianef 2009-05-25 11:13:31 -0500 Report

How hot did the car get? Excessive heat is bad. I don't refrigerate the bottle of insulin that I am currently using, but I wouldn't feel safe using insulin that had been left in a hot car

Dietbeeties 2009-05-26 06:58:12 -0500 Report

The car wasn't hot when we got in, where we were, it had been sprinkling for a while and so the weather was nice and cool. I have a little insulated pack, and a little cold pack I keep in it, but the cold pack wasn't frozen, or really all that cold anymore. I had put the insulin in the pack before we left (about 3pm) and discovered it the next morning (about 8am). Thanks for all the info..are you guys getting this information from the litte inserts that come in the insulin box or do you just know from previous experience. I have been on it so long, I just pitch the inserts,…but maybe I should read one and refresh Sounds like I am going to be ok. Both bottles look no different than usual. Great information though…and thanks again!

LindaRuth 2009-05-25 10:24:09 -0500 Report

Insulin does not always need to be refrigerated. Many people store open bottles at room temperature because they find it more comfortable to inject. Opened and unopened insulin can be stored at room temperature for up to 28 days. Some for up to 42 days! Refrigerated, unopened bottles are good until the expiration date printed on them. Always read the instructions that come with your insulin. We keep our Insulin in the medicine cart at work.

lcf74 2013-11-20 18:35:51 -0600 Report

I never throw any Humalog away. It lasts much longer than the 28 days but have never counted the day. I do keep it refrigerated.