Archive for May, 2015
Extreme temperatures can affect insulin and make it unsafe or less effective in controlling blood sugar. The rules have changed from previous times when insulin used to control diabetes was beef or pork insulin. Unopened insulin is stored in the refrigerator and once opened the various types of insulin can be stored at or near room temperature for a little less than a month. Please consult your packaging for exact temperatures and storage length for your prescription.
The original pork and beef insulin formulations were supposed to be kept cold all the time. Those cold insulin injections create a sting so the move to being able to keep the newer human insulin at room temperature was a big step in the comfort of people taking daily shots.
The American Diabetes Association offers these tips for storing insulin:
- 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.
- Check the expiration date before using, and don’t use any insulin beyond its expiration date.
- Examine the bottle closely to make sure the insulin looks normal before you draw the insulin into the syringe.
People living with diabetes should not wait until temperatures approach 100 to take precautions. According to the National Weather Service, individuals with diabetes should begin taking precautions when the heat index reaches 80 or 90 to avoid heat stroke, sunstroke, and other problems.
Getting plenty of water and avoiding long periods of unprotected exposure to the sun are simple steps that might help.
It is common to protect insulin from temperature extremes, but health care providers or diabetes educators should be asked about the harm that high temperatures can cause to oral medications, glucose monitors, strips and insulin pumps.