Insulin storage is done in earthen vessels if a refrigerator is not available. Insulin vials may also be wrapped in a polythene cover and submerged in cold water in a thermos container during travel. Pen devices should be maintained at a temperature below 30°C at all times to ensure the stability of insulin.
In-use insulin vials, unopened vials, cartridges, and prefilled insulin pens should be stored between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F). Extreme temperatures (<36°F or >86°F, <2°C or >30°C)
should be avoided to prevent loss of potency, clumping, frosting or precipitation.
Remember though, if you buy more than one bottle at a time to save money, store the extra bottles in the refrigerator. Then, take out the bottle ahead of time so it is ready for your next injection.
Here are some other tips for storage of 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.
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.