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[IP] Can Insulin go bad???

Hi, Samantha.

>... I have been using that bottle for two weeks and it has been fine. Can 
>insulin suddenly go bad?

No, not like that, unless it's been exposed to heat or frozen. If it's kept 
at a shirtsleeve ambient temperature, it'll stay just fine for months.

Hi, Carol.

>I use Humalog and my endo told me the insulin is very sensative. They do 
>not even want me to store it in my refrigerator door because it will get 
>josseled to much.

If my experience is any guide, not to worry, Humalog's not THAT sensitive!

Ever since Humalog came out, I've had at least a half year's supply on my 
refrigerator door shelf at any one time, where it's gotten jostled plenty. 
(I live in France and U-100 wasn't sold here until April 2000 -- the 
pharmacies were only allowed to sell U-40. I bought my U-100 in the States 
and had it shipped over by air mail.) I've _never_ had a problem. Now that 
U-100 is available here, I've reduced my in-fridge supply to 4 months. I 
still have no problems with insulin potency. I'm not sure what your 
care-givers are concerned about. Humalog, like all insulin, is oblivious to 
routine motion. How else could we use it in the pump?

>I have to change my insulin every 5 days-by the fifth day my bg's start 

This has _nothing_ to do with Humalog longevity and everything to do with, 
as Michael pointed out, infusion site longevity.

>Also I am unfamiliar with the how long you can keep this insulin out of 
>the fridge perhaps someone else will know the longevity of it, if it is 
>not refrigerated.

If my experience is any guide, at least six months. When I was on shots, I 
kept the same Humalog bottle in my desk drawer for 6 months and _never_ had 
a problem. It was as potent with the last shot as it was with the first. (I 
was taking lunchtime doses of 5 units at the time.) I continued this 
practice through several bottles. Then, I switched to pen injectors, which 
only held 150 units at that time. Each cartridge lasted roughly two months. 
I never had a problem through at least 10 cartridges.

Hi, Michael.

>At room temperature insulin will loose about 1% potency per month if my 
>memory serves me correctly.

You may find the following link informative:


It's a message from the "E-DRUG" mailing list and cites the "Trissel 
Handbook on injectable drugs 8th Ed. 1994". My comments are in brackets. I 
deleted source numbers in the citation:

"At 25 degrees C [i.e. room temperature], [insulin] is stable for 24 to 30 
months ..., although Lilly has recommended a maximum of 30 days .... One 
study found approx. 5% loss of biological potency after about 36 months at 
[room temperature]. At 37 degrees C [98.6 degrees Farenheit], a 5% loss 
occurred in about 5 months ..."

regards, Andy

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