The best way to store insulin depends on when you intend to use it. The insulin you are currently using on a daily basis should be kept at room temperature. Not only is room temperature insulin more comfortable to inject, but it remains stable and potent for at least 28 days unless it is exposed to temperatures that exceed 86 F or go below 36 F. If you anticipate room temperatures to be outside that range, it’s best to keep the insulin in the refrigerator.
Insulin intended for future use should be kept in a refrigerator at a temperature between 36 to 46 F. This includes any unused prefilled pens and insulin cartridges. Any colder and the insulin will freeze and become unusable.
More tips on insulin storage:
- Write the start date of your insulin on the label along with the end date (28 days later) when the insulin should be discarded. Insulin manufacturers do not recommend extending the supply beyond this point.
- Always have an additional supply of insulin on hand in the refrigerator in case your current supply loses potency, is damaged or lost.
- Check the insulin package insert or talk with your pharmacist about specific storage information that may pertain to the type of insulin you are using.
Handling and Storing Insulin. LillyDiabetes. Accessed January 8, 2009. http://www.lillydiabetes.com/content/insulin-storage.jsp
Storing Insulin. American Diabetes Association. Accessed January 8, 2009. http://www.diabetes.org/youth-zone/Storing-Insulin.jsp