Writing this blog is a trip down memory lane for me 😀 The times, when I was diagnosed was an era of less amenities and no fancy lives, people had less or no knowledge about Type1 diabetes. As a newbie, we were instructed from the hospital to always store insulin in a refrigerator, as soon as I am done with my shot, my parents used to run to refrigerator to put it there.
Gradually, as I grew older I learnt that insulin can also be stored in some other ways.
Let me tell you the ways you can store insulin in chronological order (as I used to store)
- First and foremost is the refrigeration of insulin, which is recommended almost for every insulin. It should be stored between 2-8°C in a refrigerator and should never ever be freezed, this will denature the insulin and not advisable for use. Note : It is mandatory for every patient to read the leaflet which comes inside the packaging of insulins, whether vials or cartridges, which clearly specifies the nature of insulin and its storage. Unrefrigerated vials and cartridges, whether in use or not, must be discarded after 28 days or 4 weeks.
- Storage becomes a concern when you are travelling. So, earlier I used to keep my Insulin in an ice box while travelling. It maintained a cool environment for insulin and will not freeze the same. The only problem with ice boxes is that you always need to arrange ice from anywhere as soon it melts down.
- With advancemet, there came cooling pads or cooler packs or reusable flexible ice pack. These are a substitute for ice and ice boxes which used to be large and space occupying. These days, so many diabetes travel cases are available in almost every online shopping websites, to store your insulin and other diabetes accessories like glucometer, needles, lancets etc along with cooling packs, which makes it way easier to store all your stuff at one place.
- At present, I am using a Frio Insulin cooling case that does not require ice or refrigeration. It works on the principle of evaporation of water. Once activated, it keeps the temperature under 78 °F . This makes sense when you read the leaflet of your insulin packaging. (For example : Instructions manual inside Lantus Insulin says – “If refrigeration is not possible, the open 10 ml vial, cartridge or cartridge system of Lantus can be kept unrefrigerated for upto 28 days or 4 weeks away from direct heat or sunlight, as long as the temperature is not greater than 30°C or 86 °F ” ). Always remember not to keep your stock of Insulin at room temperature, only an opened vial or cartridge can be kept without refrigeration and that too for 28 days.