Insulin can become damaged and ineffective if it is
not stored properly.
Unopened insulin that is packaged in small glass
bottles (vials) should be stored in the refrigerator.
is packaged in small cartridges (containing several doses) is more stable. It
may be kept unrefrigerated, but it will last longer if it is kept in the
refrigerator. Insulin cartridges are used in pen-shaped devices (insulin pens)
with attached disposable needles.
Always read the insulin package information that tells the best way
to store your insulin.
Total health care costs for diabetes in the U.S.: $218 billion.
Estimated number of people in the U.S. who have prediabetes: 79 million.
Total health care costs to cover prediabetes: $25 billion.
Reduced risk of developing diabetes over three years if you follow a healthy food and exercise program: 58%.
Length of time diabetes diagnosis may be delayed through lifestyle or medication intervention: up to 10 years.
Reduced risk of developing diabetes over three years if...
You can keep open bottles with you if you keep them in a dark place.
The bottles should not be exposed to temperatures below
36 °F (2.2 °C) or above
86 °F (30 °C). Never leave
insulin in the sun or in your hot car, because sunlight and heat reduces the strength of the insulin.
Avoid shaking insulin bottles and cartridges too much to prevent loss
of medicine strength and to prevent clumping, frosting, or particles settling
out. Follow the storage information provided by the manufacturer.
The first time you use an insulin bottle, write the date on the
bottle label. Always store an extra bottle of each type of your insulin in the
If you cannot prepare an
insulin dose but can give the injection, you may need
someone to prepare your insulin dose for you. A family member, friend, or
health professional can prefill insulin syringes for you. If you prefill
Store prefilled syringes in the refrigerator with
the needle pointing up to prevent insulin from blocking the needle opening.
Syringes filled with one type of insulin (rather than mixed insulin) will keep
for 30 days.
Store different doses separately. For example, if your
morning dose is different from your evening dose, have a different container
for morning and evening injections.
Before using a prefilled
syringe, allow the syringe to warm for 5 to 10 minutes. Gently roll the syringe
between your hands to warm the insulin. If the syringe contains a cloudy
insulin, make sure all of the white powder is dissolved before giving the
Another option is to use an insulin pen. You do not have to
put insulin into a syringe. You put a cartridge of insulin into the
pen. Don't share insulin pens with anyone else who uses insulin. Even when the needle is changed, an insulin pen can carry bacteria or blood that can make another person sick.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
December 12, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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