Microsoft word - jan-mar_07-attachguide for storage of insulin3-13-07final.doc
Guide for Storage of Insulin
Every effort is made to assure the accuracy of the attached information.
This information is not intended to be used as a tool to prescribe medication or provide other clinical services.
This information is intended as a tool for OQA surveyors to assist in evaluating medication therapy only.
Updated February 16, 2007
Insulin comes from drug manufacturers in three basic packages; vials, pens, and cartridges. In addition to these
prepackaged forms of insulins; pharmacists, physicians, and patients may mix insulin themselves in vials or
syringes and/or pre-draw insulin for later use by the patient.
General insulin storage requirements are as follows:
Never freeze. (Frozen insulin should be thrown away.)
Never use insulin beyond the expiration date stamped on the vial, pen, or cartridge that is supplied from the drug manufacturer.
Never expose insulin to direct heat or light.
Inspect insulin prior to each use. Any insulin that has clumps or solid white particles should not be used. Insulin that is supposed to be clear should not have any cloudy appearance.
Check storage guidelines specific to the insulin formulation. This is usually in the product package insert.
Unopened, not-in-use insulin should be stored in a refrigerator at a temperature of 36-46º F.
Opened, in-use insulin should be stored at room temperature below 86º F.
If receiving insulin through the mail, always confirm that the insulin is going to be stored under proper requirements.
When storing pre-filled insulin syringes, store them with the needle pointing up.
Mixing insulin in vials or in pre-drawn syringes is an acceptable approach to customize insulin treatment and minimize injections. It is recommended that the same technique or procedure to mix and store these customized preparations be utilized. Some insulins, like regular mixed with lente, may react with each other for up to 24 hours. During this 24-hour period the insulin mixture when injected may react differently based on the amount of time they have had to react with each other. Therefore, it is recommended that all mixtures stored for 24 hours before using, or that they be used immediately.
The following tables address specific expiration or beyond-use dating that applies to insulin products that have been opened, mixed, or pre-drawn.
Maximum Storage Conditions for Insulin Vials
Maximum Storage Conditions for Insulin Pens
Storage Conditions for Insulin Cartridges
Humalog 1.5 ml
Maximum Storage Conditions for Syringes Predrawn or Vials Premixed*
*(post drug manufacturer by pharmacist, patient and/or other health care professional)
Product Refrigerated Room
(single formulation) Syringe All Insulin Types
(single formulation) Syringe Novolin R &N
Standardize intervals of drawing up and injection
before or within 20 minutes after meals.
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