The guidelines for storing insulin vary, depending on factors such as whether the product is opened or unopened, the type of insulin you are using, and whether the insulin is in a vial or pen. Generally, it's important to keep all unopened products in the refrigerator if possible. Once you start using the insulin, it is best to keep it in the refrigerator as well, although it can typically be kept at room temperature for up to one month.
There are various guidelines for storing insulin, depending on several factors. While it is ideal to follow these guidelines carefully, sometimes situations arise in which insulin cannot be stored as recommended. In these cases, it is important to know what exactly to do.
Although the specific recommendations may vary slightly from product to product, the following general guidelines usually apply:
- Store all unopened insulin products in the refrigerator (not freezer) if possible. They will be good until the expiration date on the label. Make sure your refrigerator is not set too cold (which could cause freezing).
- Once you start using an insulin vial, it can be kept in the refrigerator or at room temperature (for various lengths of time, depending on the particular insulin product).
- Insulin pens should not be stored in the refrigerator after you start using them. Some pens are good for up to a month outside of the refrigerator; some are good for only 10 days.
- Never freeze insulin.
- Outside of the refrigerator, insulin should be kept as cool as possible and out of direct sunlight. Make sure it is not stored in temperatures over 86 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, make sure it does not freeze.
Refer to the patient information leaflet for your specific insulin product for the exact storage guidelines for your particular insulin.