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Thread: Freezing Insulin

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Calgary, Canada
    Posts
    551

    Default Freezing Insulin

    A few days ago I read a thread questioning whether their insulin is still good after being in the car in cold temps for a few days. It got me wondering whether you can notice whether or not insulin had been frozen and then thawed. Anyway, I took an old pen vial and put it in the freezer for experiment (warning put it in a baggie in case the expansion from freezing pops the rubber bung off). When it is frozen, it is obvious... it solidifies and turns cloudy. However, once thrawed, there is no difference and no telltale signs of it ever being frozen. I was hoping that it would be cloudy or lumpy so that if the pharmacies/suppliers ever left it too long in the cold during shipment, that we can tell. But this is not the case. Just FYI for those who may be interested. I did not take the time to call the manufacturer to ask if insulin is still stable to use for a period once frozen or if it is ruined immediately.
    mom to Ashley, our one and only precious child
    dx'd T1D April 30, 2011 at almost 8 years old
    Humulin N and Humalog until Nov 13, 2011
    Animas PING with NovoRapid Nov 14, 2011 to present

  2. #2

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    Thanks for doing this and posting this.

    Sometimes we get very strange results from insulin, it doesn't go as predicted, but I just chalk it up to diabetes being what it is. But our fridge is really cheap and we often have food that freezes in sections. I put the insulin on the door, but lately I've wondered if it might freeze and thaw. Probably not, but I'll be watching this thread closely. Thanks for bringing it up.

  3. #3

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    Since we had our last power outage here I wondered if my insulin was at the right temp. I had it in the door. So I got a fairly inexpensive remote thermometer so I could monitor. The door was actually too warm, well it was like 48 and recommended temp was something like 36-46.

    So I experimented around to figure out which area of the fridge had the right temps.
    Mom to Madison (18)
    dxd 8/5/09
    Omnipod pump using Novalog 4/10
    Dexcom 3/13

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa P. View Post
    Thanks for doing this and posting this.

    Sometimes we get very strange results from insulin, it doesn't go as predicted, but I just chalk it up to diabetes being what it is. But our fridge is really cheap and we often have food that freezes in sections. I put the insulin on the door, but lately I've wondered if it might freeze and thaw. Probably not, but I'll be watching this thread closely. Thanks for bringing it up.

    Lisa, last year, I decided to put L's insulin in a small Igloo cooler with a flat top, to keep the temperature more stable for the insulin while it's in the fridge. This protects it from freezing, door being left open...
    I leave the insulin in the small box the vial is in.

    OP, thank you for doing this.

  5. #5

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    I moved ours from the door last year because it seemed like a new vial would only last 2 weeks then his numbers would start to climb. Sometimes the new vial seemed to not work at all. I put them in our snack drawer and they have seemed much more stable.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for doing that experiment! I was hoping you would say that it remained clumped, then I might have tried our "left in the car" insulin. If insulin is as temperature sensitive as they say it is, you would think they could put a sensor or something on it that turns black when it gets out of its temperature range.
    ~Sara~
    Mom to 5 boys (11, 9, 6, 4, 2)
    Owen - dob July 2009 (dx 9/13/10 at 13 months)
    Animas Ping 11/12/10, Apidra
    DEXCOM 12/9/10

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