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Does Insulin really last only 30days?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by My_Dana, May 9, 2006.

  1. My_Dana

    My_Dana Approved members

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    I have wondered about why it is said that the insulin vials only last 30 days once you "open" them. Fact is we don't ever open the vial to let germs in, so it seems a bit strange. Does it really lose potency after only 30 days?

    A vial can last a year+ on the shelf, but as soon as you poke it with a sterile needle, start the countdown...

    Seems like a convenient method by insulin companies to keep the orders coming.

    We will end up throwing loads away at the end of each month and is a big waste. Insurance coverage or not, I don't like to waste money.

    Just a thought...

    Anyone use a bottle longer than 30 days, and can comment?

    Thanks,
    Dana's Dad, Ed
     
  2. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

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    Before the pump, Carson was on Lantus and we were having a ton of trouble with it. We would get white speck in the bottle before the 28 days -- the insulin was crystalizing. I was on the phone w/the Lantus manufacturer quality control people and here's what they said -- as soon as the Lantus bottle gets even one degree warmer than the "refrigerated zone" (I think it's 38-42 degrees but I'm not sure), then the 28 day countdown begins. So if you go to the pharmacy and put the insulin in your purse for even 15 minutes where it can warm up a little, then you only have 28 days to use it. They suggested bringing a cooler to the pharmacy and then transferring it to the refridgerator as soon as you're home.

    I don't think it's a conspiracy by the insurance companies -- the insulin really does break down and lose potency. My mom notices that she has to take a couple of extra units of Lantus at the end of the 28 days because it loses potency.

    Carson's dr also said that Humalog is not much more stable than Lantus -- you should also put this in a cooler at the pharmacy. Being in the heat/room temperature makes it break down.

    Hope that helps!
     
  3. lisamomtotwins

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    When we went to the pharmacy once the pharmasist said that it says 30 days but it will last at least 60 days. My husband has def used insulin past the 30 day mark and it was ok there was a few times that he thought the insulin might have gone bad, maybe it got to hot or something from being out or something? And then he had to throw out the vile. It just was less potent. ????
     
  4. pookas

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    I was told, always keep it refrigerated, and even then, after the cap is taken off, it is only good for 28 days. Another question for the insulin manufacturers, why don't they make it in smaller vials? We usually waste about 3/4 of a bottle each month since Hunter takes such a small amount.
    At $82 per bottle of insulin, that's a big waste.

    Linda-[NEPA]-Mom to:
    Hunter, 5 yrs, dx'd 11/14/05 type I
    Colby, 7 yrs, migraines
     
  5. Beach bum

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    Isn't it so frustrating? We waste more than we should. I wish we could get say 4 small bottles instead of two big bottles at a time.
     
  6. Amy C.

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    After 8 1/2 years of dealing with diabetes, I have discovered that Humalog does not go bad after 30 days. We use a vial until it is gone.

    It is the Lantus that absolutely must be replaced in 28 days -- with 24 days being better. Try using a bottle longer -- you will see that it still works.
     
  7. My_Dana

    My_Dana Approved members

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    Great information

    Thanks, Amy.

    We use the Humalog as well, and it's great to know such "untold but practical" information.

    We also use NPH long term insulin.
    Any idea if it lasts beyond 30 days?

    --------------------------------------------
    Good point raised about smaller bottles.
    Why don't companies make a 1/2 size or so?
    One reason - MONEY!

    Cheers,
    Dana's dad, Ed
     
  8. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

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    My son stopped using NPH in 2001, but as I recall it seemed to lose effectiveness after about 6 weeks. It was easy to damage -- dropping it, leaving it out of the refrigerator too long -- seemed to lessen the potency.
     
  9. EmmasMom

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    I think the key in making it last longer than 30 days is keeping it cool.
    We choose to keep our vials at room temp once we open them, (it makes filling pump reservoirs much easier, fewer bubbles), and I def. notice a difference when we near the 30 day mark. I usually replace Novalog around 28 days, and her numbers always run lower after the switch, so I know it loses some potency along the way.
    My husband uses Humalog and will use it until it's gone, but his numbers do start to creep up by the end of the month if he doesn't keep it in the fridge.
     
  10. zimbie45

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    One of the things is while it in there vials they are air tight.. as you as you put a needle in it you are exposing it to air and that will start the "time".. also heat breaks down the insulin,
     
  11. allisa

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    I, too feel frustrated that don't package the insulin in smaller bottles to increase the lasting time....seems like an enormous waste, espcially when you think of all impoverished countires. people who may not be able to afford the insulin....why not a smaller bottle ?? Seems like an easy fix !!

    Allsia
     
  12. cydnimom

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    I use Humalog and Lantus and my son uses N. I keep his vials at room temperature, however I keep mine in the fridge. I use mine until they are gone, however my quantity is obviously more than a child's would be. Mine never lose their potency. I always discard my son's at approx. 30 days. I do it on the first of each month so I don't forget.

    Our waste is not that much because we use the pen vials which are only 3 mL. I don't have to push air into these vials either.

    With the Lantus I do push air, but I do not push back once I've drawn insulin into the needle so as not to contaminate its contents with whatever they put in the vials so they are slippery. I have never had one crystallize on me.
     
  13. Amy C.

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    I wanted state that my son's Lantus almost always went bad in about 15 days until the practice of pushing back the air into the insulin was stopped. It is handy to use that technique to get out the bubbles, but hardly worth having the bottle contaminated. I wish I had heard about doing this years before.
     
  14. rileysdteam

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    Our Doctor prescribed us the insulin that the pens take. It is the same insulin just in a smaller vial so that we wouldn't waste so much. Before we would be throwing away 3/4 of a bottle.
     
  15. T_Adelaide

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    Same here.
     
  16. maverickmom (Kerri)

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    I have no experience with Lantus or detemir, just with NPH, regular, humalog, and novolog. Shannon has had diabetes for 10yrs and we have always used bottles until they were empty, well after a month. It seems to work just fine!
     
  17. KarenB

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    I was talking to the nurse at the Endo's office the other day and asked her about the shelf life of Lantus. She said even if it is kept in the refrigerator they recommend that the bottle be tossed after 4 weeks. Also, we were having problems with Lauren waking up too high ( in the 400's) and after I told her we had gradually switched her Lantus shot time to 7:00 am she said "Oh My God! That's why she is having the highs!" lol Evidently, she says Lantus loses it's effectivness somewhere between 19 and 24 hours. That was something I didn't know. I assumed that when I was told it was effective for 24 hours that it WAS effective for 24 hours. So now I have worked her Lantus shot back to 11 pm and no more morning highs. Been at this for 12 years now and I am still learning. Even though Lauren is 17 I am still quite a bit of her care. I know I need to back off but after what we went through with the recent DKA and hospital stay I am more than willing to do this. Between my full time job, Diabetes, my other 2 kids, husband and my life issues I'm exhausted!
     
  18. kristy

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    About 6 months ago I had my daughter's 3-month rx refilled. We have always received 3 vials of both Humalog and NPH (6 vials total). Well, this time the pharmacist tried to only give me 3 vials (2 NPH and 1 Humalog) and charged me my normal 3 month co-pay. When I told him that he made a mistake, he said that he did not. He continued to try to tell me that as long as I kept it refridgerated, I would have more than enough to last the 3 months. Lucky for me (my daughter) we were not new to diabetes and I already aware of the changing every 28 days. Needless to say, I received the full prescription and we changed pharmacies asap!!
     
  19. EmeeSu

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    ok, I am big idiot. I am so clueless

    Nobody ever told me that a bottle only lasted 30 days! We were using the same Humalog bottle for a couple of months. I was just looking at the expiration date on the bottle. I am so confused! I read on this website that you should have a 4 month supply on hand in case of a disaster. How can you have a 4 month supply on hand when the bottle is only good for 30 days? Or is it only the opened one? Because my husband accidently took the cap off a bottle of Humalog thinking it was Humalin. So I said put it back in the fridge. Now I suppose that bottle will get bad. And also, I didn't know about the pharmacy to home thing. I mean we take it right home in an air conditioned car, but that's it.

    Please help me. What should I be doing? I guess I should start reading. I haven't read because everytime I did it started out about dying and long-term effects. I got so depressed I put the book down. Can anyone give me a clue??? Or alternatively send me in the direction of a book that doesn't dwell on dying and long-term effects? I just want the facts.

    Thank you!!!:)
     
  20. Jen Jen

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    Don't panic

    If he didn't actually put the needle into the bottle of Humalog, don't worry about it, just make sure it's the next bottle you use. In all honesty, I've never had a bottle lose potency, and would use a bottle until it was empty. Cost too much to throw away, and I had to pay for my own insulin and supplies for a long time with no insurance and no help, making just over minimum wage for some reason constitutes too much income for Medicaid, or at least that's what they'd tell me whenever I applied for help. I never did well with the Novo insulins so it had to be the Lilly stuff, which in general cost more. As long as you keep the general temp of the insulin under 72 degrees f, they should be fine, I just do not recommend using them after expiration date(had a bottle of Humulin R that I used a year after expiration though and it worked fine, but still don't recommend it).
     

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