I have noticed that I am doing a lot of correction boluses since I started a new vial of insulin. I just checked the vial and it expires in 2014. It has been in the refrigerator since I got it at the pharmacy- BUT that was before Hurricane Sandy. My power was out for 3 days. We had ice in the refrigerator on the third day. Does anyone have any experience with keeping or tossing insulin after a power outage? What BG criteria do you use before you discard insulin? I know the 28 day rule, but this vial has been at out of the refrigerator for about 1 week.

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Insulin that you can accurately rely on is important. If you do not have confidence in your insulin then I think you need to change bottles. I would try the insulin 2-3 times or at most 24 hours before.

Do you have an extra bottle that you cant try out to compare with you current bottle?

Yes, I renewed a prescription after the power was back. I had forgotten about the power outage when I started the new vial.
I don't want to waste the vial if the problem could also be less exercise or work related. I am going to watch it for another day and see where the numbers go. They are not bad right now. Thanks for responding.

If you lost power on the 5th I would say your insulin is still good...JMHO  Your corrections are working Right?

You have faced many stressful situations in the last month...God bless you...;-)

Hi Marypat, I've been through several hurricanes with extended power outages with insulin vials of Humalog and Lantus. The worst was an outage of almost 2 weeks with inability to get gas for our cars and very little ice available, similar to what some folks in the NE have seen with Sandy.

In my search for ice, I asked a local pharmacy that had power how critical it was to refrigerate my unopened vials. The pharmacist said it would not be an issue with the Humalog but the Lantus needed to be kept refrigerated... well, thank you very much, I had no way to keep it refrigerated and did not want to waste the insulin. So I tried it anyway.

All that said, I used my vials of insulin without an issue. YMMV but my experience through power outages has been that my insulin was fine. I would give it a couple of days and maybe try one of your new vials for comparison before you ditch the quetionable insulin.

I don't think the insulin "knows" there was a power outage. What it "knows" probably, is that it was at a high temperature for an extended period.

If the insulin got warm (say over 90 degrees for weeks) then its lifetime may have been affected. The "28 day rule" is I think based on lifetime of 28 days at warm, out of the refrigerator, temperatures.

3 days into a power outage, the inside of the fridge is definitely getting warm, close but maybe still below room temperature. I don't think 2 days at room temperature spoils the insulin.

In the past when we had extended power outages in the winter, I could just usually move my insulin and other fridge items to a part of the house that wasn't below freezing. In some cases all the house was like at 35 or 40 degrees (I'm thinking the icestorm of Feb 1999, lost power for two weeks.) It's a lot harder in the summertime.

Thanks again smileandnod and Tim. I think the power outage was not a big factor with the insulin. I suspect the elevation in BG was from other factors.




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