My son is 12 yrs. old and has been on the omnipod for almost 2 yrs. Since it takes the omnipod 3 hours to get the full dose of insulin in for a correction, I have carried a Novolog pen with me to help bring down a "HIGH" quicker. I don't give him a dose from the pump at that time, we just give the suggested dose via the insulin pen. My question is...when I carry an insulin pen in my purse and we use it 2-3 times per month, there is a lot of insulin left at the end of 30 days. The pharmacist says it's only good for 30 days, but is that really true? Is there any harm in keeping the pen longer and using as much as possible? (As needed, of course ).
Thank you! Sandy

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Hey Sandy,

I've always been told the same thing - 30 days from when you take it out of the refrigerator. Unfortunately my experience has been the same or less and that's when it's sitting on a shelf at home and staying the same temperature all the time (as compared to a purse going through hot/cold cycles). I can tell that my son's #'s often (but not always) start to consistently increase after only 3 weeks of a fresh vial. The longest I've had one last where I felt like it was still truly effective was about 5 weeks.

30 days definitely seems right although I often find myself pulling out a fresh vial in a little less than that.

My son pumps Animas Ping so there is no CGM part. The good part of that (obviously) is that we can choose when/how to administer corrections.

I've been told 28 days from time of use by my Endo, Diabetic Educator and the pharmacist... Seems such a waste that they make the vials in only the sizes/amounts that they do but... Yeah-- ya'll are on the right track.

My endo keeps insisting that insulin is a lot more stable than the 28-day recommendation would have you believe, but my EXPERIENCE has been that once you hit 28 days, it starts to work less effectively, and at about 33 days, it doesn't do squat (I inadvertently overran the 30-day limit one time and Eric was high even after I bolused with a syringe — that was what caused me to check the date). So I tend to believe that 30 days is the absolute max.

Why does the omnipod take 3 hours to get the full dose in? That seems a little strange. My son's Medtronic pump gives a full correction bolus immediately.

Not sure why your son's ommipod takes 3 hours to get the full dose of insulin. My daughter has the omnipod and a correction dosage is administered immediately. Be that as it may, I would opt to carry a couple of syringes and a vial of insulin instead of using an insulin pin which would eliminate the expiration question. I always carry syringes whenever we travel for use in an emergency.

I would not be surprised at all if the insulin manufacturers engineered in planned obsolescence. Chemically engineering the insulin so it "expires" after a certain period of time, that way we need to buy more and fuel the pharma industry. This is not an uncommon practice in many industries of today.

I've looked up the ingredients in novolog before and it was scary for me, being a naturalist/purist/fruitarian who likes to keep it simple...

So - it takes 3 hours for the novolog given to peak to it's full effectiveness, whether given from the omnipod or the pen. The pen can give the correction all at once, where the pod will give it in increments, every few seconds, until the full correction is given. ( I don't remember the exact amount of time) It won't take 3 hours for the correction bolus to be delivered, just absorbed.

Many people will inject in order to get the correction immediately, not spread out for a couple of minutes.

Insulin is said to have a shelf life, once opened of 30 days - whether in or out of the fridge.

I use a vial of insulin a month to fill the pod. I keep that vial with an extra syringe in my PDM case, ready to use for such instances. At the end of the month, I switch to a new vial. I have gone over the 30 days and rarely notice a difference, but I do know people that can tell right away that the insulin is not as effective.

If you want to keep using the pen for corrections (those nano size pen caps are great!) when you get to the last week of the month you could actually withdraw the insulin out of the pen and put it in the new pod so as not to waste it.

We always carried a pen (along with a RX script for supplies)as a backup in case we lost the PDM when traveling. We tried to keep it cool in insulated bags and in the mini fridge but after carrying it around of several days, I would usually throw it out when we returned home. Although they were samples, it still felt wasteful.

We now carry a small single use syringe that I got at the pharmacy. We will use the insulin from the kit.

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