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From Arlington, Texas, USA:

I have looked through the previous questions and answers but did not see a match of my question. Please understand that I will consult my son's diabetes team about this also.

My son, age 11, will enter 6th grade in about 2 weeks. He was diagnosed at 4. I have never supplied his school with insulin, but I would like to do so this year so he can take Humalog if his blood sugar is too high. Several times in the last few years, he needed a "booster," but there was no insulin at school for him to take. Since he also has moderate ADHD, high blood sugar can result in behavior problems that get him in trouble, and I would like to prevent or offset that.

I understand that once a vial of insulin is opened and used, it should be trashed after about 4 weeks. We keep all of his insulin refrigerated, even the vials we use daily. I don't want to have to supply a new vial of Humalog if he only uses it once or twice a month, but I am concerned that if I don't, the Humalog will not be effective. The school has a refrigerator in the nurse's clinic, so it will be refrigerated. How long can I realistically expect a vial of open, refrigerated, seldom-used Humalog to last?


If used infrequently, and kept in the refrigerator, your bottle of Humalog will probably be okay for several months after opening. Since you live in Texas, you might have to be more careful, as Humalog seems to be very sensitive to heat.

A few possibilities to consider:

  1. Get a Pen injector with a Humalog cartridge. The cartridges only hold 150 units (the bottles hold 1000) and the pen injector may be easier for the school to use.

  2. When you open a new bottle of Humalog at home, you could put a small amount in a "sterile mixing vial" available free from Eli Lilly and bring it to school. You probably never use up a whole vial of Humalog anyway, and that way you wouldn't be buying any extra bottles. You can not get the Sterile Mixing Vial bottles (literally just sterile empty vials) from Eli Lilly yourself. You could ask you physician to order some from Eli Lilly or to give you a prescription to give to your pharmacist to order them.


[Editor's comment: See Syringes and Injection Products for information about pen injectors. JSH]

Original posting 7 Sep 1998
Posted to Insulin Analogs and Social Issues: School and Daycare


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:00
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