January 23, 2001
Question from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada:
I use an insulin pen for my NPH and Regular, which I usually keep in refrigerated. I am planning a three week trip to Thailand where the temperature can be as high as 33 C. Will my penfills be all right?
You might see some early degradation if the temperature reaches 33 C. What is more important is that the temperature in an enclosed space (car, luggage, etc.) will get hotter than you might think.
Be careful. If you think the insulin isn’t working, it probably isn’t and replace the cartridge.
[Editor’s comment: If you are staying at an air-conditioned hotel, I suggest keeping the penfills you are not using in your room, or ask the hotel to keep them cool for you. If you will be on the road, an insulated pack should keep them okay. In general, insulin can be stored at temperatures less than 80 F for a period of about month without difficulty.
For additional information, please see: Traveling with Diabetes.