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August 30, 2001


Question from New Orleans, Louisiana, USA:

Warnings about the dangers of overheated insulin seem to be increasing. Is there any problem with injecting insulin right out of the refrigerator other than the possibility of increased discomfort? Why not just keep it refrigerated until injected, so long as pain isn't a problem?


Insulin may be kept in the fridge, but even when we do that, in this part of the country (the South), it still seems to become less potent before the vial is gone. Just be careful, watch for unexplained highs and discard the insulin at the first signal it is no good.

I have patients who only use it from the cold, and it still seems to go bad after a month. Here in the deep South, insulin pump insulin never lasts a full 72 hours in July and August. Just think — a hot car before the air conditioner gets going can make you really sweat. My advice to all my patients is high sugars are the insulin’s fault — try a new vial.