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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Storing & handling insulin

Whakarapa me kawe i te taiaki huka


Do not use a vial, cartridge or prefilled pen if:

Keep any vials or cartridges of insulin you aren't using in the fridge at a temperature of 2 to 4ยบ C until they reach their expiry date. Keep them away from the freezer and freezer coils.

Keep any vials or cartridges you're using at room temperature. Cold insulin may sting when you inject it and take longer to work. Throw away any leftover insulin four weeks after you've opened a vial or cartridge.

When travelling, keep your insulin in as cool a place as possible and keep it in your hand luggage when flying. You should store your insulin in an insulated container to protect it from extreme temperatures.

Do not:

Handling your insulin

Before you use cloudy insulin, you need to mix it well. If you're using a vial, gently roll it between the palms of your hands or move the vial up and down 20 times.

If you're using an insulin pen, make sure the insulin is well mixed by turning the pen up and down 20 times before you use it.

If you're using a syringe and draw up more insulin than you need, throw away the leftover amount. Do not squirt it back into the vial as this could contaminate all the insulin in the vial.

Always check the expiry date on the insulin vial or cartridge before you use it.

On the next page: Diabetes equipment

Written by Christchurch Diabetes Centre. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2022.


See also:

Safe sharps disposal

Page reference: 178697

Review key: HIDIA-21832