Go to page content

Storing insulin

Insulin should not be allowed to freeze or be exposed to too high temperatures.

Insulin products which are not in use are stored in a cool temperature of +2–+8ºC. Insulin which is in use is stored at room temperature below +30ºC, protected from direct sunlight and heat sources. It is important to ensure that the insulin is not allowed to freeze or be exposed to too high temperatures. Freezing destroys the structure of the insulin. Heating reduces its efficacy.

Insulin products should not be used after the manufacturer’s use-by date. Correctly stored, an opened insulin pen or cartridge will keep for 4–6 weeks. The exact use-by date is indicated on the package leaflet. If you think that the insulin has lost its potency, start using a new insulin pen or cartridge that has been stored in a refrigerator.

When travelling, camping or working outdoors in cold or hot weather, it is important to take note of the temperature where the insulin is stored and carried.

In subzero temperatures, it is a good idea to keep the insulin under clothes and close to the skin to protect it from freezing.

In hot and warm weather, it is good to keep the insulin in a package, which prevents overheating. It is a good idea to plan ahead how to carry the care equipment. Cold packs for pharmaceutical products can be bought at a pharmacy, online or via a diabetes association. You can also contact the insulin manufacturer regarding the durability and storage of the product.

Expired or discontinued insulin should be returned to a pharmacy for disposal. Empty pre-filled pens or cartridges can be disposed with combustible waste.

Updated 11.10.2023