Islets of Hope care tips for persons with diabetes
Compiled by Lahle Wolfe, who is not a medical doctor but has diabetes, and is a parent of a young child with diabetes who uses an insulin pump.
Have a tip to share?
M. Sarah Rosenthal
Prefilling Syrgines with Mixed Insulin
An issue important to home health relates to prefilling syringes with glargine insulin. The recommendation is... Don’t Do It.
“How Long Should Insulin Be Used Once a Vial Is Started?” (Sept. 2003 issue of Diabetes Care ) provides an excellent overview of the topic. Concerns about prefilling syringes with glargine are based on a study prefilling syringes from three different manufactures. By day three the Lantus insulin in all syringes visually appeared turbid because of its acid and, additionally, a pH a reaction with the plastic syringe occurs. Prefilling guidelines relative to other insulins:
Aventis... “does not recommend prefilling syringes with Lantus and storing for any period longer than needed for application.”
“BD does not recommend any of their syringes be prefilled more than a few minutes in advance of injection.”
Prefilling Syringes with Mixed Insulin - Another Opinion
Most doctors recommend that when mix insulin you should use it immediately.
However, I did find at least one medical site that suggested a safe way to prefill and use mixed insulin (specifically, Regular and NPH) was by allowing it to "rest" for 24 hours prior to using it. (The article was written as a guideline for nurses administering insulin to patients.)
Visit: NCCH.org to view the article. Please, do discuss this with your doctor.
Mini Site Index
Also, see the article on "Tips for Insulin: Storage"
How long does insulin stay "good" in insulin pen cartridges and prefilled pens?
The shelf-life and viability of insulin in varies according to type of insulin, the type of container it comes in (vial or cartridge) and how it is used (refillable cartridge, syringe, or insulin pump) and manufacturers instructions. Be sure to read the label information that comes with your insulin pen and insulin.
Storage (shelf life) of Insulin Pen Cartridges
Storage (shelf life) of Insulin From (bottles) Vials
(1) Prefilling Syringes with Insulin
Important notes about storing and using insulin
You should only use about 90% of the insulin in a bottle. Once you are down to about 10% left, discard it and open a new bottle.
Always refer to your insulin manufacturer's instructions for care and safety guidelines for using and storing your insulin.
Page Updated 02/25/2006