Storing insulin properly

Insulin can become damaged and ineffective if it is not stored properly.

  • Unopened insulin that is packaged in small glass bottles (vials) should be stored in the refrigerator.
  • Insulin that is packaged in small cartridges (containing several doses) is more stable. It may be kept unrefrigerated, but it will last longer if it is kept in the refrigerator. Insulin cartridges are used in pen-shaped devices (insulin pens) with attached disposable needles.

Always read the insulin package information that tells the best way to store your insulin.

You can keep open bottles with you if you keep them in a dark place. The bottles should not be exposed to temperatures below 36°F (2.2°C) or above 86°F (30°C). Never leave insulin bottles in the sun or in your car.

Avoid shaking insulin bottles and cartridges too much to prevent loss of medication strength and to prevent clumping, frosting, or particles settling out. Follow the storage information provided by the manufacturer.

The first time you use an insulin bottle, write the date on the bottle label. Always store an extra bottle of each type of your insulin in the refrigerator.

Last Updated: December 9, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.