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Keep Your Diabetes Medicines Safe: Storage Tips

Proper storage of your diabetes medications and awareness of their expiration dates are crucial elements in your health-care regime.

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To Maintain Insulin Potency:

  • Keep unopened vials or cartridges refrigerated. Ideally, store them on the door of the refrigerator to avoid potential temperature extremes farther in the back.

  • When traveling, keep insulin away from direct contact with gel packs or coolants.

  • Never store insulin in the freezer, in direct sunlight, or in extreme heat.

  • Opened insulin in a vial is safe for up to 28 days at room temperature. In fact, both Campbell and Sulli recommend this because injecting cold insulin can be uncomfortable. Opened insulin in a pen is safe from 10 to 28 days, depending on the type of insulin.

When in doubt, Sulli says, ask a professional. "Don't be afraid to talk to your pharmacist," she says.

It is always a good idea to carry a medication card in your wallet or purse that lists the current drugs you are taking. In an emergency, this can help medical professionals help you. If you're using insulin, it is a good idea to also wear medical jewelry that states you are using insulin to treat your diabetes.

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