Monday, September 26

Info re insulin storage from the Government

INSULIN STORAGE AND POTENCY

Insulin from various manufacturers is being made available to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Because of the damage caused by the storm, patients in the affected area may not have access to refrigeration. According to the product labels from all three U.S. insulin manufacturers, it is recommended that insulin be stored in a refrigerator (approximately 35 to 46 degrees F). Unopened and stored in this manner, these products maintain potency until the expiration date on the package. However, all of the available insulin products may be left un-refrigerated (between 59 and 86 degrees F) for up to 28 days and still maintain potency.

As a general rule, insulin loses its potency according to the temperature it is exposed to and length of that exposure. Under emergency conditions, when the storage temperatures might exceed even 86 degrees F, insulin exposed to these temperatures may still need to be used, with the understanding that extreme temperatures may cause loss of potency, which could result in loss of blood glucose control over time.

In any case, patients should try to keep their insulin as cool as possible, avoiding direct heat and direct sunlight as well as freezing if placed on ice.

When properly stored insulin again becomes available, the insulin vials that have been exposed to these extreme conditions should be discarded and replaced. If patients or healthcare providers have specific questions about the suitability of their insulin, they may call the respective manufacturer at the following numbers:

Lilly 1-800-545-5979
Aventis 1-800-633-1610
Novo Nordisk 1-800-727-6500

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