Insulin Storage and Dispensing Cheat Sheet

How long does glulisine last in pumps? What insulins can people buy without a prescription? What is the longest lasting insulin? If you want to learn the answers to these questions an more, we are here to help!

With the high price of insulin, many people with diabetes are reluctant to throw half-used bottles or pens of insulin away.

With the pandemic and ongoing insulin pricing issues, many people are struggling to pay for their insulin. Armed with information, we can help people maximize their insulin use and optimize their choices.

By knowing how long different insulin formulations last when kept at room temperature (temps up to 86 degrees), we can help people use their insulin as long as it is safe and recommended.

We usually say insulin is good for about 28 days. This is correct for many insulins, but not all.

For example, a vial of Human Regular insulin is good at room temp for 42 days. Degludec (Tresiba) is good for 56 days and Novolin 70/30 vial is good for 42 days. Glulisine (Apidra) expires after 2 days in an insulin pump, but lasts for 28 days in a vial.

See our new and exciting Insulin Storage Cheat Sheet for all kinds of important details on storage and more!

Download FREE Insulin Storage and Dispensing Info Sheet here

In addition, did you know that there are 3 insulins that do not require a prescription in most states? Regular, NPH and Regular/NPH combo insulins require no prescription.

Regular insulin as a back-up

A recent client ran out of their aspart insulin, was low on cash and out of town. They walked into a local Walmart, without a prescription, and paid $25 cash for a vial of regular insulin. This is incredibly important information to share with clients as a back up in case of emergency.

How many times have you launched into a google search or scoured insulin package inserts to find out the following questions or something like it?

  • How long does this insulin last in a pump?
  • What is the max dose of insulin this pump will deliver?
  • How many pens come in a box and how many units per pen\?

Our Insulin Storage Cheat Sheet answers these questions and more!

Special thanks to Jackson Thomassian for compiling the first drafts of these sheets and to Diana Isaacs, PharmD for her inspiration.

Even though Coach Beverly has reviewed and edited these sheets dozens of times, she knows there is always room for improvement. Please let us know if you see content that needs updating. In appreciation, Beverly

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