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-   -   Insulin and Expiration Dates ? (http://k9diabetes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1652)

Autumn 01-15-2010 04:53 AM

Insulin and Expiration Dates ?
 
Two days ago I purchased 2 vials of insulin. I usually buy 2 at a time.

Insulin I purchased had expiration of 2/10.

I read on line about the expiration dates on insulin. I read the strength will become less after time, even if it has not open. Is this correct? Usually vials are a year or more from expiration when I get them. One replaced today does not expire till 2012. They would not replace one that had the box open, even though seal was not broken. Is this insulin still as effective as it should be? Should I just consider a loss and go right to the 2012 vial?
Thanks!

k9diabetes 01-15-2010 04:21 PM

Re: Insulin and Expiration Dates ?
 
I know people who have used insulin past the expiration date, primarily because the insulin they were using had been discontinued and they couldn't buy any more of it. Since their dogs didn't do well on any of the other insulins available, they stockpiled it and extended its use past the expiration for quite a while.

It's not like the insulin will magically cease to work when it hits that date. They just say that it will be good at least that long.

Rather than going straight to the 2012 bottle, I would use the one that's nearing its expiration date first as you are currently still using it within it's expiration date.

And then if you see that it's a problem, you could switch to the 2012 bottle. Chances are good the bottle you have that's about to expire will work just fine.

Natalie

eileen 01-15-2010 06:02 PM

Re: Insulin and Expiration Dates ?
 
I completely agree with you Natalie. Regulations say that there must be an expiry date on the insulin so that it can be guarateed until this date. There is no way it will, as you put it, " magically cease to work..."
I would imagine if the unopened vial had been stored properly in the fridge it will still be good long after the printed date.

Eileen/Mil

Autumn 01-16-2010 04:35 PM

Re: Insulin and Expiration Dates ?
 
I didn't think it would magically cease to work. I just read that it could be less effective after time.... even close to the expireation date.

I was just checking the forum for thoughts on it, as I was unsure. I didn't want Autumn's numbers going to high.
Thanks

k9diabetes 01-16-2010 07:58 PM

Re: Insulin and Expiration Dates ?
 
Hi Anna,

It (and other products with expiration dates) really shouldn't degrade before its expiration date as long as it's handled properly - which can definitely be a problem with insulin. A couple of hours in subzero temperatures left out on the loading dock would be enough to damage bottles of insulin.

How much longer it's good after that is a question.

There is the debate on the Vetsulin presentation where they said their tests of problem vials were only on the older vials that were approaching their expiration. But they really don't know yet whether there is a problem with the Vetsulin and, if there is, what the problem is. So it's all pretty much conjecture at this point.

Then there's opened versus unopened. Which is a bit of a misnomer because flipping the plastic lid off a bottle of insulin, while technically "opening" it, doesn't expose the insulin to needles, air, etc. But every time you use it, you expose the bottle to those things and the more often you do it, the more exposure there is.

I've kept backup vials of Regular in the fridge for a long time with no degradation. They are "open" but they are not being accessed and so no exposure to contamination. They've kept for many months that way.

If the bottle doesn't perform properly, then I would take it back to the pharmacy and ask them to replace it.

Natalie

eileen 01-16-2010 08:47 PM

Re: Insulin and Expiration Dates ?
 
My opened vial of Humalog is now at it's 70th day and still doing as it should. It sat for about 3 weeks without being used.

I believe clear insulins such as R, Novolog and Humalog have the potential of lasting much longer opened than others where mixing is required.

Eileen/Mil

Autumn 01-21-2010 04:12 AM

Re: Insulin and Expiration Dates ?
 
Thanks you :)

k9diabetes 01-21-2010 12:39 PM

Re: Insulin and Expiration Dates ?
 
I was going through Dr. Nelson's FAQ from the Web Seminar on changing from Vetsulin and came across something interesting related to insulin potency.

Quote:

Question: Once a bottle of insulin is opened – regardless of type – how long do you feel is safe to use the product without compromising the integrity?

Answer:
If the insulin is stored and mixed properly, it will usually be good to the last drop. Recommendations to change every month are coming from the human side and are related to concerns with sterility of the solution more than loss of insulin action.
http://www.aahanet.org/education/gra...etsulinQ&A.pdf

eileen 01-21-2010 01:56 PM

Re: Insulin and Expiration Dates ?
 
hmmm, that's interesting, thanks for posting the link.

I know speaking from personal experience in treating Mildred with NPH over the past 5 1/2 years I begin to see her numbers climb at about 30-40 days on a vial. There is no way I could mix her insulin any more thorough.

In briefly reading the article I see he also says that there is the possibility of NPH being taken off the market in the future. This would seem to be a statement that could scare some. NPH being a human insulin with countless numbers depending upon it I would think there is no immediate worry. That is until a 'better' insulin may be developed somewhere in the future.

Eileen/Mil

Patty 01-21-2010 03:53 PM

Re: Insulin and Expiration Dates ?
 
I used to use a bottle of Humulin NPH past 30 days as I believe insulin can be used beyond that time. But last year I started seeing a trend in rising bgs after/around day 25-30. Now as a precaution I open a new bottle on day 25. It just wasn't worth adding another reason for Ali to "wobble" into our mix.

Now I had a bottle of Humalog (a clear rapid acting insulin) for 6 months rarely used in the fridge as a "just in case," and when I needed to use it during our Lantus trial it worked just fine. I purchased other bottle during this time and found the same results with the new bottle as the old.

I do think there's a difference in how long the clear vs. cloudy suspensions keep.

Patty


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