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Old 01-16-2010, 06:58 PM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 11,279
Default 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.