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Insulin Kinds of insulin, action profiles, use in dogs, where to buy, etc.

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Old 01-15-2010, 03:53 AM
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Default 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!
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:21 PM
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Default 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
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:02 PM
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Default 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
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:35 PM
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Default 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
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:58 PM
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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.

Natalie
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:47 PM
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Default 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
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:12 AM
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Default Re: Insulin and Expiration Dates ?

Thanks you
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:39 AM
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Default 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
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Insulin and Expiration Dates ?

Eli Lilly's Humulin N package insert says nothing close to what their technical rep at Eli Lilly told me today: That unopened and unrefrigerated Humulin N is only good for 28 days from the date of manufacture. Unopened and continuously refrigerated (has never been brought down to room temperature), Humulin N is good until the expiration date stated on the vial. Once the vial is punctured, it is only good for 28 days (doesn't matter if it's been refrigerated, or kept at room temp). It CAN be kept at room temp after it is punctured, however room temperature is now defined by Lilly as 68-77 degrees F, and proper refrigeration temperature range is 36-46 degrees F (also contrary to their package insert).

The tech rep is filing a report with their safety department to report these package insert errors.

I then called CVS Pharmacy where I purchased our Humulin N 30 days ago, and the pharmacist assured me that their insulin is delivered to them refrigerated, and is kept refrigerated until the customer picks it up. I told the pharmacist that if I had relied solely on their CVS label that they stuck on the insulin box, I would have blindly thought the insulin was good for one year from the date I purchased it from CVS. In reality, according to the technical rep at Eli Lilly, the vial I used today is actually no longer any good (it was first punctured over 28-days ago).

I'm going to carry a small cooler with me next time, since refrigeration of unopened bottles is the key to potency.

Last edited by O'Riley; 03-30-2010 at 07:45 AM.
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