Insulin Storage and Care

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Insulin Storage and Care

Insulin Storage and Care

All insulin pens and bottles (vials) have expiration dates. Insulin pens and vials that are refrigerated and unopened are good until the expiration date.

Once in use, vial and pen expiration dates vary depending on the type of insulin being used. For vials, in use means that the rubber has been punctured. Do not use insulin after the expiration date. Always follow the instructions that come with your insulin.

How to store your insulin

  • Store your insulin according to the instructions on the packaging. Insulin storage recommendations vary depending on the type of insulin and manufacturer.
  • If insulin is kept at room temperature, keep the temperature between 59–86°F (15–30°C).
  • If insulin is kept in the refrigerator, keep the temperature between 36–46°F (3–8°C).
    • If insulin is kept in the refrigerator, warm it to room temperature before use. Cold insulin stings when injected.
  • Do not freeze insulin.
  • Keep insulin away from direct heat or sunlight.

How to throw away your supplies

  • Get rid of your insulin if:
    • It is expired.
    • It is discolored.
    • It is thick.
    • It has clumps in it.
    • It has white particles suspended in it.
  • Discard all used needles in a puncture-proof sharps disposal container. You can ask your local pharmacy about where you can get a sharps container. You can also use an empty liquid laundry detergent bottle that has a lid.
  • Follow the disposal regulations for the area where you live.
  • Do not use any syringe or needle more than one time.
  • Throw away empty vials and pens (with needles removed) in the regular trash.

Follow these instructions at home

  • Always keep extra insulin and supplies with you.
  • Always inspect your insulin prior to injecting. Do not use the insulin if you notice any discoloration, particles, or clumping.
  • Mix cloudy insulin by gently rolling the vial or pen between your palms several times. Do not shake the vial or pen.
  • Do not leave insulin in your vehicle or in any place where it can get too hot or too cold.
  • Use an insulated travel pack to store your insulin vials or pens when traveling.

Where to find more information


  • All insulin pens and bottles (vials) have expiration dates. Check the expiration date before using the insulin. Do not use insulin past the expiration date.
  • Check insulin before using to make sure it looks normal. Mix cloudy insulin before using. Do not use insulin if it is discolored or has particles or clumps.
  • Store your insulin according to the directions on the packaging.
  • Do not store insulin in extreme heat or cold, such as in the freezer, direct sunlight, or in your vehicle.

This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.