Can You Store Insulin in Your Home Fridge?

Many people with diabetes need to store insulin at home. However, it is vital that insulin is stored at the correct temperature or else its effectiveness could be compromised. Read on to find out what temperature to store insulin in your fridge and in a vial or pen to ensure it is safe and effective to use.

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The Correct Temperatures

Studies show that insulin should be stored at between 2 and 8 degrees C in the fridge. As most refrigerators are around 4 degrees C, this should mean mostly this is acceptable for insulin storage.

However, make sure you check the temperature, as if your fridge is lower or higher than this, it could damage the insulin’s properties. If you are carrying the insulin in a vial or a pen, it should be kept between 2 and 30 degrees C.

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Tips for Home Storage

When storing insulin in the home fridge, it is vital to use a thermometer to keep track of the temperature. Long-term storage temperatures have an effect on the ability of the stored insulin to lower blood glucose. This could have an effect on your health.

If you don’t have a fridge, studies show that insulin can be kept at room temperature (15 to 28 degrees C) outside a fridge for 28 days. If using cartridges, these should be kept outside the fridge. To find out more about insulin storage, visit the Independent Diabetes Trust website.

Medical Fridges

The best place for insulin to be kept is in a medical refrigerator. Proper medical refrigeration ensures the perfect temperature is always kept for the storage of medicines, including insulin. For example, fridges from are designed for the medical industry. These are used to store medicines, vaccines, blood samples and other materials that need to be chilled.

Studies Reveal Incorrect Storage

One study that analysed the data from insulin kept in the home fridge showed that 79% of the products had been stored at the wrong temperature. 11% of the time in the fridge it was at the wrong temperature, which is about 2.5 hours per day, while insulin kept in a pen or vial was stored wrongly for about 8 minutes per day. The sensors used in the study found sometimes insulin was kept at freezing temperatures below 0 degrees C.

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