Managing Diabetes Magazine - diabetes
Tips and Tricks
Insulin requires proper handling to ensure it is effective when used. Insulin that is not handled correctly may become less effective in lowering blood sugar.
Keep your insulin optimally effective by following these guidelines.
- Vials of insulin not in use should be stored in the fridge between 2-10ºC.
- The vial currently in use can be stored at room temperature for 30 days before discarding.
- The cartridge currently in use can be stored at room temperature for 28 days before discarding.
- Check the expiry date of insulin before using.
- Keep insulin away from strong light and heat.
- Never store insulin in the glove compartment or trunk of your car.
- Insulin that has been frozen should not be used.
- Keep a spare vial/cartridge of each insulin currently used on hand.
- Do not use insulin when the vial/cartridge has been damaged, cracked or is leaking.
- If using an insulin suspension, roll the vial or cartridge of insulin carefully and thoroughly before each use.
- If using an insulin suspension, your insulin pen must be rolled carefully and thoroughly before each injection.
- If particles are floating in the insulin or sticking to the bottom or sides of the insulin, do not use.
- If fast-acting insulin is no longer clear, do not use.
- If insulin appears unusual (clumping, frosting, precipitation, discolouration) in any way, discard.
- If the insulin is not working as expected and has been stored correctly, bring the insulin container to the pharmacist for follow up.
- Become medication-savvy. Knowledge about the safe use of medication contributes to a healthy life and helps prevent complications due to medication misuse. Talk to your Safeway pharmacist about your medications.
- Keep a current list of medications with you to share with all health care providers and in case of emergency.
- Do not store medications in the bathroom medicine cabinet. The warmth and humidity of the bathroom contribute to the breakdown of medications.
- Store medication in a cool, dry and secure spot.
- Do not store medications in the fridge unless specifically instructed to do so by the healthcare provider.
- Keep all medication out of the reach of children; do not rely on a childproof lid to protect children.
- Dispose of unnecessary and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications at the pharmacy.
- Do not flush medication down the toilet and do not put medication in the garbage.
- Learn about your medications. You should know the name, the reason you take it, the possible side-effects, how often to take the medication, what to do if you’re sick and what to do if you miss a dose.
- Discuss with your doctor and pharmacist the natural medicine products (herbals, supplements, homeopathics) you are taking or considering as such products impact your overall health.
- Choose one pharmacy and get to know the pharmacist, so you will have a complete medication history there.
- Plan ahead for medication refills. Then, when you visit the pharmacy, you can spend time talking to your pharmacist about your medications.
While effort is made to reflect accepted medical knowledge and practice, articles in Family Health Online should not be relied upon for the treatment or management of any specified medical problem or concern and Family Health accepts no liability for reliance on the articles. For proper diagnosis and care, you should always consult your family physician promptly. © Copyright 2015, Family Health Magazine, a special publication of the Edmonton Journal, a division of Postmedia Network Inc., 10006 - 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 2S6 [DI_MDc00]