Starting insulin therapy can be overwhelming, but by taking it one step at a time and working closely with your healthcare team, you can manage your diabetes and achieve better health.
One thing that is often overlooked about insulin is its storage conditions. Yet, it’s a very important aspect of diabetes self-care, as the effectiveness of your treatment depends on it.
By educating yourself on how to store your insulin correctly at home, you can significantly improve your blood sugar levels.
Today, let’s focus on Humalog, one of the most prescribed insulins in the United States.
Related article: Does Insulin Need to Be Refrigerated? How to Store it Correctly?
Keep Your Humalog Pens & Vials Refrigerated with 4AllFamily's Travel Cooler!
What is Humalog?
Humalog is a brand name for insulin lispro, a fast-acting insulin analog (also called mealtime insulin or bolus insulin) used to control after-meal blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. It is designed to start working more quickly than regular insulin, allowing it to be injected just before a meal or shortly after eating.
Humalog is used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes and is available in various forms, including vials, cartridges for reusable insulin pens, and prefilled disposable pens.
Related article: A Beginner’s Guide to Basal and Bolus Insulin.
Humalog KwikPens and Vials
Humalog is available in different forms to allow for convenient and easy administration depending on individual situations and needs:
- Humalog vials: These small glass containers hold insulin lispro in liquid form. They require an insulin syringe for injection.
- Humalog cartridges: These small plastic containers hold Humalog in liquid form. They are designed to fit into specific reusable Humalog pens for injection.
- Humalog KwikPen: This is a prefilled pen that contains a Humalog solution. It contains 300 units of insulin and is designed to be used with disposable pen needles. These pens are disposable.
- Humalog Junior KwikPen: This is a smaller version of the Humalog KwikPen, designed for children and people who require smaller insulin doses or a half-unit dosing capacity.
- Humalog Mix75/25 KwikPen: This is a prefilled pen containing a mixture of 75% insulin lispro protamine suspension and 25% insulin lispro injection. It is used to treat people with diabetes who require a mixture of short- and intermediate-acting insulin.
Talking to a healthcare provider about the best form of Humalog to use and how to properly administer this insulin is important.
Related article: Does Novolog Need to Be Refrigerated?
How to Store Humalog?
Irrespective of its container (pens or vials), Humalog needs to be refrigerated like any other brand and type of insulin. Because it's a temperature and light-sensitive medicine, Humalog has a limited shelf life. It can quickly spoil when not stored at the right temperature and light conditions.
Related article: How you Should Store Your Lantus Pens at Home.
Humalog storage instructions
According to Eli Lilly and Company, Humalog's manufacturer, Humalog insulin pens and vials must be refrigerated before use and can only stay at room temperature for 28 days.
Additionally, here are some storage guidelines to ensure Humalog’s effectiveness and safety:
- Store unopened Humalog vials, cartridges, and pens in a refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Do not freeze them, as freezing temperatures can destroy the medicine.
- Once opened, Humalog vials can be stored at room temperature (59°F to 86°F or 15°C to 30°C) or fridge temperature for up to 28 days.
- Once opened, Humalog cartridges and pens can be unrefrigerated and stored at room temperature (59°F to 86°F or 15°C to 30°C) for up to 28 days. However, unlike the vials, these cannot be returned to the refrigerator once opened.
- Discard any pen, vial, or cartridge after 28 days, even if there’s still insulin inside.
- Never use Humalog after the expiration date labeled on the container.
- Never expose Humalog to direct heat or sunlight.
- Do not use Humalog if it appears cloudy, discolored, or has particles. Humalog is a clear-looking insulin (as opposed to cloudy insulin).
- Do not store Humalog cartridges and pens with a needle attached; this can cause air bubbles to form, affect the dose, and promote contamination.
Always follow the storage instructions provided by the manufacturer. Talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist about any concerns regarding the storage of Humalog.
Related article: What Are Smart Insulin Pens & Are They Really Worth it?
Humalog Mix 75/25 storage instructions
Storage instructions are slightly different for Humalog Mix 75/25 or 50/50 premixed insulin. These are also available in Kwikpen and vials and must be stored as follows:
- Unopened Humalog Mix50/50 and Humalog Mix75/25 Kwikpen and vials must be stored in the refrigerator between 36° to 46°F (2° to 8°C) until first use or expiration date.
- Open Humalog Mix vials can be stored back in the refrigerator or at room temperature below 86°F (30°C) for up to 28 days.
- Open Humalog Mix pens cannot be stored back in the refrigerator. They must be kept at room temperature below 86°F (30°C) for up to 10 days maximum.
Related article: How to Mix Two Insulins in the Same Syringe?
Why Does Humalog Need Refrigeration?
Humalog needs to be refrigerated to maintain its stability and effectiveness. Insulin is a protein hormone sensitive to temperature changes, and exposure to heat, light, or extreme cold can cause it to break down and become less effective. Refrigeration helps slow down the degradation of your Humalog insulin, allowing it to maintain its potency for longer periods.
Humalog pens or vials that are not properly stored can become less effective, which can lead to higher blood sugar levels and increased risks of complications in people with insulin-dependent diabetes.
For example, if Humalog is exposed to high temperatures or direct sunlight, it can break down and form clumps, which can clog the needle or cause inconsistent dosing. On the other hand, if insulin is exposed to extreme heat or freezing temperatures, it can partially or totally lose its potency and effectiveness.
Therefore, it is important to store your Humalog insulin according to the manufacturer's instructions and take extra precautions during the summer season or when traveling with it.
Related article: How to Ship Insulin & Other Refrigerated Medications?
Humalog Travel Cases
Humalog travel cases are designed to provide a convenient and safe way to transport your insulin pens, vials, and cartridges while traveling or away from home.
Choosing a Humalog travel case that is appropriate for individual needs and follows the storage instructions provided by the manufacturer is essential. That’s why 4AllFamily has designed various medical-grade travel coolers.
The Voyager Travel Fridge keeps up to 4 Humalog or Humalog Mix Kwikpens (or numerous vials) refrigerated unlimitedly if plugged into a USB power source, like a car cigarette lighter or a portable power bank.
When you don't have electricity access, it can maintain fridge temperature (36-46°F / 2-8°C) for 30 hours! Besides, it has an integrated thermostat and a temperature display screen for more peace of mind.
Need a super light cooling case for your Humalog pens? The Rambler weighs only 0.7 lbs and is ideal for carrying one Humalog pen for day trips to work, kids going to school on summer days, or other daily activities.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out should you need any information about our products!