Tirzepatide is a relatively new medication used for type 2 diabetes and weight loss in adults. Primarily marketed by the American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, it is sold under the brand names Mounjaro (for diabetes) and Zepbound (for weight-loss). Additionally, compounded tirzepatide is also available at compounding pharmacies.

As tirzepatide becomes increasingly prescribed, understanding its specific storage requirements is very important. Whether in vials, syringes, or injection pens, tirzepatide injections are highly sensitive to temperature changes. They must be refrigerated prior to use and can only stay out of the fridge for a limited period and under specific conditions.

So, let's make sure you all know how to store your tirzepatide correctly. It's not just about storage, it's about your health. Your treatment's effectiveness depends on the efficacy of your medication, which can significantly diminish if not stored properly.

We'll cover essential storage questions for Mounjaro, Zepbound, and compounded tirzepatide, including:

  • Why does tirzepatide need to be refrigerated?
  • What happens if it's not refrigerated?
  • How long can tirzepatide be out of the fridge?
  • How to store it safely at room temperature?
  • How long is tirzepatide good for?
  • Can you freeze it?
  • What happens if your tirzepatide injections get warm?
  • And much more!
4AllFamily Cooling Cases for Tirzepatide injections, Mounjaro, Zepbound

Related article: How to Store Zepbound, and Do You Really Need to Refrigerate Your Injection Pens?

Does Tirzepatide Need to Be Refrigerated?

Yes, tirzepatide needs to be refrigerated. All forms of tirzepatide, including Mounjaro, Zepbound, and compounded versions, must be refrigerated before use and immediately after purchase from the pharmacy, as soon as you get home. Storing your tirzepatide injections in the refrigerator is crucial to ensure they remain effective.

How to store Tirzepatide

According to Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of both Zepbound and Mounjaro, tirzepatide must be kept in a refrigerator at temperatures between 36°F and 46°F (2°C and 8°C). It should also be stored in its original carton to protect it from light.

These injections can stay out of the fridge for up to 21 days only, provided they're never exposed to temperatures above 86°F (30°C).

Compounded tirzepatide must be refrigerated too. But we recommend reading the specific storage instructions provided by the compounding pharmacy. These can vary depending on the specific formulation.

Related article: Does Mounjaro Need to be Refrigerated? How to Store your Pens?

How Long Does Tirzepatide Last in The Fridge?

Tirzepatide injections like Mounjaro and Zepbound typically have a shelf life that extends several months when refrigerated. These medications are labeled with an expiration date by the manufacturer, which generally falls around one year after purchase.

The same goes for compounded tirzepatide, although it may have a shorter shelf life, so always make sure to check the packaging or ask the compounding pharmacy for the exact expiration date.

When stored in the fridge, and provided the cold chain hasn't been broken, your pens and vials or tirzepatide will last until their labeled expiration date.

What happens if Tirzepatide is not refrigerated?

To understand what happens when tirzepatide isn't refrigerated or stored properly, it's important to understand what it is exactly. Tirzepatide is a biological drug, belonging to the class of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist medications.

Biological drugs, including tirzepatide, are produced from living sources through biotechnological methods, using genetically modified cells to produce the desired proteins or peptides. In the case of tirzepatide, it is a synthetic peptide, which means it's specifically engineered in the laboratory to act on certain physiological pathways, like those that regulate glucose metabolism in the body.

This delicate and complex molecular structure is highly sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature and light exposures, which can affect its stability and efficacy.

When tirzepatide is unrefrigerated for longer than recommended (e.g. 21 days for Mounjaro and Zepbound), the peptide structure begins to degrade. And as the structure of tirzepatide degrades, its potency decreases. This means that the medication becomes less effective and your treatment's efficacy significantly lower.

Refrigeration of tirzepatide is crucial to maintain its biological activity and ensure it provides the intended therapeutic effects for managing diabetes or aiding in weight loss.

If tirzepatide is accidentally left out of the refrigerator for more than 21 days, you should not use it. So, make sure to keep your tirzepatide snug and secure in your fridge, and only take it out when you're ready to use it. Also, it's a good idea to regularly check that your fridge is working properly and at the right temperature between 36°F and 46°F (2°C and 8°C)-just to be safe!

Related article: How to Travel with Mounjaro: Safety Tips & Travel Cases.

How Long Can Tirzepatide Be Out of the Fridge?

Both Mounjaro and Zepbound tirzepatide injections from Eli Lilly can stay out of the fridge for up to 21 days. For compounding tirzepatide, it's usually the same, but it's important to check the specific storage instructions provided by the pharmacy. The shelf life at room temperature for compounded tirzepatide can vary depending on the formulation and preservatives used.

It's a good practice to mark the date when your removed your tirzepatide vial or pens from the refrigerator on the box or a calendar to track how long it has been out of the fridge and avoid using expired tirzepatide.

Storing Tirzepatide at room temperature

While it's perfectly fine to keep your tirzepatide out of the fridge for 21 days, it must meet certain conditions to stay effective and safe, including:

  • Temperature control: tirzepatide should never exposed to temperatures above 86°F (30°C). Even a brief stint in high heat can spoil the medication.
  • Light protection: tirzepatide should also be protected from direct light, which can degrade its potency.

Here are a few tips for keeping your tirzepatide injections and safe during these 21 days out of the fridge:

  • Store in a cool, dark drawer: A dresser or desk drawer that stays cool and closed most of the time can be a great spot to keep tirzepatide safe from both heat and light.
  • Keep it in original packaging: The original packaging is designed to protect tirzepatide from light. Keeping the medication in its box until use can be an effective way to minimize light exposure. If using Mounjaro or Zepbound injection pens, always keep the opaque cap on.
  • Avoid windows and heated appliances: Keep tirzepatide away from windows where sunlight comes in or appliances that generate heat, like ovens or stovetops.
  • Transport it in a cooling case: If you need to take tirzepatide with you, consider using a medical cooler, especially in summer or if the temperature may get above the safe threshold of 86°F (30°C).

Related article: How to Get Zepbound: Prescription, Eligibility, Coverage Explained!

Can you put Tirzepatide back in the fridge?

While it may seem a good idea to re-refrigerate your tirzepatide injections to prolong their shelf life, it is not recommended. According to Eli Lilly, Zepbound should not return to the refrigerator once it's been stored at room temperature. And the same goes for Mounjaro.

Related article: Traveling with Zepbound (Tirzepatide): Storage & Regulations.

FAQs About Tirzepatide Refrigeration and Storage Temperature

What happens if Tirzepatide gets warm?

If tirzepatide gets too warm, it can compromise the medication's effectiveness. Heat can cause the peptides in tirzepatide to break down quickly and considerably reduce its therapeutic effects. If your tirzepatide has been exposed to temperatures above 30°C (86°F), even for a few hours, it's best to discard the pen or vial and get a new, cold one from your refrigerator or the pharmacy.

Medications accidentally getting warm happen more than you'd think! Never leave your injections in the car, as the temperature inside can soar very quickly and well above the safe 30°C (86°F). Similarly, avoid placing your tirzepatide pens or vials near windows with direct sunlight or heat sources like radiators or stoves, as this could rapidly lead to excessive warming. During outdoor activities, especially in the summer, always carry your tirzepatide in a cooler and in the shade.

And when in doubt, if you think your tirzepatide injection may have gotten too warm, do not risk it. Discard your pen or vial and get a new refrigerated one.

Travel cooling cases for tirzepatide injections mounjaro zepbound, 4AllFamily

Related article: How to Inject Mounjaro and Use the Pen Injector Correctly?

Can you freeze Tirzepatide?

No, Tirzepatide can't be frozen. Freezing can damage the medication, leading to a loss of efficacy. If tirzepatide accidentally freezes, it should be discarded immediately, even if it has thawed afterwards.

  • When kept in the refrigerator, avoid placing your tirzepatide near the freezer compartment to prevent accidental freezing.
  • Ensure your fridge is not set too cold and stays within the safe range of 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).
  • When transporting tirzepatide in a cooling case, make sure it's never in direct contact with the ice. We recommend using gel packs instead of ice or choosing medical-grade coolers equipped with anti-freeze safety.
  • If living in or traveling to places with very cold climate, keep your pens or vials in an inside pocket where your body warmth can help prevent them from freezing.
  • Never leave your tirzepatide injection in the car at night, especially when temperature may drop below 32°F (0°C).

Related article: Zepbound Cost: Coupons, Insurance Coverage and Savings Card.

What is the shelf life of Tirzepatide?

The shelf life of a medication is the length of time it can be stored before it begins to degrade and lose effectiveness.

For tirzepatide, the shelf life is usually from several months to a year when kept refrigerated at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F), as specified by the expiration date labeled on each pen or vial by the manufacturer. However, remember that, once out of the fridge, tirzepatide has a limited shelf life at room temperature of 21 days only.

When does Tirzepatide expire?

Tirzepatide actually has two expiration dates:

  • The "official" expiration date labeled on the pen or vial by the manufacturer, indicating up until when tirzepatide is good when consistently stored in a refrigerator.
  • The one that occurs 21 days after removal from the refrigerator for Zepbound and Mounjaro. Always check specifics for compounded tirzepatide from your pharmacy, as these may vary.

Make sure to keep track of both these expiration dates and discard any tirzepatide that has expired. Additionally, be aware that tirzepatide expires immediately if exposed to temperatures above 30°C (86°F), regardless of the printed expiration dates.

Related article: Zepbound Diet: What Foods to Eat, What Foods to Avoid?

Can you use expired tirzepatide?

No, you should never use expired tirzepatide. The first reason is that it is not guaranteed to work anymore and could seriously impact the efficacy of your diabetes or weight-loss treatment.

While injecting expired tirzepatide may not be toxic, chemical degradation can also lead to the formation of breakdown products that might be harmful. The safety of using expired drugs, especially biologics like tirzepatide, cannot be guaranteed without thorough testing.

If your pen or vial or tirzepatide has expired, or you suspect has been improperly stored, do not use it. The medication that may not be safe or effective. Better safe than sorry! Dispose of it safely and take a new product from your refrigerator or the pharmacy.

Related article: Zepbound, Mounjaro, Wegovy, Ozempic: What's the Difference?

How to tell if tirzepatide has gone bad?

While it's not always visible, some signs may indicate your tirzepatide has gone bad, including changes in the appearance of the solution. Tirzepatide should be clear and colorless. If you notice any discoloration, cloudiness, or visible particles, the medication may have degraded. In that case, do not use it and ask for your pharmacist advice. Additionally, if there is any damage to the container or if you notice leakage, the product should not be used.

How to keep Tirzepatide cold or refrigerated when traveling?

Keeping your tirzepatide injections cold when traveling is essential for their effectiveness. While we've largely covered the topic in our related article below, here's a brief reminder:

  • Traveling with unrefrigerated pens or vials for less than 21 days: If you expect the ambient temperature to exceed 30°C (86°F), transport these in a medical-grade cooler to protect tirzepatide from the heat and keep it within a safe temperature range.
  • Traveling with tirzepatide that needs refrigeration: If you need to keep tirzepatide refrigerated throughout your journey, a refrigerated cooling case is necessary to ensure it remains within the recommended temperature range of 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F).

Related article: How to Travel with Tirzepatide Injections?

Portable travel refrigerators and medical coolers to travel with tirzepatide injections


We'd Love to Hear from You!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share your story. Whether it's a clever trick to keep tirzepatide at the right temperature or a question about its storage requirements, we're all ears!

June 07, 2024

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The information presented in this article and its comment section is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for professional medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for any medical concerns or questions you may have.