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petirrojo
Total Posts: 15
Registered on: ‎12-03-2011

Using Novolog Past 28 Days

I have needed to use a pen past the usual month or so. Has anyone else had to do this and, if so, did you notice a difference in strength at some point?

Thanks.

mollythed
Total Posts: 5,783
Topics: 75
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: Using Novolog Past 28 Days

I have heard of people doing it.

 

Of course the manufacturer will tell you not to, but the insulin in the pen will not self-destruct at exactly 28 days.  It's sort of like the capacity number in an elevator, or the weight limit on a bridge.  It has a built in safety factor so that it won't fail before it is expected to.  It will gradually lose effectiveness, and how long it really lasts will depend to some extent on whether on not it has been exposed to higher temperatures. 

 

Others have reported that they do go past 28 days as long as the insulin stays effective.  I recall some saying that if its effectiveness begins to taper off they may take just a little bit more.

 

Having said all that, I'm not recommending it.  You have to weigh your alternatives.  Going without is not an option.


"Molly" (aka mollythed)
Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in 1995, now managed with Lantus, Humalog and Metformin; diet and exercise.
My husband and three adult sons also have type 2 diabetes.





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Mary1WB
Total Posts: 224
Registered on: ‎11-01-2009

Re: Using Novolog Past 28 Days

I Never throw insulin away unless I inadvertently 'cooked' it or something. But I also keep it refrigerated most of the time, which I think helps.
I agree w/Molly that it's like many expiration dates. Plus, if everyone throws it out 28 days after opening, more sales for the company!
You can take note of when it's first opened and then see if your bs does worse after the 28 days. I've never been able to tell much of a difference.
Good luck!
T1 since '82.
OmniPod since 12-2012
Humalog
Just hoping I can continue to afford being an American diabetic.
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petirrojo
Total Posts: 15
Registered on: ‎12-03-2011

Re: Using Novolog Past 28 Days

Thanks. Mary, can you estimate how long you have been able to "get away" with using it past the month period?

 

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too_sweet
Total Posts: 37
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: Using Novolog Past 28 Days

Please be careful by testing often to see if you are getting the full benefit of your insulin... I too tried to get "a few more days" out of each vial because of cost and didn't like to see waste. Then I found myself in DKA...NOT FUN!  It can happen so fast. My doctor helped me get on assistance with Novo dsk (people who manufactor the insulin I use-novalog and levemir) and I now use a pen.. No waste and help with cost. I only use about 25-30 units a day of combined insulin so pens were the way for me to go. Hope this helps. Have a Merry Christmas DKA free!

Frequent Advisor
Mary1WB
Total Posts: 224
Registered on: ‎11-01-2009

Re: Using Novolog Past 28 Days

Keep in mind I've never used Novolog, but my Humalog would go at least another month. The advice to check often is good No Matter What! That's the thing w/T1, our bs's constantly changing and can get too low or high quickly and for a variety of reasons. But the fact we have ways to check it in real time - not what it was an hour or three ago - is a grand achievement! As are these modern insulins; I just don't think they need to be tossed so soon. (Keep refrigerated!)
T1 since '82.
OmniPod since 12-2012
Humalog
Just hoping I can continue to afford being an American diabetic.
Frequent Responder
__bsc_
Total Posts: 621
Registered on: ‎05-26-2010

Re: Using Novolog Past 28 Days

[ Edited ]

There are three major things which contribute to insulin going bad.

 

  • High temperature
  • Light
  • Contamination

If you want to protect your insulin, keep it in the fridge for storage, keep it out of light and never reuse needles or syringes.  This gives you the best chance of extended life.

 

I must warn you that modern insulin's are still quite fragile.  It was only in 2009 that the FDA approved extending the life of Novolog for pump use from 2 to 6 days and even then the FDA made them put on language saying that if the insulin got warmer than 98.6 deg F you needed to throw it out (like you have a temperature).  Novo Nordisk was unable to present data suggesting that Novolog was stable for longer at those higher temperatures.  So you can understand how storage at room temperature starts to risk degrading the insulin.

 

Even if you do these three things, it doesn't mean that your insulin will be good after 28 days, it just maximizes your chances.

 

 

Frequent Advisor
harleydeuce
Total Posts: 205
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: Using Novolog Past 28 Days

I'll be the bad diabetic... I use my vials and pens till they are empty. I never change the needle on my pens. I put the first one on and it stays on till the end. Does it get dull? Sure. Do I care? Not really. Vials I open and use till it is gone as well and generally use needles until the numbers start to wear off.  I also don't put them back in the fridge after they are opened. They stay in my little kit and that's it.

 

Now I dont know for sure how long they have lasted because I don't keep track. I keep track of my bs numbers and work off that. I guess I haven't noticed anything off with regards of my insulin "going bad".

 

I'm going to guess since I don't feel like doing the math, but I would guess I blow thru the pens and vials of levemir well within the 28 days and the humalog may be closer to that date.

Frequent Advisor
Jason_d
Total Posts: 344
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: Using Novolog Past 28 Days

Generally for me, I'll have 2 pens going, one for work, one for home.  I have used my pens past the 28 days many times. I don't even think about it., not until I notice a drop off in potency (which I have only noticed twice). When I have noticed a drop off in potency, its nothing drastic, more like, I'll start to run a little higher after meals I am familiar with. At that point I will change the pen. I'd say the longest I have ever used a pen would be about 5 weeks. Moreover, I don't refrigerate them once I take them out of the fridge. As Harley said, I'm probably a bad diabetic.

 

Take Care,

Jason

 

PS. I am using Apidra. My Levemir, I have never taken past 15 days.

T1 - Diagnosed 05/2006
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Mary1WB
Total Posts: 224
Registered on: ‎11-01-2009

Re: Using Novolog Past 28 Days

I'm using Apidra now, too; am on my 2nd vial. The 1st one lasted 2 months. I plan to buy it in pens whenever they become available again from my Canadian supplier as US pens are 2-3 times the cost.
I also reuse syringes multiple times. I'm not 'bad', just cheap. :-)
T1 since '82.
OmniPod since 12-2012
Humalog
Just hoping I can continue to afford being an American diabetic.