Using, Storing and Protecting Insulin

You were most likely provided with instructions for properly storing your unopened insulin in the refrigerator but little instructions once the insulin vial is opened. Insulin vials require extra care from the time they are removed from the box/refrigerator and used. Consider the following ways to keep your insulin safe. #ad

Best Practices / Temp Control / Protectors / Storage

Best Practices

  • Refrigerated Vial of Insulin – an unused vial of insulin kept in the refrigerator is good until the expiration date. A used vial of insulin kept in the refrigerator is good for 28 days.
  • Un-refrigerated Vial of Insulin – assuming a used/open vial of insulin is kept at reasonable temperature variations (no direct sun/heat or freezing temperatures) it is effective for 28 days.
  • Receiving Insulin – make sure when you purchase/receive your insulin it was continuously refrigerated and cold to the touch.
    • Local Pharmacy – confirm the insulin was continuously refrigerated and not placed on the shelf for pick-up. Also check the expiration date.
    • Mail Order / 90-day Prescriptions – insulin should arrive packed with ice packs that are still frozen and the insulin boxes do not feel warm.

Temperature Control

  • Wireless Refrigerator Thermometer – make sure your refrigerator maintains temperature control by installing an alarm with audible and visual alarms. When temperatures exceed your pre-set minimum and maximum alarm settings you are notified with beeps.
  • Frio Case – fabric case that includes an internal wallet that when dipped in water remains cool for 48 hours. Great for daily use to protect open insulin vial or pump from extreme temperatures or to add padding around a vial. Various colors and sizes available.
  • Insulin Ice Pack Coolers – protect open or unopened insulin from extreme temperatures, while traveling or on long car rides. Cases also have removable/reusable ice packs and space for storing other diabetic supplies.
  • CaseMD – compact vacuum-insulated container that protects and maintains temperature control for vials and pens.

Daily Use Protectors

  • Securitee Blanket – sleeve that projects and provides a secure grip for one insulin vial. The vial is not removed from the sleeve to fill a syringe. Available in two sizes and various colors.
  • Vial Safe – silicone reusable lightweight cover that allows for a secure grip and helps prevent breakage and shattering. Includes 2 different size protectors that fit various brands of short and long acting insulin.


  • HangTite Pen Holder – pen holder that is designed to mount inside the refrigerator to organize five insulin pens.
  • Vial Vase – keeps vials upright and secure in your refrigerator, on your counter-top, or anywhere you store your insulin.
  • Organizer Supply Box – divided plastic box for holding vials in the refrigerator.
  • 3D Printer – consider printing your own insulin storage device with free downloadable templates. Some public libraries have free 3D printers or you can find a vendor to print it for you.

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