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#1
sqtaz61

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How do you know if insulin is bad when you are not certain either degree limit was met?

#2
ant hill

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Hi, Would you know if it was warm or had too much sunlight or any abnormal discoloration in the liquid?. :)

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Peter...


#3
LancetChick

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When it's bad, it just doesn't work. In my experience with bad insulin (has only happened 3 or 4 times) it happens very quickly, going from good insulin to water in about a day. I've learned to keep my vials in the refrigerator at all times, taking only the pre-filled syringes with me when I leave the house. That way it lasts until I've used it all, much longer than 28 days. If you suspect a bottle of insulin, just open a new one and see if it makes a difference.

#4
xMenace

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I can't sa I've ever experienced one. I use them up too quickly.
Michelle Oberg "yep....stop trying to make vegetables taste like meat.....you made your choice, now live with it hippies"

Back on MDI and doing well. Trying Victoza and loving it. A1C 6.0, no major hypos; a few highs; lots of shots. Diagnosed Oct 19th, 1975.
HDL-101; LDL-64; TG-36; TOT-172

#5
JJeenn

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I've only had it happen with Humalog twice, never with Lantus, and both times my blood sugar went up and then just kept going higher no matter how much I corrected. The first time the insulin seemed to somehow lose potency slowly, but the second time it worked one minute and didn't work the next (and I also reacted a lot faster at switching to a new vial, having had it happen once already). I actually still have my records from both times showing how my blood sugars went:

May 2005 (the first time it went bad slowly, possibly from using it for too long):

05/27
B: 6.3 (113)
L: 8.0 (144) - corrected
D: 2.7 (49)
N: 5.8 (104)

05/28 (here's the day I think it started to go bad at some point)
B: 7.5 (135) - corrected
L: 9.9 (178) - corrected
D: 9.9 (178) - corrected
N: 11.2 (202) - corrected

05/29
B: 11.5 (207) - corrected
L: 16.5 (297) - corrected
D: 18.8 (338) - corrected
N: 19.4 (349) - changed to new vial of Humalog and corrected

05/30
B: 9.4 (169) - corrected
L: 6.5 (117)
D: 5.4 (97)
N: 6.4 (115)

August 2006 (went bad really suddenly, possibly from overheating):

08/04
B: 8.8 (158) - corrected
L: 3.9 (70)
D: 6.1 (110)
N: 19.4 (349) - corrected

08/05
B: 18.8 (338) - corrected
L: 20.0 (360) - switched to new vial of Humalog and corrected
D: 3.0 (54)
N: 8.9 (160)
Type 1 since 10/08/91.
Pumping with Cozmo since 01/21/07.
Other regimens I've been on: Humalog/Lantus, Humalog/NPH, Toronto/NPH.
A1c's:
2010 - 7.1
2009 - 6.9, 7.0, 7.1, 6.6
2008 - 6.8, 7.0, 6.8
2007 - 6.7, 6.9, 6.4, 7.1
2006 - 7.3, 7.8, 7.9
2005 - 8.3, 7.1, 7.2, 7.5
2004 - 8.1, 8.7, 8.5

#6
notme

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Depends on the type on insulin. I have had NPH and REG insulin go back. Both of those get clumps like white curds in the bottom. Humalog just doesn't work anymore. You inject and end up with high numbers. You inject to correct and it doesn't correct. Open a new bottle and it works.

It usually is age and heat that makes it go bad.
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diagnosed type 1 October 1986
currently using Medtronic MiniMed
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#7
Mr. Mellow

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Besides experience of lack of affect is there any method to determine if insulin is bad. Has anyone gotten a refund for bad insulin?

#8
poodlebone

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Back when I was using NPH for my long acting insulin I was having a lot of unexplained high BGs, especially my waking number. After several days in a row and not finding any other cause, I thought my NPH must be bad. I called Lilly and they sent me a coupon for a free vial. That was the only time I ever suspected that I had bad insulin.
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Liz
Type 1 dx 4/1987
Minimed Paradigm 723 Revel + CGMS
13mm Silhouettes + Sure-T infusion sets
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Last A1c: 7/10: 5.4

#9
Hammer

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I was just about to ask this question, but I Googled it first and it linked me to this thread. I didn't even know this section of DF existed.

So I take it that the only way to know if insulin is bad is to use it and if your numbers are still high, then it's bad. I think I'm using some bad insulin but I'm afraid to take any more to find out. The last time this happened, all of the pens in the box (5 pens) were bad, so I tried a new box and they were also bad. I remembered that both boxes arrived in the same shipment, so I used a box from another shipment and those pens were okay.

I would think there would be a better way to find out if the insulin was bad. I mean, if one pen in the box of 5 is bad, then I'll go high using it. I'll then try another pen from the box and if it's bad, I'll stay high. After trying all 5 pens and staying high, I'll open a new box and if that box was in the same shipment, then it's possible that all of those pens would be bad. Since I get 10 boxes in a shipment, that means that I'd be high 50 straight times, since I'd have to use each pen to see if it was any good. That sounds pretty bad to me.

You'd think there would be some way to squirt a bit on insulin on a test strip of some sort to see if the insulin was any good. The color of the test strip would tell you just how good the insulin was. I'd rather buy some of those test strips instead of being high for 50 days.

Presently taking: Hyzaar for blood pressure:
Novolog and Lantus for diabetes.
Welchol for cholesterol and diabetes
Mega-Red Omega-3 Krill Oil (300 mg)
Mega-Red D3 (5000 IU)
I was diagnosed in 2003...

(The human body is so resilient that no matter how badly you abuse it, it will still last you a lifetime.)


#10
Guilden_NL

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Hammer, I too was guided here by the Great Google in the sky.

I've never had a vial of insulin go bad in 24 yrs, but I just had an entire batch of 10 do so. Humalog, all in one shrink wrapped card of 10. I use 13 vials/90 days so the first three vials were separate. First three OK. Then I had the very bad luck of pumpers everywhere in that I also had just received a 90 days supply of Unomedical Inset infusion sets that were 100% defective. I've had less than a handful of infusion sets over the past 11 years where the tubing was blocked straight out of the packaging, but all 30 of these had blocked tubing at some point. So many times the pump would go along for three hours or more and I thought I was getting basal and sometimes smaller boluses, and then it would alarm. Other times it was closer to the pump and the occlusion alarm would go off 10 mins after using the new infusion set. (Karma strikes....all happened while traveling to a friend's funeral who died unexpectedly and we were helping his widow.....stress=higher sugars). Somewhere in there I used two of the vials from the "shrinkwrapped 10" because I was going through 250-300U/day while I messed around with the infusion sets, used my limited set of backup syringes, etc. Little did I know that I had two problems going on at the same time!

I received a replacement of all 30, the new sets are fine. When I received the new infusion sets, I dropped back to my former pump, the Deltec Cozmo which I preferred much more than the Animas Ping. I had super high sugars for a week and wanted to control it better with the Cozmo. All went well as I used the first three vials that weren't part of the shrink wrapped 10. Karma strikes again and I lost my trused Cozmo (no longer sold in the USA) when I didn't think to put on the Ping while I was in our salt water pool. The Cozmo had a hairline crack in it that I didn't see until after it died. So back to the Ping. And to fill it I used one of the "shrinkwrapped 10." Sugars go wild for days. The lighbulb goes on for me when they don't go down using syringes for massive boluses 30,40,50 U of Humalog. I look at the vial in the light, and it is cloudy. Not like R or N but definitely a difference compared to unopened vial! So I open a new vial, good for a day, then the same thing, another bad vial. Open a third and a day later, it goes bad. So last night I took them back to CVS (I didn't call Lilly because my wife works for CVS and we sometimes have different procedures than customers) and he told me to call Lilly for free replacements which I will do Monday. I am down to opening the 9th vial this morning and the 10th tomorrow, then I will be out!

So yes, you can have bad batches of insulin! I always keep my unused insulin in a small refrigerator that we have in our master bedroom and did nothing different this time. I will say that over the years, I've traveled the world with 5-10 vials of Humalog in unrefrigerated luggage without a problem. So having this happen to me is a new experience. Couple it with my infusion set problems and my beloved pump dying, I've had a very rough month!

Advice: call the mfg immediately if you suspect your insulin is bad. Note that most are only open 9-5 Mon-Fri.

#11
Hammer

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I've never had a problem with my Lantus pens, but I have had problems with my Novolog pens, and it's the fault of the mail order pharmacy that I am forced to use by my insurance company. When I get a "pillow pack" (as I call them) of insulin shipped to me from my mail order pharmacy....when the mail carrier hands the box to me, I take it inside, open it, stick a precision thermometer in it and the thermometer reads 86 degrees F, then I know the insulin will go bad before I get a chance to use it.

I called the pharmacy and they don't care if it's bad, they just keep saying that they ship it using industry approved shipping methods. If it's warm when I get it, too bad.(they never said that, but it comes through by the way they refuse to do anything about it).

I've called Novo Nordisk (the makers of Novolog) and they said that they'd send me some new pens to replace my old ones, but that doesn't solve my problem. The next time I order insulin from the mail order pharmacy, they will send it to me using "industry approved shipping methods" and it will still be warm, and most likely will go bad.

They don't care if you die...as long as they make money.

Presently taking: Hyzaar for blood pressure:
Novolog and Lantus for diabetes.
Welchol for cholesterol and diabetes
Mega-Red Omega-3 Krill Oil (300 mg)
Mega-Red D3 (5000 IU)
I was diagnosed in 2003...

(The human body is so resilient that no matter how badly you abuse it, it will still last you a lifetime.)


#12
inigo_montoyo

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Also brought by the magic of google.
Had my first experience with the first bottle of humalog I ever purchased.
Thought I was about to go into dka.
Bought a new bottle of novalin (sp?) from another supplier first injection brought me down nearly 200 points, back to normal in just one dose.
Must have injected that bad stuff for days before I realized it was completely ineffective.

They really need some way to test for this. Had I not found this thread I likely would have wound up in the hospital again.

At least the novolin is 1/4 the price I was paying for the other stuff. So good riddance I suppose.

#13
Chelle D

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Mine is a little different.

I had "thought" my Novolog pen was bad... Really seemed like getting less control from a newly opened pen.
I used the new 4mm pen needles at the same time as opening new pen.

When I pushed harder, & left needle in skin longer, I was getting better control. I switched needles to some 8mm pen needles & that , (so far, cross fingers) has taken my bs corrections back to what I was experiencing on prior insulin pens.

Might want to check delivery method also, not just check the insulin.
Metformin 2x500 twice/day
Glipizide 10mg twice/day
lisinopril/htzc10/12.5 a.m. only
baby asprin 81mg a.m. only

Doc added meal insulin 9/2012::(
Novolog sliding scale for meals (avg 9-12 units/day)- been more lately.

Lantus adjustment (02/2013)
To 70 units daily. Split to 35/35 am & pm :o

Lantus adjustment (07/2013)
75 units daily. Split 35/40 am & pm :confused:

#14
Bountyman

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“My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.” -The Princess Bride




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