It is not uncommon to see diabetes patients storing their insulin in home fridge at the wrong temperature. According to a new study, preserving insulin at the wrong temperature may reduce the efficacy of the drug.
The researchers said insulin should be stored in a refrigerator at between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 8 degrees Celsius), and at 30 to 86 degrees F (2 to 30 degrees C) when carried by the patient in a pen or vial.
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Most diabetics often preserve insulin in fridges at home for several months before they eventually use it. Not much is known about how this affects the quality of the insulin.
This study included 388 diabetics in the United States and Europe who placed temperature sensors next to their insulin in the fridge and/or their diabetes bag. The sensors measured temperatures every three minutes (up to 480 times a day), and data was collected for an average of 49 days.
An analysis of 400 temperature logs (230 for refrigerated and 170 for carried insulin) indicated that 315 (79 percent) had nonconformity from the recommended temperature ranges.
On average, insulin stored in the fridge was out of the recommended temperature range 11 percent of the time which equal 2 hours and 34 minutes a day, while insulin carried by patients was only outside recommendations for around 8 minutes a day.
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Deductions from the study showed that freezing is even worse, with 66 sensors (17 percent) recording temperatures below 32 degrees F (0 degrees C), comparable to 3 hours a month on average.
Study author Katarina Braune, who’s with Charite – Universitaetsmedizin Berlin in Germany in a meeting news release says;
“Many people with diabetes are unwittingly storing their insulin wrong because of fluctuating temperatures in domestic refrigerators.”
“When storing your insulin in the fridge at home, always use a thermometer to check the temperature,” she advised.
“Long-term storage conditions of insulin are known to have an impact on its blood-glucose lowering effect.”
“More research is needed to examine the extent to which temperature deviations during domestic storage affect insulin effectiveness and patient results,” said Braune.
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