People with Diabetes May Want to Stop Storing Their Insulin in the Refrigerator

  • 1

For people with diabetes, there’s usually one place you store your lifesaving insulin: In the refrigerator.
In fact, that’s the recommendation of the three insulin manufacturers in the United States, according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, a nonprofit advocacy group.
Yet, that might not be the safest place to store it.
A new study, presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) annual meeting in Berlin, is pointing out some of the potential dangers.
Researchers tracked diabetes patients living in the United States and Europe and outfitted them with refrigerator thermometers to see if their home refrigerators stayed within the recommended range for insulin storage — between 36°F and 46°F.
They also looked at insulin temperature variances for those who didn’t store their insulin in the fridge, putting temperature sensors in their diabetes bags.
The results raised some eyebrows.
Almost 80 percent of study participants saw their insulin fall out of the recommended range some of the time during the trial.
In addition, insulin stored in the refrigerator fell out of the recommended temperature range for the equivalent of 2 hours and 34 minutes daily, or 11 percent of the total observed storage time.People who stored insulin outside of the fridge, by contrast, only saw the medication fall out of the “safe” range for roughly 8 minutes daily, the researchers found.