While most diabetics store insulin in the refrigerator, the temperature fluctuations in your home fridges put it in unsafe conditions, researchers are warning. The European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Germany presented this new research this year, stating that several injectable drugs and vaccines are sensitive to temperature shifts, and even a few degrees change in temperatures is affecting its effectiveness.The study shows insulin must stay between 2-8°C/36-46°F in the refrigerator or 2-30°C/30-86°F when carried about the person in a pen or vial.
To investigate, researchers monitored diabetes patients living in the United States and Europe that stored insulin in fridges at home. The results reflected that insulin stored in the fridge was out of the recommended temperature range 11% of the time (equivalent to 2 hours and 34 minutes a day). In contrast, insulin carried by patients was only outside recommendations for around 8 minutes a day. Also, freezing imposed a higher risk with 66 sensors (17%) measuring temperatures below 0?C (equivalent to 3 hours a month on average).
The study author Katarina Braune, from Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Germany says, ‘When storing your insulin in the fridge at home, always use a thermometer to check the temperature. Long-term storage conditions of insulin are known to have an impact on its blood-glucose-lowering effect.’