Buying and Storing Insulin

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Don't assume that most pharmacies will charge the same price for insulin. The same insulin at one pharmacy or outlet may be several dollars cheaper than that found somewhere else, so it pays to shop around. You might receive a discount for buying certain quantities at your pharmacy or by ordering through the mail. Be sure to ask your pharmacists whether they offer discounts for large orders. Your insurance company or managed care provider may have an agreement with "preferred pharmacies" to offer insulin at reduced rates. Check with your insurance company or managed care provider to see whether it offers this service. By using these services you may be able to keep your costs down. But if you decide to buy insulin in bulk, check the expiration date. You don't want to buy a big supply of insulin if most of it will expire before you have a chance to use it.

In choosing a pharmacy, convenience may be just as important as cost. You may want a pharmacy that is close by or one that delivers your insulin to you. This can be convenient, especially if you are very busy, ill, or housebound. Also think about the pharmacist. Is the pharmacist easy to talk to? Does he or she seem willing to answer your questions?

Once you find a pharmacy that you like, try to develop a relationship with the pharmacist. Don't just ask for NPH insulin. Ask questions. Check to make sure you have the desired brand and type. You may want to bring along an empty bottle to make sure you get exactly the same thing each time. Before you pay, double-check to see that you have what you

Storing Insulin

Unopened bottles and

Stored in the

Discard after expiration

unused insulin pens or

^ refrigerator

^ date on bottle


Opened bottles ^

Kept at room

^ Discard after 1 month


want. If something doesn't look quite right, or if you are uncertain, be sure to ask your pharmacist.

You don't have to worry about storing the bottle of insulin you are using in the refrigerator in between injections. Store unopened bottles of insulin in the refrigerator. The expiration date on a bottle of insulin applies to bottles that have not been opened and have been stored in the refrigerator. If an open vial of insulin is kept at room temperature for more than a month, the insulin may lose some of its strength. Throw away bottles that have been opened for a month and kept at room temperature. If you go through bottles slowly, write the date you first open a bottle on the label so you know when to toss it. Storage guidelines vary from 10 to 28 days for different types of insulin cartridges and prefilled pens. Read the label or package insert or ask your pharmacist or nurse educator if special storage is needed.

One good reason to store the insulin you're using at room temperature is that injecting cold insulin can make the injection feel more uncomfortable. If your insulin is cold, draw it up into the syringe, then warm it up by gently rolling it back and forth in your hands.

If you are traveling and keep your insulin stored in a cooler, make sure the insulin doesn't freeze or come in contact with ice.

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Supplements For Diabetics

Supplements For Diabetics

All you need is a proper diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise and you'll be fine. Ever heard those words from your doctor? If that's all heshe recommends then you're missing out an important ingredient for health that he's not telling you. Fact is that you can adhere to the strictest diet, watch everything you eat and get the exercise of amarathon runner and still come down with diabetic complications. Diet, exercise and standard drug treatments simply aren't enough to help keep your diabetes under control.

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