German scientists conducted a study on the storage of insulin. It turned out that people using this vital hormone can themselves reduce its effectiveness if they do not monitor the temperature at which they store it.
Recall that insulin is a vital substance that provides cells access to glucose and use it as a source of our energy. Without it, the blood sugar level rises rapidly and leads to a dangerous condition called hyperglycemia.
The authors of the new study suggested that some patients do not receive all the possible benefits of insulin therapy, since the drug is probably stored at improper temperatures in household refrigerators and becomes less effective.
The study, led by Dr. Katharina Brown and Prof. Lutz Heinemann, was attended by experts from the Charite University Hospital in Berlin, Sciences & Co Innovation Scientific Agency in Paris and the Dutch manufacturer of devices for storing and transporting medical products MedAngel BV.
How to and what is really going on
To preserve all the medicinal properties of most types of insulin must be stored in a refrigerator, not freezing, at a temperature of about 2-8 ° C. Used and packaged in pens or cartridges, insulin can be stored at 2-30 ° C.
Dr. Brown and her colleagues checked at what temperatures insulin is stored in the homes of 388 people with diabetes from the United States and Europe. To do this, in the refrigerators and thermo bags for storage of dia-accessories used by the participants of the experiment, thermo sensors were installed. They automatically took readings every three minutes around the clock for 49 days.
Analysis of the data showed that in 11% of the total time, which equals 2 hours and 34 minutes daily, insulin was under conditions outside the target temperature range.
That insulin that was in use was incorrectly stored for only 8 minutes a day.
On packs of insulin is usually written that it can not be frozen. It turned out that for about 3 hours a month, the participants in the experiment insulin was stored at low temperatures.
Dr. Brown believes that this is due to temperature fluctuations in home appliances. “When storing insulin at home in the refrigerator, constantly use a thermometer to check storage conditions. It has been proven that prolonged exposure of insulin at incorrect temperatures reduces its sugar-lowering effect,” advises Dr. Browne.
For people with insulin-dependent diabetes, taking insulin several times a day as an injection or with an insulin pump, following accurate dosage is necessary to achieve optimal glycemia readings. Even a small and gradual loss of efficacy of the drug will require constant changes in dosage, which will complicate the treatment process.