Discard Insulin Cartons

 

Many people with type 2 diabetes take more than one insulin product--a long-acting insulin and a short-acting insulin. These people should not store their insulin vials inside the original cardboard boxes after the products have been opened. If the vials are accidentally returned to the wrong box after being used, the wrong type of insulin may be taken. This could lead to a serious medical emergency.

We've received reports in which people looking for a particular insulin product have read the label on the carton, not the vial itself. They assumed that the vial they took out of the carton was the insulin product listed on the label of the box. Thus, they gave themselves short-acting insulin in a dose more appropriate for long-acting insulin, or vice-versa. This can lead to a dangerously low or high amount of sugar in the blood, which may require immediate medical attention.

Here's what you can do. Discard insulin cartons once they are opened. If a pharmacy label is on the outside carton, save it for use when refilling your prescription, or to help remember the correct dose. When you refill the insulin, ask your pharmacist to put the label on the vial itself without covering important information.

Created on February 1, 2009

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