Sunday afternoon I decided to clean out the fridge a bit, and I poked around the butter compartment/insulin holder section to take stock of my Humalog vials. Then I came across my emergency glucagon pen, and I pulled it out so I could make sure it wasn’t expired. It was good on shelf life, but something printed in tiny, size 2 font near the expiration date caught my eye:
“Store at controlled room temperature 20 to 25 degrees Celcius (68 to 77 degrees Farenheit.)”
Um. What? Room temperature? I have always stored my unopened glucagon pens in the fridge. My mom always stored them there growing up. In college, I showed my freshman year room mates the little spot on the shelf in the mini-fridge where I kept my glucagon. When Jacob and I moved in together, we went over how to use the glucagon and dutifully decided to keep it in the door shelf of - you guessed it – the fridge.
Twenty years with diabetes and I have never known that glucagon pens are meant to be kept at room temperature. Thinking about it, I probably just stored them the way I saw my mom do it growing up. And I’m sure she thought that because it was in the family of diabetes medications and kinda looks like insulin that it must go in the fridge. I am lucky enough that I’ve never needed to use a glucagon kit, so we would never have discovered that it didn’t work after being stored in the cold. I’ve just had one sitting there in the fridge. For 20 years. Wow.
Who knew? Room temp. A good lesson to always read the fine print my friends. And to never assume.
Now, off to find a controlled room temperature storage place for my glucagon.