Patients Continue Taking Common Diabetes Medication After Recommended Limit

May 17, 2018

Medicaid patients with diabetes take insulin glargine after the recommended 28-day limit, according to a study published April 16 in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA).

One of the most commonly prescribed drugs for diabetes, insulin glargine, has a 28-day limit on the use of a 10ml (1,000 unit) multiple dose vial once the bottle is punctured. After 28 days, the product’s stability and sterility aren’t reliable.

The study found that more than 80 percent of patients take the medicine after the 28-day limit. More than half of them made the mistake because they weren’t informed by their prescriber or their pharmacist.

“More work is needed with a larger sample size to determine if reasons besides lack of awareness impact patients’ use of insulin glargine beyond its expiration and the role of pharmacists and diabetes educators in improving adherence to disposing the drug after 28 days,” according to the study.

View the study.