Diabetes care and management have advanced greatly thanks to incredible technological innovations. For instance, more and more patients with type 1 diabetes are embracing Omnipod pump therapy because of its convenience and flexibility.

Like many medical devices, proper storage ensures their safety and efficacy. One question that puzzles users is Whether Omnipods need to be refrigerated.

Well, Omnipods do not need refrigeration as they are non-prefilled, single-use, and can only be used for up to 72 hours once activated.

Key Facts

  • Omnipods do not need refrigeration as they are not pre-filled and are single-use.
  • Pods use rapid-acting insulin analogs (U-100) and are worn for up to 72 hours.
  • Refrigerating filled Pods or using cold insulin can cause discomfort at the infusion site.
  • Store Pods in sealed packs at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, to maintain sterility.

How Do Omnipods Work?

The Omnipod offers tubeless and nonstop subcutaneous insulin infusion pump therapy for glycemic control in adult and pediatric patients. It includes a wearable insulin pump (Pod) and a controller to program your settings and activate the Pod.

The system works by placing the Pod on your body and setting it up on your Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) or app. However, you should only start your Pod therapy after proper training and getting your initial insulin settings from your endocrinologist.

The latest Omnipod 5 System seamlessly integrates with a separate continuous glucose monitor (CGM) called Dexcom G6.

You only need to input your carb intake using the controller or app on a compatible smartphone. Then, it'll compute your insulin dosage based on your registered blood glucose levels on the CGM.

Can You Put Omnipods in a Refrigerator?

Insulin infusion pump therapy works best for persons on a regular routine. Because changing your routine affects your blood sugar levels, the manufacturer suggests against starting your Omnipod Insulin Pump before the following:

  • Time zone travel
  • Surgery
  • Holidays
  • Unusual school, work, or leisure activities

High elevations, atmospheric conditions, and changing time zones interfere with basal insulin delivery, putting patients at risk of hypoglycemic episodes. The abundance of oxygen in hyperbaric chambers or surgical rooms can also cause your Pod to explode.

Moreover, exposure to procedures like CT scans, MRI, and diathermy treatment can damage the Pod, sensor, or controller.

You should always have a backup insulin pen, vials, and other diabetes supplies. Frequent blood glucose monitoring is also crucial.

So, what should you do with the unused insulin in your pump if you're going on a long-haul flight in the middle of a Pod session? Should you remove and refrigerate your Omnipod before a hospital procedure? The short answer is no.

Why You Shouldn’t Refrigerate Omnipods

Pods are reservoirs for an automated insulin delivery system ; they're not pre-filled, so they don't need refrigeration.

Omnipods use a rapid-acting insulin analog (U-100) and can carry up to 200 units of insulin. You must wear the insulin pump for up to 72 hours to receive a continuous insulin dose.

Pods aren't reusable. Once you've used up the insulin in the Pod, you'll need to sync a new one with your PDM or controller.

You can't reattach an active Pod to your body after removing it for a hospital procedure. The cannula on the infusion set may become contaminated, making it unsafe for reuse.

You'll need a new Pod to resume your pump therapy, so refrigeration is unnecessary.

Do Filled Omnipods Need to Be Refrigerated?

The general guideline for insulin pumps is to keep the insulin in the infusion set unrefrigerated for 3–4 days or until you change the pump.

First, let's look at the list of compatible insulin products for the Omnipod DASH System:

  • Apidra
  • Admelog
  • Fiasp
  • Lyumjev
  • Humalog
  • Novolog/NovoRapid

Meanwhile, the Omnipod 5 is compatible with the following insulin analogs:

  • Admelog
  • Humalog
  • Novolog

You can safely use any of the abovementioned insulin products with the Pod for up to three days, except for Apidra, which has a maximum use of only two days.

And since you can only use the Pod for up to 72 hours once activated, you'll find no reason to put your Omnipod in the fridge anyway.

After 72 hours, the Pod will shut down, and you'll have to start a new pump. You also need to change the Pod in case of the following:

  • The Pod is close to expiration or expired.
  • Your blood sugar reading is 250mg/dL or above, or ketones are present.
  • You experience unexplained high blood glucose levels.
  • The cannula slips out of your skin.
  • Insulin is leaking from the infusion site.
  • You receive an alarm on your controller.
  • The Pod fails to beep during activation.

How to Store Omnipods

The Omnipod Starter Diabetes Kit includes 10 Pods, the PDM/controller, a silicon cover, a charger, and user guides. Omnipods are also available in boxes of five.

You can store your Pods at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Leave them in their sealed packs to ensure they remain sterile until needed.

You should also protect your PDM from moisture or extreme temperatures. Use the silicone protector case to prevent scratches and shield it from accidental damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Omnipod 5 Need to Be Refrigerated

Like DASH and the older Omnipod Insulin Management System, you should not refrigerate the Omnipod 5 Pump.

The Pod is designed to continuously deliver insulin for three days, so you should always wear it. Afterward, you should toss away the used Pod and start a new one.

Can an Omnipod Be Refilled?

No, the Pod is a single-use product and, therefore, non-refillable. If the Pod runs out of insulin or reaches the end of the three-day window, you must discard it and start a new one.

Similarly, if the insulin in the Pod is below the value specified in Settings, use the remaining insulin and replace the Pod.

Conclusion

So, do Omnipods need to be refrigerated?

Omnipods are just reservoirs and shouldn't be kept in a fridge. Once filled with compatible insulin, they should be worn on the body for up to three days before needing a replacement.

For proper storage guidelines for your insulin, refer to the product literature or consult your healthcare provider.

Sources

At Diabetic Me, we are committed to delivering information that is precise, accurate, and pertinent. Our articles are supported by verified data from research papers, prestigious organizations, academic institutions, and medical associations to guarantee the integrity and relevance of the information we provide. You can learn more about our process and team on the about us page.

  1. Science Direct Review of automated insulin delivery systems for individuals with type 1 diabetes: tailored solutions for subpopulations
  2. Omnipod Simplicity starts with Omnipod DASH®
  3. Omnipod Omnipod® 5 Automated Insulin Delivery System Quick Start Guide

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About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville, and I am the founder of Diabetic Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996, I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

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