Diabetes care and management have come a long way thanks to some incredible technological advances. 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 is vital in ensuring its safety and efficacy. One question that puzzles users is: Do Omnipods need to be refrigerated?

This guide will discuss whether refrigeration is necessary and how to store your Omnipod properly.

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.

Using the controller or app on a compatible smartphone, you only need to input your carb intake. 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.

In any case, you should always have a backup insulin pen, insulin vials, and other diabetes supplies with you. Frequent blood glucose monitoring is also crucial.

So, what should you do with the unused insulin in your pump if you’re going on, say, 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.

Also, 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.

Additionally, you can’t re-attach an active Pod on 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, with only a two-day maximum use.

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 comes with 10 Pods, along with the PDM/controller, silicon cover, 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 can store your Omnipods at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Leave them in their sealed packs to ensure they remain sterile until needed.

You should protect your PDM from moisture or extreme temperatures, too. 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 wear it at all times. After that, you should toss away the used Pod and start a new one.

Can I Put Cold Insulin in My Omnipod?

No, you shouldn’t fill your Pod with refrigerated insulin. Cold insulin causes stinging or discomfort at the infusion site.

Before filling the reservoir, ensure that there’s no trapped air in the syringe to avoid any issues with insulin delivery.

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, you should wear it on your 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

To ensure that we give you correct, accurate, and relevant information, all articles on Diabetic & Me are backed by verified information from academic research papers, well-known organizations, research institutions, and medical associations.

  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

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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