What do you do with unopened meds

I apologise if this is covered already. I wonder what you all do with unopened meds that you’re not using? My Endocrinologist had me on Victoza, then stopped it. I have 2 full, unused pens of it. I am now taking Tresiba and I get it mail order. I have at least 5 unopened pens of it. If dr changes me to another type of basal I’ll have it sitting around. Is there any type of exchange for meds that you know of? I’m not trying to deal meds here but at the same time hate to just throw unopened, refrigerated insulin out. I wonder if free clinics could use them for patients?


It’s taken me a long time to understand that different kinds of insulin can handle different kinds of jobs, but now that I do understand, I keep it. Even if I think I’m done with it. Insulin in the refrigerator will keep a lot longer than I once thought. If I pull out something that is older, I will check for cloudiness (if in a vial) and will definitely keep an eye on my blood sugar. But until I know I need to discard it, so like having it around for special jobs.

With that being said, there are sites that allow people to exchange supplies and insulin. I’ve been observing and participating lightly to try to see how it works. It feels like it has the potential to be awesome (with diabetics helping others in need), but it also seems to be chock full of risks. I am not even particularly comfortable sharing a link yet only because I’m not sure it’s all okay. However, I’d be glad to PM it, and you could be your own judge.


I agree with @Nickyghaleb that you might keep them all, as each one acts a little differently. Where I once had only Humalog, I now keep Humalog, Fiasp, and Novolog on hand.

Maybe they also do this in the States, but here in Canada most pharmacies will take back unused and expired meds to properly dispose of them. (There’s been concern about drugs in landfill or flushed down the toilet making their way into the water supply. Which, come to think of it, may explain a lot …)


I offered insulin to a local diabetes camp. They are staffed with doctors (volunteering), but use their judgement and knowledge of campers, to give to those in need.


The damn thing is, people are actually dying because they can’t afford it. Or because they get diagnosed and don’t know how to cope with the medical system (for a myriad of reasons.) This breaks my heart. And I see the insulin in our fridge and I am sad that I can’t share the bounty with anyone else.

There should be some sort of clearinghouse in each community that’s overseen by a doctor who can help dole it out safely. But medical malpractice must make it impossible. Nicky I’m glad you’ve found an option but I also understand your wariness.


Free Care Clinics that serve homeless and severely underprivileged people can take it in many places. Often, because of the situation of their clients, the government gives such clinics special dispensation to redistribute meds and even some expired meds to their clients.

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I gave my unused meds and CGM sensors to my endocrinologist who passed them on to his uninsured patients.


Thank you all for the suggestions! You gave me other options to think about.