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FDA: Stolen insulin creates public health risk

Category: Diabetes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a statement reminding the public that corrupted and potentially dangerous samples of insulin may be for sale.

In June the FDA first reported that three lots of the insulin Levemir, which is produced by Novo Nordisk for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, were stolen in North Carolina. In total 129,000 vials were taken, and only 2 percent has been recovered.

The FDA reports that "Evidence gathered to date suggests that the stolen insulin was not stored and handled properly and may be dangerous for people to use." In fact, multiple diabetes patients have contacted the agency to report the uncomfortable effects of fluctuating glucose levels experienced after using one of the stolen vials.

The serial numbers for the stolen lots of Levemir are XZF0036, XZF0037 and XZF0038.

FDA officials are advising users of Levemir to determine if they are in possession of one of these lots by confirming the serial numbers on the side of the box of insulin and on the side of the vial. They advise consulting a health care provider before switching to another brand of insulin to ensure accurate dosages.

Symptoms of improper insulin levels include frequent urination, heavy thirst, weight loss and mental fatigue. The American Diabetes Association recommends the A1C diabetes test to diagnose and treat the condition.

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