Effectively Managing Your Insulin

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What are some tips to manage my insulin?

Effectively Managing Your Insulin

Insulin is a medication used in diabetes treatment. Like many other medications, there are considerations to remember in the storage and management of insulin in order to keep it usable, and decrease the risk for side effects and other potential problems.

Here are some keys to managing your insulin to get the best results:

1. Take it at the same time each day - Your

body learns to regulate itself around

your insulin-administration times, and

will do so more effectively, if it knows

when the next does will be

2. Replace your insulin vial every 30 days,

if you store it at room temperature -

Insulin expires 30 days after opening,

if left at room temperature.

3. Keep back-up insulin supplies in the

fridge - Your insulin will keep until

the labelled expiration date, if the

vial is sealed and stored in the

fridge. Once opened, the vial is

generally good for 90 days - usually

more than enough time to use it up - as

long as you keep it in the fridge

between uses.

4. Mix your insulin - If you are using NPH

or mixed insulin, such as 70/30 or

75/25, roll the vial in your palms

to warm and mix it before your draw it

up for administration. This will ensure

uniform consistency and proper

concentration of your mix. Do not shake

the insulin, as you will add bubbles to

the mixture and may cause some breakdown

of the insulin.

5. Toss insulin that has changed color

or developed sediment - sediment or

color change can indicate a contaminant

or that the insulin has gone beyond its

expiration date. Using discolored or

sedimented insulin can be harmful.

6. Draw clear to cloudy - If you use both

regular and NPH insulin, always draw the

clear insulin first (the regular). If

you draw the cloudy insulin first, you

may inadvertantly get some into the

clear vial, which will then become

cloudy, ruining your regular insulin.

7. Don't mix Lantus - Lantus insulin does

not mix with anything. If you are

receiving regular or NPH insulin, and

Lantus, they must be given in separate

injections, or sedimentation will occur.

Do not ever use insulin with sediment.

8. Keep a log - Track your blood sugars and

insulin usage so that you can trend the

results. This information will help you

and your doctor determine the correct

dosage and dosing schedule to provide

optimal control of your blood sugars.

9. Follow doctor's order - Do not self-

adjust your insulin dosage unless you

have experience and the go-ahead from

your physician. Results can be

disastrous, including hypoglycemia,

ketoacidosis and coma.

Managing your insulin effectively will help you better manage your diabetes, and reduce the risk for side effects and complications.



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