Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Select An Article

What to Ask Your Doctor About Insulin

Font Size
A
A
A

Has your doctor prescribed insulin to help manage your type 1 or type 2 diabetes? You’ll want to know how and when to take it, what side effects could happen, and what other changes you may need to make.

Use this list of questions as a starting point when you talk with your doctor.

Recommended Related to Diabetes

Diabetes Care: Managing Your Time When You Have Diabetes

Sometimes, living with diabetes can seem like a full-time job -- trying to keep up with everything you need to do for proper diabetes care. "Diabetes is a very time-consuming disease to manage well," says Karmeen Kulkarni, MS, RD, CDE, and former president of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association. "The medication, the food, the physical activity -- you add life in general to that whole picture and it ends up being quite challenging."

Read the Diabetes Care: Managing Your Time When You Have Diabetes article > >

What type of insulin do I need?

Insulin comes in four basic forms:

  1. Rapid-acting insulin starts to work within a few minutes after injection. Its effects only last for a couple of hours.
  2. Regular- or short-acting insulin takes about 30 minutes to work fully and lasts for 3 to 6 hours.
  3. Intermediate-acting insulin takes 2 to 4 hours to work fully. Its effects can last for up to 18 hours.
  4. Long-acting insulin takes 6 to 10 hours to reach peak levels in the bloodstream. It can work for an entire day.

Your doctor can tell you which type will work best with your diabetes type and blood sugar level.

How should I give myself insulin?

You can inject or inhale it.

To inject insulin, you can use a syringe, pen, or pump. There is also a needle-free option called a jet injector. Pens are easiest to use, pumps deliver insulin continuously, and syringes are the least expensive.

Find out how many times a day you'll need to inject, and how much insulin to inject in each dose. If you use an insulin pump, ask your doctor when you'll need to give yourself an extra injection (bolus).

If you have type 1 diabetes, you may need up to three or four injections daily. People with type 2 diabetes may need just one shot of insulin a day, possibly increasing to three or four injections.

There is also a rapid-acting inhaled insulin that you can use before meals only. If you have type 1 diabetes, you must also use long-acting insulin.

Talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of each method. The decision may come down to cost, so find out which method your insurance will cover. If you don't have insurance or your plan won't pay for the type of insulin delivery method you prefer, ask your doctor about programs that can help you cover the cost.

1 | 2 | 3
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
kenneth fujioka, md
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Article
 
Middle aged person
Tool
jennie brand miller
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
feet
Slideshow