Some insulin pens are designed to be used with an insulin cartridge. These pens are meant to be reused. Insulin pens that do not come with separate insulin cartridges are disposable, and the insulin is prefilled inside the pen. When you prepare to take
insulin, check the label on the bottle (vial), the disposable pen, or the cartridge for the refillable pen for the:
Expiration date of the
Correct name and source of insulin (human or pig)
prescribed for you.
Correct type of insulin prescribed for you
(rapid-, short-, intermediate-, or long-acting, or mixed).
concentration of insulin prescribed for you. (The most commonly used
concentration is U-100, which contains 100 units of insulin per milliliter or
cubic centimeter.) Sometimes insulin is produced in a less concentrated
(diluted) form for babies. Make sure you give your baby the dilution your
Also, check the bottle, pen, or cartridge for cracks or chips. Look for
changes in the appearance of the insulin that can indicate it will not work,
A coating of white crystals on the inside surface
of the bottle.
A grainy look or clumping or curdling of the
Other changes in the insulin's clarity or color.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Current as of
July 11, 2013
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 11, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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