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Diabetes Health Center

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Type 1 Diabetes: Children Living With the Disease - Medications

Insulin is the only medicine that can treat type 1 diabetes, and your child is most likely taking more than one type of insulin. Your child may take several injections a day or use an insulin pump. The insulin pump provides insulin with fewer injections and is as effective as multiple daily injections for keeping blood sugar levels in a target range.

The amount and type of insulin your child takes will likely change over time, depending on changes that occur with normal growth, physical activity level, and hormones (such as during adolescence). Your child may also need higher doses of insulin when feeling sick or stressed.

  • Know what the dose is for each type of insulin your child takes, when your child should take the doses, how long it takes for each type of insulin to start working (onset), when it will have its greatest effect (peak), and how long it will work (duration).
  • Store insulin bottles and insulin in pens or pumps according to the manufacturer's instructions. Insulin exposed to heat and sunlight can be less effective.
  • Don't let your child skip a dose of insulin without a doctor's advice.

What to think about

A rapid-acting insulin is given with a meal or immediately afterward. The dose is based on what your child actually ate, not what the meal plan required. If your child is a "picky eater," this provides flexibility that may reduce mealtime battles.

Scientists are looking at new types of insulin and better ways to give it.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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