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Insulin

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations for when and how to take the medication include the following:
 
  • Currently, insulin must be taken by injection just under the skin (subcutaneously), using pumps, or in an IV (only in certain situations). At one point, inhaled insulin (Exubera®) was available, but it has been taken off the market due to low sales.
     
  • Your healthcare provider should show you exactly how to inject it. It can be injected into the skin and fat layer of the abdomen (stomach), upper arm, or thigh.
     
  • Some insulins come in a suspension that settles with time. These products must be shaken or rolled to "re-suspend" the insulin. Make sure to follow the instructions for your particular product.
     
  • Some insulins can be mixed with other insulins in the same syringe, while others cannot. Do not mix them unless you are certain that you can safely do so.
     
  • For this diabetes drug to work properly, it must be taken as directed. Make sure to monitor your blood sugar levels as your healthcare provider recommends. Even though some forms of insulin are available without a prescription, you should not use any insulin medication without a healthcare provider's approval and supervision.
     

Dosing Information

The dosage that your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
 
  • The carbohydrate content of your meals
  • Your blood sugar goals (which can vary from person to person)
  • Your blood sugar levels
  • Other medications you are taking, including other diabetes medications
  • Other medical conditions you may have.
     
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
 
(Click Insulin Dosage for more information.)
 
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