June 30, 2009
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Insulin and Guidelines for its Use
  • Read the package inserts of the insulin and understand all aspects of its use .
  • Carefully follow the storage, preparation, and injection techniques taught to you by your doctor or diabetes educator.
  • Participate in a thorough diabetes education program so that you under¬≠stand diabetes and all aspects of its treatment, including diet, exercise, personal hygiene, and how to self-monitor blood glucose.
  • Become familiar with the specific type of insulin that you are using and how your blood sugar levels are affected by each dose. Do not switch types, brands, strengths, doses, or the order of mixing your insulin without first con3ulting your doctor or diabetes educator. Overdosage could result in insulin shock.
  • Wear an 10 tag (eg, Medic Alert) so appropriate treatment can be given if an emergency occurs away from home.
  • Always keep an extra supply of insulin, as well as a spare syringe and needle, on hand.
  • Visually inspect the solution/suspension before administration.
  • Rotate injection sites to prevent scarring and other possible complications.
  • Do not switch the model and brand of syringe or needle without first consulting your doctor or diabetes educator.
  • Monitor blood glucose and urine for glucose and ketones as prescribed.
  • Keep track of the results so that adjustments in your treatment can be made more easily.
  • Contact your doctor if you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia or ketoacidosis (see table in Precautions for symptoms).
  • Insulin requirements may change when you are ill (eg, vomiting, fever), under stress, or exercising. Stay on your regular diet, if possible. Establish a “sick day” plan with your doctor. A “sick day” plan provides directions for what to do when you are sick and cannot keep food down or are having difficulty eating. The plan should include advice on when to call your doctor or seek emergency care.
  • To avoid possible transmission of disease, do not share syringes, needles, or cartridges with anyone else.
  • Consult your doctor about your insulin schedule if you will be traveling across 2 or more time zones. You may need to make adjustments in your insulin schedule.
  • Be sure to have regular physical and eye examinations. The frequency of these exams will be determined by your regular doctor and your eye doctor.
  • Lab tests may be required to monitor therapy. Be sure to keep appointments.
  • Regular insulin – Do not use if solution is cloudy, colored, thickened, or if particles are seen.
  • Lente and NPH insulins – Gently mix well before using. Do not use if clumps are seen or if white material (the insulin) remains at the bottom of the insulin bottle.
  • Store at room temperature (up to 30 days), away from light and heat.
  • If you buy extra bottles of insulin, store the bottles that you are not using in the door of the refrigerator. Do not freeze insulin. Do not use the bottles after the expiration date stamped on the label or if the insulin has been frozen.

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