HOW TO INJECT, STORE & TRAVEL WITH INSULINS

If you've been prescribed insulin, your doctor or diabetes educator will show you how to give yourself insulin injections. You should also carefully review all the information and instructions that come with your insulin and diabetes supplies before giving yourself an injection. Giving an injection can be simple, but it does take practice. Talk to your healthcare team or other people who take insulin for support during this time.

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Injecting Insulin TechniqueInjecting Insulin TechniqueInjecting Insulin TechniqueInjecting Insulin Technique
Preparing a dose of Premixed Insulin:


Preparing a Dose of Regular + NPH Insulin:

When insulin is not handled and stored properly, it may not work right, so be sure to read the directions that are packaged with your insulin supplies.

To keep insulin in good condition, you must do the following:

  • Keep your extra supply of insulin in the refrigerator
  • Never let your insulin freeze
  • If you use a vial, keep the vial you are currently using in the refrigerator whenever possible
  • Any unused pens should be stored in the refrigerator
  • The pen you are currently using should not be stored in the refrigerator
  • Keep unrefrigerated insulin as cool as possible (below 30℃) and away from heat and light
  • Insulin kept at room temperature will last approximately 1 month
  • Examine the bottle closely to make sure the insulin looks normal before you draw the insulin into the syringe.

Always look at the expiration date printed on the insulin box before you buy it. The date must allow enough time for you to use all the insulin. Do not buy or use insulin past its expiration date.

Make Sure the Contents Are in Good Condition

Regular insulin:

  • Should be clear and have no color
  • Must not be used if it looks cloudy, thickened, even slightly colored, or has solid particles in it; if any of these conditions appear, call the insulin manufacturer

Premixed insulin:

  • Should have an even, cloudy appearance after gentle mixing/rolling
  • Must not be used if there are clumps in the insulin after mixing or if there are particles on the bottom or wall of the vial that give a frosted appearance; if any of these conditions appear, call the insulin manufacturer 1

1http://www.lillydiabetes.com/Pages/handling-and-storing-insulin.aspx

Maintaining your schedule for insulin injections and blood sugar (glucose) checks can be challenging when you're traveling. But with careful planning, managing your diabetes on any trip can go smoothly. Discuss your plans with your healthcare provider before you go.

TRAVEL TIPS

  • Remember to check your blood sugar regularly while traveling
  • Changing time zones can disrupt your insulin schedule. Check with your doctor before you travel, if necessary. They will help you figure out how to adjust your dose and/or schedule
  • If you're flying, have your healthcare provider write a letter stating that you have diabetes and need to use syringes and insulin. Make sure your supplies are clearly labeled. This will help you get through security.
  • Bring 2-3 times the amount of insulin and supplies you need with you. This way, if anything is lost or damaged, you'll have plenty of extras
  • Do not store your insulin in the trunk of your car or in checked luggage. The extreme temperature variations can harm the insulin
  • As with any type of travel, always be prepared for delays. Carry your insulin and supplies with you at all times in a cold pack (not packed in your suitcase), along with healthy snacks that can also serve as meals in case of heavy traffic or delayed flights
  • Bring something to eat on the plane, even if it's a short flight. Delays could interfere with your meal schedule. Inject your insulin before or after you eat, as appropriate. Be careful not to inject too much air into your insulin vial. The pressurized cabin can make this more likely to happen
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