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Regular Insulin Dosage

Special U-500 Regular Insulin Dosing Guidelines

Regular insulin comes in the following two concentrations:
 
  • U-100 regular insulin (the standard form) -- 100 units of insulin per mL, available in 10 mL vials
  • U-500 regular insulin (the concentrated form) -- 500 units of insulin per mL, available in 20 mL vials.
     
It is not recommended to use U-100 insulin syringes for U-500 regular insulin. Doing so could easily result in an incorrectly measured dose (leading to a five-fold overdose). For instance, if you use a U-100 syringe to measure 10 units of U-500 regular insulin, you actually get 50 units, since U-500 regular insulin is five times as concentrated as regular U-100 insulin. It is recommended to use tuberculin syringes and to measure U-500 regular insulin in mL.
 
In all situations, extreme caution should be taken when measuring a dose of U-500 regular insulin, since it is very concentrated, and tiny inaccuracies in measuring could lead to a large overdose (or underdose).
 

General Information on Dosing With Regular Insulin

Considerations for people taking regular insulin include the following:
 
  • This diabetes medication comes in injectable form. It is injected just under the skin (subcutaneously) usually once or twice a day. There are many different strategies for dosing regular insulin and other insulins; be sure to follow your healthcare provider's recommendations. U-100 regular insulin (but not U-500 regular insulin) can also be given by IV in certain situations.
     
  • Your healthcare provider should show you exactly how to inject regular insulin. It can be injected into the skin and fat layer of the abdomen (stomach), upper arm, or thigh.
     
  • Regular insulin comes in vials. You need standard U-100 insulin syringes (with needles) to inject U-100 regular insulin. You need tuberculin syringes (with needles) to inject U-500 regular insulin.
     
  • Regular insulin can be mixed with NPH insulin (Humulin N or Novolin N) in the same syringe. Be sure to draw up the regular insulin first.
     
  • 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 regular insulin is available without a prescription, it should not be used without a healthcare provider's approval and supervision.
     
  • If you are unsure about anything related to your regular insulin dosage, please talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
     
Healthy Eating for People With Diabetes

Regular Insulin Information

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