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Insulin - Introduction
Insulin’s action has three parts:
- Onset is how long it takes insulin to start working.
- Peak is when insulin is working its hardest.
- Duration is how long insulin will keep working.
The times for onset, peak, and duration are usually given
as ranges because insulin may work slower or faster in different
Insulin comes dissolved in liquids. Many people use U-100
insulin which means that there are 100 units of insulin per
milliliter of fluid. It is important to use a syringe that
matches the strength of your insulin. For example if you use
U-100 insulin, use a U-100 syringe.
Unopened insulin should be stored in your refrigerator.
Since extreme temperatures can destroy insulin, you should
not store insulin in your freezer or allow it to warm in the
sun. After opening a bottle of insulin, you may keep it at
room temperature for up to a month.
If the expiration date on your insulin has already passed,
you should not use that bottle. Even if the insulin has not
expired, you should still examine its appearance to make sure
that it is safe to use. Insulins Aspart®, Lispro®,
Glarine®, and Regular should appear clear with no particles
or color. NPH, lente, and ultralente insulins should be cloudy
but should not have any particles or crystals. If your insulin
does not look as it should, you should not use it.
This handout contains general information on diabetes medication.
It is not intended to replace medical advice. It is important
to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your dosage and
any other questions that you may have.
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