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Resuspending insulin

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Clear insulinsEdit

Clear insulins don't require re-suspension.

Cloudy insulinsEdit

If you don't roll a cloudy insulin, you will inject an incorrect concentration of the insulin, leading to unpredictable insulin action. [1] Worse, if you repeatedly inject a poorly-resuspended insulin, the remainder of the vial or cartridge will change its concentration! [2]

Pre-filled syringes and insulin pens containing "cloudy" insulins also need to be rolled or re-suspended before injecting. Gently rolling the pre-filled syringe as is done with a vial will re-suspend it. The instructions with insulin pens and cartridges describe the technique for re-suspending before use.


Cloudy insulin

The insulin in this photo is a good example of what cloudy insulins should look like if they've been properly re-suspended.

Roll bottles

Resuspending insulin by rolling it gently in your hands.


Cloudy insulins must be rolled between the hands or gently rotated and inverted several times slowly, to evenly re-suspend the insulin particles in the liquid, before injection. Continue until the suspension looks uniformly milky or cloudy from end to end. [3]


Proper insulin handlingEdit

If you shake or drop the insulin, you can cause frothing, which will denature (physically damage) the fragile insulin molecules, and weaken the insulin, again leading to unpredictable insulin action.

Shaking also creates many air bubbles which go into the syringe along with the insulin. They are harmful in the respect that when there's air in the syringe, the full unit dose of insulin isn't able to be drawn and injected. [4][5]

Explanations [6] about handling insulin properly from Intervet.

See also injecting insulin, diluting insulin and combining insulin. I16

ReferencesEdit

  1. M. Lepore, L. Bartocci, C. Fanelli, S. Pampanelli, F. Porcellati, G.B. Bolli. Effect of Adequate/Inadequate Re-suspension of NPH (Isophane) Insulin on Pharmacodynamics & Dynamics in T1-DM. EASD.
  2. Brown A, Steel JM, Duncan C, Duncan A, McBain AM. (2004). An Assessment of the Adequacy of Suspension of Insulin in Pen Injectors. Diabetic Medicine (UK).
  3. Insulin Therapy-Insulin Administration Technique. RxEd.org.
  4. Questions About Insulin. Diabetes-World Mailing List.
  5. Insulin Therapy-Insulin Administration Technique. RxEd.org.
  6. Information About Handling Insulin Properly. Intervet.

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