- Where the dose is given. If you give insulin into your abdomen (especially above and to the side of your belly button), the medicine will get into your system more consistently from day to day. If the medicine is given into a muscle or a small blood vessel instead of fatty tissue, the medicine will get into your system faster. This is generally not recommended by most doctors.
- How much insulin is given. Higher doses of insulin reduce the blood sugar level more than lower doses. Do not overdose!
- Whether you have exercised before or just after taking insulin. If you have just exercised the muscles in the area where you give your insulin injection, the medicine will get into your system faster.
- If you apply heat to the area. The medicine will get into your system faster if you take a hot bath or shower, put on a heat pack, or massage the area where you have just given your insulin injection.
- If you do not drink enough water and you are dehydrated, you will not have as much blood flow to your skin, so insulin will not be absorbed as well as it would be otherwise.
- Label each insulin bottle when it is used for the first time, and discard unused medicine after 30 days. A bottle of insulin may lose its potency after 30 days of use. Most inserts accompanying your insulin will state 28 days.
- Store insulin properly so that its effectiveness is protected. Storing it in the refrigerator is the ideal place, but preferably not in the door to avoid vibrations when the refrigerator door is opened and closed.
- When you buy insulin, check the generic or brand names to make sure you are buying the correct type. For example, if you have been using Humulin-R (insulin regular), make sure you buy Humulin-R instead of Humulin-N (insulin NPH).
- Know when your prescribed types of insulin start working (onset), when they work most (peak), and how long they work (duration).
- Know how to give an insulin injection.
- Once you have started using the vial of insulin, it generally is not necessary to return it to the refrigerator. Only return it to the refrigerator if the temperature in the house or apartment will be above 85 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time as this will shorten the life of the insulin or make it unusable.
Keep insulin out of direct
sunlight and in Frio packs or a cooler with cold packs if it is in a
vehicle for any length of time or while traveling or hiking.