100 Units per ML, right?

That's what my insulin vial seems to be saying.

I have still had leftover Apidra pens for backup to my pump and planned on asking the doctor for syringes when those run out. Then I started using the last one a few days ago and suspect it might be too old, so threw it out. I didn't really want to go to the doctor just for syringes, so I decided to "borrow" a couple from my cat until I get to the doctor. No, I am not going to deprive my precious lula of her cat medicine! I just used one of her syringes twice so I'd have an extra one.

But then I realized that her syringe is 1ML and you can go as low as .1 (a tenth of a ml). But isn't that still 10 Units? Too much for me! I'm pretty sure I'm understanding it right but it looks like so little! I always used pens on MDI, so the syringes must have really small lines to dose in increments of only 1 unit!

Yes, insulin syringes do have very narrow increments, the tube part of the syringe itself is also very narrow. You can get syringes with 1/2 unit increments. That is why pens are considered easeier to use accurately. But as backup for pump failure or unexplained highs I have syringes so then I just use my normal vial of Novolog, & I don't have unused pens sitting around until they expire & have to be thrown away.

You are exactly right.

In many places you can get insulin syringes without a prescription....they are pretty cheap. I got some to keep on hand when my supply of pens runs out...

Okay, thanks, that's what I figured. Yes, it does seem to make more sense to use syringes for backup then I'll just use my normal Apidra. I just was using up the pens I had left. They had an expiration of 7/12 so I figured it was ok, but I've had it since 3/11 so that's a year and it didn't seem very effective. It's amazing how little a unit of insulin actually is. I actually shot out 10 units from the old pen and then drew it up into the cat syringe to verify the translation but sitting in the dish you could hardly see 10 units of insulin! Kind of scary!

You can??? I thought they were made prescription throughout the U.S. years ago!

1 unit of any U100 insulin is .01mL...you should always use a syringe that is sized for U100 insulin.

Depends on the state...here is a table:


Here's a handy table that summarizes state laws for both old fashioned insulin and syringes. Most states do not require prescriptions for syringes

Thanks, guys! Both those links have the same table! Astonishing I didn't know this! I did see the caveat that "Individual pharmacies can refuse at their own discretion". I'm going to ask at my CVS when I go tomorrow, but I have a feeling they'll deny.

One of the things I liked most about living in Guatemala is you didn't need a prescription for anything! (Though of course my insurance didn't cover it) Also didn't need lab slips, just walk in and ask for a test, then come back for the results.

Try one of the mail order sites, diabetic promotions has a good selection: www.diabeticpromotions.com. They don't mention anything about prescriptions. Also your doctor should give you a prescription & then you can get insurance coverage

Get the smallest ones they have-- I think its 3/10cc...i.e. 30 units.
They are marked in 1 unit increments.

Oh yes, that's what I'll probably do, Annabella. I don't need it that often, but it's good to have. I'll just ask at CVS tomorrow and if they say they need a script I'll just put that on my list for my Dr. Learn something new every day!

Thanks, guys. Yes, I was astonished when I shot 10 units out of a pen into a dish to see it was barely visible!

Pharmacists can sell at their discretion & many will only sell 1 package of 10 at a time. Unless you look like a junkie, they'll sell them to you with an ID (not that junkies shouldn't have clean syringes).

I order syringes from American Diabetes Wholesale. Interestingly, was cheaper to order from them than pay insurance co-pay at CVS. I use syringes with 1/2 unit markings http://www.americandiabeteswholesale.com/product/surecomfort-u-100-insulin-syringes-half-unit-short-needle-31g-310-cc-516-in-box-of-100_1316.htm

Thanks, Gerri; I'll check it out. I don't need a lot, just enough for backup if I have a set problem occasionally.

A box of 100 is more than you'd need.