2 omnipod questions

new to the omnipod and I have a few questions:

  1. When filling, how do you best hold everything to pull the full max dose from the vial into the needle?
  2. If you fill it to the max, what should the max units read on the omnipod itself?
  3. Would omnipod replace a pod that I swear I filled to max but yet emptied in less than 24 hours?

The reason I ask is that I’m getting 2 days max use before it says its empty and I’m used to 3+ with my Medtronic 630G I switched from. I like the easy dohickey the 630G has to fill the reservoir from the vial.

When I check the logs, it says I use anywhere from 99 to 120 units but today only 60 something, so I’m thinking last night I may not have filled it all the way that I’m out not even 24 hour later?

Any suggestions.

Hi there and welcome to OmniPod!

I’ve been a podder for five plus years now and love it.

I fill the syringe with the vial upside down. When I was bolusing via the OmniPod I would fill to the max line of 200 units. Now, I fill it to the 100-125 unit line, because I’m fearful the 85 units is just too close. I end up tossing some insulin, which I hate to do, but it’s better than worrying I’m going to have to replace a pod too. You need to fill at least to the 85 unit marked line in order to prime the pod.

When you first fill the pump it will read 50+ units. It does not start to count units until it is 49 units and then you’ll see the count down by units, 48, 47, 46,… and so on.

If you need to use more than the 200 max, the three days (72 hours + 8) does not matter. It’s based on your insulin consumption, so if you need more than 200 units, you would start a new pod when it was time.

I hope this helps some.

I know there are a lot of podders here, so they may have a way to explain it better than I can.

Thanks for such a quick response.
I followed the directions in the book to a T to fill but it just seems awkward pulling the last little bit out of the vial to the max 200 units line of the syringe.

I changed my pod last night, and tonight less than 24 hours later, its empty again and I barely got 100 units out of it in total. The syringe has a hard stop at max fill, and I know it was full before I loaded it into the pod, so I’m at a loss why that happened.

Would they replace it for me do you think?

Any ideas on how to confirm it is full before activating?

  1. I use a regular syringe, because I think it is easier to fill. The pod fill syringes are harder to remove air bubbles. I use a 100 unit syringe. You can also use an insulin pen! Either of those is easier than the pod syringe.

  2. The most the pod shows on the units remaining display is “50+ U”. Once it gets to less than 50 units, the remaining units displayed on the PDM starts dropping down. So if you fill it with the max amount, it should say “50+ U” on the PDM display for a while.

BTW, you can fill it with about 210 units. There is a little waste from deadspace, so you can actually overfill it a bit, so you can end up using 200 units. They don’t tell you that. :wink: If you use an actual syringe, it is easier to see exactly how much you are putting in there.

  1. The will probably replace for any reason if you call them! But in reality, if you put in 200 units, and it said it was empty in less than 24 hours, that would mean you got 200 units, and you would probably know it. There was probably some other issue with that. Maybe you did not fill it all the way. Try my suggestion for #1 above.

One other note, I believe they are working on pods compatible with U-200 insulin, so when that comes out, you would be able to have twice the amount.

I do fill it (the syringe) beyond the 200 units mark and then shoot the a few units out, to release any air, but it can be a bit tight. I’ve done it for so long I guess it doesn’t seem to cumbersome anymore. I’ve heard people using a regular syringe to fill their pod. If you’re use to a different syringe, maybe try it?

Are you using the new OmniPod Dash? I don’t have that one. I would call tech support and ask about this usage difference. They are open 24/7 and are a lot of help. If you’re not getting 200 units out of it, I would definitely call them. I think they would replace the pods, but there might be a problem with the PDM too, so definitely check on this.

No, I know of no way to confirm how many units are in there before activating the pod, short of reading the amount in the syringe.

Thanks. No, I really want the dash, but they are only on early access for MDs that are part of the program, and no MDs in MO are participating. I was told sometime in Q1 of 2019. I was given a free pdm and 10 pods though and my insurance picked up a 90 day supply free for me, so no cost. Even insulin is covered! Yeah!

I’ve never actually used a real syringe before as I’ve always used pens or the medtronic 630G vial attacher thingy.

If I did go with a syringe, what size do I get and what should I expect to pay?

I haven’t used the syringe myself, to fill the OmniPod but … @Eric2 mentioned in their post

I use a 100 unit syringe. You can also use an insulin pen! Either of those is easier than the pod syringe.

As Eddie2 mentioned, try to use a regular syringe (edited to add: or insulin pen) and see if that helps you any.

Please, let us know how it goes for you!

On Amazon these are about $5 for 25 of them. Pretty cheap. They are 100 units each. This is what I use.

Hello. I find that the fill syringe is very “tight” compared to normal insulin syringes. The plunger doesn’t slide easily. It tends to get big bubbles at the start of the fill. I pull in about an 1/8" and push that back in the vial. Then you just get “champange” bubbles as my CDE’s calls them. Big bubbles don’t “flick out” like normal syringe. I’ve not tried using a regular syringe to fill. I also find I must use my reading glasses. I did insert the syringe off center in the port once and never got the beep that minimum fill was met. Looked closely and saw that some insulin had oozed out the side of the fill port.

IDK why Insulet designed it to only show 50+ on the PDM after you fill and apply a pod. You can tear off the adhesive backing to look at the underside of a used pod to see how empty the reservoir actually is. It’s a screw mechanism at rachets out the doses. The are some very interesting YouTubes on their mechanicals. I’ve used some pods to “out” on the PDM and the plastic screw will be all the way to the bottom wall. If the amount of insulin the PDM reports doesn’t jive with what you filled/used, I would report that to customer service. They have been great at replacing pods. Sometimes they want them back to evaluate certain error codes and will send a return kit.

I use off label Humulin U500 else I would not get 3 days/pod and currently fill with 100-125 units. Have had very good results (a1c’s under 6%) and am hoping to move to a less concentrated, cheaper insulin. IDK what yet. With MDI I was using about 65u/day so the Omnipod was a big plus for me. Happy Podding!

1 Like

I’m curious what the needle length is on these??

Are these 1/2" needle length?

Yes, they are 1/2 inch. You just push it down into the pod’s fill port as far as it will go. The whole needle does not fit inside the fill port, but most of it fits. They work great.

Certainly a more precise measurement than the clunky scale on the fill syringes. I normally have 1/3 cc’s as back up but have some old 1 cc ones. Gonna try this.

1 Like

The other great thing about using the syringes is how much easier it is to remove the air bubbles! Try it, and I bet you will never go back!

I’m really surprised people are having issues with the Insulet syringe. I just fill the insulin bottle with and hold upside down. Pull the plunger all the way out and wait for the bubbles to be replaced with insulin. Overfill the 200 unit mark and then while keeping it upside down, push the plunger in and out a couple of times until the bubbles are gone.
I’ve been on the Pod longer than most since I was Insulet’s first customer and have never had trouble filling pods. BTW, the new pods are incredibly reliable compared to some of the previous variants.

Andy T1 64 years
30 Plus years with only 2 BG tests per year