Insulin In the pod

I know the Omnipod holds 200 units of insulin for a 3 day period. I assume that if you dont use that much you can just fill the cartridge with as much as you would normally use for a 3 day period. But after the 3 daysare just making me wonder.

When you have to change it out, if you havent used up the insulin is it possible to suck the insulin out and use it in the next pod?

And what if you have a crazy day or two where you use more than normal. Do you just take some of it by injection or just change the pod out early.

I know I will probably figure these things out on my own once I start on the pod but thats not until next week and these things are making me curious.

I would appreciate any answers that you have available or suggestions you might have.


Some of this stuff will be explained to you by your trainer. The pod requires a minimum of 80-100 units to activate during priming so keep that in mind.

They strongly advise against re-using 3 day old insulin. I have heard of people who have had priming errors and have extracted fresh insulin but personally I would be hesitant to use 3 day old insulin.

Sounds like you may have some erratic usage patterns. Being on the pump may help with that but most people swap out the pod if they use it what is in the pod prior to the 3 days.

My advice dont sweat it. Get the training and enjoy the freedom!

Be well

Anngela -

good questions, I had the same questions and had to call Insulet…and they dont alwayls give great answers. This group is GREAT for those occasions!

Yes, you can use a syringe and suck the unused insulin out of a pod. Ive had to do that many times for the very reason you just laid out…and several occastions when I had a pod 'go bad" on me. Also, when I have accidentally tore my pod off (walking into a doorway or something clumsy like that).(Im not a drunk,it just happens…Im sure yuouve done it too)(not that youre a clod or anything…but I am.)

When I use more than anticipated I just switch back to syringe and injections. I use an old (not expired) bottle of Lispro whenever my pod runs out. This happens VERY ifnfrequestly. YOu can always also just change the pod early, that is not a problem.

Hi Anngelia and welcome to podding.

I basically do the same as Seth. When I started using the pod, I filled it with 200 units. Then I monitored how much was left when it was time to change pods. Now I fill the pod with 150 units. I was really bad over Easter and used up my 150 units early (all that yummy food and chocolate!) so I changed the pod a few hours early. When the 3 days are up and there is still insulin in my pod (according to the PDM), I leave it on for all or part of the eight hour grace period to use up as much as possible.

I have found that sometimes I start going hyperglycemic during the grace period. If that happens, I change the pod right away. I do not try to salvage insulin that has been in the pod for three days. In fact, I only try to salvage insulin that has been in the pod for several hours, or if the pod fails to prime (rare).

Like Seth said, get the training. I would also ask the trainer this question. I suggest that you compile a list of questions so you can get the most “bang for your buck” when you get training.

I will suck out the insulin only if I have a failed fresh pod…not after it has been on my bod for more than a few minutes, which has only happened once in a year for me. An Insulet customer service rep told me that they don’t recommend doing that but I also know that people here have been told that Insulet won’t reimburse you for any wasted insulin due to pod failures. The thought of throwing out expensive insulin is upsetting, and there has been a lot of discussion here about extracting it from the pod with no problems.

Other than insurance/cost issues, the length of time you wear the pod less than the 3 days (plus 8 hours grace period if your #'s remain good) is not dictated by anything but the amount of insulin in the Pod. If you use it up you can change anytime. Good luck.

I just throw away what is left in the pod after 3 days. I fill with 90 - 100 units, usually I can think ahead to the next 3 days, and if I think I am going to have a day where I eat more I add more insulin. If I have a lot of insulin left, I take advantage of the 3 days plus 8 hours. And since the opened bottle of humalog has a 30 day shelf life, it all works out.

I have been on a pump for ten years. But with a standard pump you dont have to throw away insulin. Every 3 days I change out the tubing but the cartridge that holds the insulin stays in until it runs out. My insulin is well over 3 days old by the time it runs out but that has never been a problem. I tend to go through about 28 - 30 units per day but every once in awhile I go through more. I think I am just going to have to learn to guess . That will be a new talent.

Well, I usually fill it with about 20u extra (I use 150u/3 days, so I fill it to about 175.). That way I have what I need plus extra for “wacky” days. If it takes more than that, I would just change it out early.
I wouldn’t suggest sucking out the insulin unless you had a bad pod and only had it attached no longer than 24 hours, just out of precaution. Mainly because it’s not as sterile 3 days later as opposed to fresh out of the bottle.

my daughter may be transitioning to the omnipod soon. This is such a fundamental question that I am almost embarrassed to as - who “trains” I see this often that the “trainer” will guide us through this, isn’t it the endo dr?

HI Tricia…The “trainer” that people may be referring to is most likely a person from OmniPod. I just went on the Pod a little over 3 weeks ago and your right that the endo or in my case a CDE from my Endo’s office was there and also a person from or a Rep from OmniPod to help set up the PDM with all the data such as Alarms, IC Ratio’s, basal rates, and show you how to use and fill the pods and go over the functions

Hope this Helps…If you have any other questions I’d be glad to help as I’m still a newbie to Podding!! Take Care~Schmutz

ugh!!! thanks - my daughter is 16 and definitely going through that rebelling stage. We are planning to attend the Childrens with Diabetes Conf in FL this June.
in fact, I posted a discussion on the athletic user group and a college student responded to me about this conference. In fact, she is working at this conference with the youth group. My daughter is into soccer, going to college showcase tournaments etc.This website is absolutely great, and I really appreciate your response!

We’ve never been to this conf and actually I am quite ticked that after 6 years going to the same endo, she never encouraged us to go to such conferences or guided us to another support group (now granted, my teenager daughter is not the involved type with this; she wants to be “normal” heck, no one is normal these days :)!!! ) . As Omnipod rep will be there and hooking up with get another demo pod for Katie. I hope this helps. Geez. thanks for your response!!!


I change my pod out early if I run out in three days. I use approx. 50 units a day (usually less), so I usually fill with 150u right now.

As for wasting insulin, there’s no getting around it. But if you’ll remember, these are probably the same questions we first asked about the insulin “wasted” in the tubing - I know I did back when I got my first pump. You learn to sort of take for granted that you’re not going to get your money’s worth out of every vial.

On one of the other pumping groups I belong to someone is always talking about saving insulin. Several people suck the left over insulin out of the tubing. I have never gone that far. I’ve never really worried that much about it. But lets face it insulin is expensive and if there is a safe way around wasting it I would be willing to do it. I think this is really going to work out fine and I am loving my new pump system. After 10 years with tubing it is kind of cool not to have to worry about it.

So thank you for all the comments and suggestions. I love being part of the podding community! :slight_smile:

My son has been on the Pod for just shy of 3 months. We have good stretches of time, and then we have weeks where we have to change them 1-2 times a day. So frustrating!

When I have to take insulin out of it, say for a failure on a new one, I can only get 100 units out of it max. Our Insulet trainer, who also has type 1 and wears the OmniPod himself, says they don’t officially recommend reusing insulin, but as a client as well, he has found that you can reuse the insulin effectively for up to 24 hours after you start the pod. Any longer than that and you can’t be sure how effective it is.

We ALL have gone through this, and are still learning! Welcome aboard. If you have any questions, feel free to email me :slight_smile:

I used to be on an Animas pump and I would only refill and change the cartridge when it ran out. Each cartridge would hold 170+ units. I only use about 30 per day so each one would last 5 or 6 days. I never had a problem with it. So once every week or week and a half I would change it. So I have a hard time thinking that the insulin is bad if its been in the pod more than a day or two.

Anngelia -
I have been a “Podster” ( I just made that word up) fir 5 years now…and never had a oioblem with usint the insulin that I just suck out of a 34 day used pod. And, lie you say, I frequetly need to change the pod before the 3 day period is up. I also habe switched back to injections on occasion if it is an unusual situation, such as last night, as a matter of fact, I must haev eaten somehing unusual b/c at about 7 pm my reading on the PDM was “HIGH”, which I believe, means the bg levbel is over 500. (When the PDM scvreen just says HIGH) (happens every once in a while) so I took an injection to see if I could get it down to my target bg (130) before I had to change the pod out anyway (it was the end of my 3 days). I think maybe the reservoier had gone empty (althought the POd will usually scream and let you know when this happens). (for some reason it didnt let me know, and when the pod isnt delivering the basal…well…all hell breaks loose)

it was more mixing the old and new insulin that the trainer said he was leery of, not so much older insulin itself

I 've had that problem before. Not with the pod but with a standard pump. I always assumed I must have somehow got an air bubbl in the cartridge. Any time you get a “high” reading its best just to go ahead and take an injection and yes that usually means you are over 500. But I think we were all on injections before we started on a pump so to take one to correct a severe high is not that big a deal, at least in my opinion. It’s still better than multiple shots per day.

And I like your new word. I am happy to be part of the podster community.

I’ve been pulling extra insulin back out of the pods since i started with no problems. As for using more insulin that usual, i haven’t had much of a problem (i did one day when i was sick, and used 90 units that day alone) since i fill it all the way every time. The one time i did though, i just changed the pod out early and continued fighting my cold. :slight_smile: