Less Insulin in the OmniPod?

Although I have been diabetic for 49 years, I am very sensitive to insulin when I receive it from my OmniPod pump. I love the pump and will not change to a tubed pump, but I find that after three days, I still have a ridiculous amount of insulin left in the pump. I have taken the pump to the 8-hour grace period limit more than once, but I still end up throwing away anywhere from 15 - 30 units of insulin-- a terrible waste! What I want to know is, are there other OmniPod users who also face this same situation? Does anyone know if OmniPod is considering a different design that would prime with less than 80 units in it? I would certainly like to buy a pump that does not waste so much insulin.

Given the price of insulin, that seems like a bad deal for a pump to waste that much, if that is indeed the case. WOW.

The question came up in another discussion. I quoted a response from it below. If you have any questions you should direct them to @Dave26. I have no direct experience with the OmniPod.

SherryAnn - Do I understand you correctly? You use less than 80 units in 80 hours? Are you using the O’pod for both basal and bolus?

Am I missing something here?

[quote=“Terry4, post:4, topic:46625, full:true”]
SherryAnn - Do I understand you correctly? You use less than 80 units in 80 hours? Are you using the O’pod for both basal and bolus? Am I missing something here?[/quote]
That’s entirely possible. I use just a bit more than that.myself. I try to use my reservoir till it’s all done, but there is the waste of insulin in the infusion set tube for my pump. I just accept that there is no way around some waste with an insulin pump, no matter what type.

I use about 20 units a day, so at the end of three days, I still have anywhere from 15 - 20 units of insulin left. I am very sensitive to insulin, so I just do not need much even though I have been diabetic most of my life. I try to exercise daily and keep my weight in check. I also am very conscious of what I eat, so unless I really “pig out,” I generally don’t take more than 2 - 5 units at any meal. So yes, I have insulin left each time. I am trying to fill each Pod with less and less insulin to see how low I can get the filling and still have the Pod “beep” before it primes. I just wish that I did not have to use an minimum of 80 units.

I suppose you could consider diluting your insulin to a U50 concentration and then you could easily load in an amount greater than 80 units of U100. On the other hand, I know insulin is precious but wasting 5 units/day doesn’t seem like that much. I use an Animas Ping and I load a nominal amount for three days and then don’t change the set until I get down to 5 units or less. Sometimes that’s a little more or less than three days.

I don’t recommend changing U100 concentration unless its absolutely essential. Finding diluent is no easy task, I’ve heard.
Our brains are used to using U100 so a mental lapse could easily cause under-bolusing. I just think it’s an all around bad idea.

I do not want to dilute anything. I just wish that Insulet would build a Pod that would not need a minimum amount of insulin to prime. I would happily only fill the pump with 65 - 70 units; I know that would cover three days for me quite well. For now, I will just continue as always and make adjustments as I must. I have been able to gradually add less and less insulin to the pump. My goal is to get the waste factor down to less than 15 units.

I probably waste 15-20 units with each infusion set change. I agree, diluting insulin is probably more trouble than it’s worth to you. A better case can be made for parents treating young diabetic children that don’t weigh much.

You can remove the insulin from the pod. Just use the needle that comes in your pod kit, pull it out then I usually insert it into the vial and pull out the rest. Don’t think it will all completely come out but you can get a good portion of it

I agree, Terry4. I know of several children ages 4 - 7 that need far less than 80 units in three days. I doubt though, that Insulet will listen since an equally large number of people are asking for a Pod that holds more than 200 units. I am just happy that a tubeless Pod is available and works.

Barbraann, I was told by my doctor to never remove insulin from a Pod if I have worn it for more than 12 hours. There is a far difference between insulin being stored outside of the refrigerator at room temperature and insulin that has been in a small device connected to a 98-degree body. The insulin starts to break down and should never be used from an old Pod that has been worn for more than 12 hours. The insulin degrades with time and being heated by the human body. I have removed insulin from a Pod that fails to prime or one that has occluded after a couple of hours, but my health is too important to risk using three-day-old, warmed insulin. That is dangerous.

As relative risks go, “dangerous” seems a bit hyperbolic to me. You doctor is being overly cautious in his warning to you.

Back in the days when I camped out, the advice given was to keep your vial of insulin … MDI back then, not a pump … with you in your sleeping bag. There was a lot less danger of degradation from the insulin being at body temp versus risking having it freeze.

Yes, insulin is fragile. No, it is not that fragile.

@Dave26, have you ever experienced problems which could be due to degradation of the remaining, unusued insulin you withdraw from your pods?