Omnipod question

So very, very sorry for these basic questions, but I am using an Omnipod for a clinical trial and everything is at home. My PDM says I am due for change tomorrow in the afternoon and of course today it says 10 units left. Is that really 10 units or is there a buffer? It is set at 1.6 units of basal of glucagon, so 10 units isn’t going to get me through the work day unless there is “extra” that is not calculated in the number it’s giving me. Thanks for the help. I did try looking for a user guide online but couldn’t find a link on their website. I will check back in on lunch break. Thanks podders!

It is 10 units, period. You’ll need to change the pod earlier than you had planned too. I’m remembering too, that once it gets to a certain point in what’s left, it will read low. I think that point is 5 units. I’ll check.

Edited to add. Yes, it will read LOW when it reaches 5 units, so you won’t know how much is left after it reaches less than 5 units.

Page 7 (the header bar) of this user guide:

There is about a 4.5 unit buffer.

I have tested this out many times, making note of the displayed units remaining and then letting the pods run dry and adding up all the units.

It may not always be exactly 4.5 units, but that was the general amount.

The pod does not have an exact mechanism for units of insulin remaining. They use the plunger position to determine an approximate 50 units, and then they start counting. So they have to add a bit to it as a safety margin.

Anyway, 4.5 units is the general buffer.

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Interesting! Thank you, this is very good to know!

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I knew you podders would have an answer. Just got my low alarm an hour ago, so I will have to leave early to change it out. Even with that “extra 4.5” I won’t make it till the end of the shift and the walk home. Oh well. Insulin I always have but study drug, nope. Guess I should put one vial in my meter case. Thanks for the help! You guys are great and thanks so much for the link. I think a review would be a good idea. I just learned the basics, just the deactivate, fill and start. Don’t need to bolus or enter anything, it’s just pumping the “drug”.
But thanks again for the help.


Add an extra pod too, along with the vial of insulin. It saves a lot of time and worry.

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So what kind of a study are you in anyway? Can you share details?

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glucagon??? Say What?

It is a drug study being done to see if using a level of continuous infusion of glucagon can help reduce hypo unawareness. It is a 6 month study wearing an Omnipod filled with glucagon full dose 1.6 per hour, half dose or placebo. I am also wearing a iPRO2 from Medtronic for CGM recordings and also testing four times a day.
You don’t know whether you get full, half or placebo until you get started. I was excited to see I am on the full dose but have had to increase my insulin levels so i’m guessing I am getting the placebo. I am back in on Friday to start up new CGM and get more drugs & pods.
So this one I don’t think I will get much out of besides using a different pump and free test strips (which I don’t use anymore). But I would be very excited if this could help feel those lows again. But the reality with my pump and CGM, they don’t happen very often.
They are also looking for people to do a pump trial with a new pump from Lilly.
I will say, I love San Diego because who wouldn’t love San Diego?! But the research is cutting edge. I will keep you posted on the outcome of these and whatever I try next!
And thanks for the help. I will now carry the extra pod and drug with me on the second day.


Hi Sally,
I did not quite understand this.

If you were getting the placebo, you would not have to increase your insulin.

I am confused about this. Do they not tell you? It seems kind of strange if they would give glucagon and not tell you. Like making a diabetic drink a Coke, and not telling them if it was regular Coke or Diet Coke!

It’s interesting, but I am curious how they are doing the study. It it the glucagon itself that is supposed to bring back awareness, or the fact that your BG is higher?

I think it has already been established that higher BG brings back hypo awareness. I am not sure if a study has been done to that effect, but that seems so to be the common understanding now.

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I think they might put glucagon into pumps to improve the system.

Yeah that was definitely a mistype! Oops! And now being into this for almost a week, things have gone back to usual. It was just a crazy weekend. Blood sugars were way up but I think it was just one of those kinda weekends. It happens but things have gone back to the same old same old ski don’t think I’m getting the drug. But will be interested to hear how well it works for those getting the drug.

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All drug studies I have been in are blind. No one knows who is getting what. But they did tell me if I was getting the full dose it would be noticeable and would need to adjust insulin levels. So we made new profiles in the pump for increases across the board, basal, carb, sensitivity. And was told to use the study profile it my blood sugars started running higher.
There was another study I did that they saw a reduction in insulin needs if getting the full dose. And again, no one knows what you get but the doctors can tell be reviewing CGM downloads and with that one I was getting half dose and saw no change.
I do find it great that they do these trials with multiple dosing sizes. My thinking if less will work, less is the way to go.
This is my third drug study and none so far have made it to market.
So thrilled they finally have a stable liquid glucagon that can be used in pumps. And also thrilled to have inhaled glucagon. What a great peace of mind for loved ones of people with diabetes. So much easier than the vial/syringe system of old. Amazing things can come out of these studies!


If i start to run low on insulin in a pod from eating more carbs then normal while traveling or during holidays, I use injections to cover boluses for a day and let pod cover just basal to get me through to the next pod change.

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If I may ask another pod question? I have been using them since the middle of September and have been changing them every 2 days. I am having some major bumps and itching at the insertion site. Like wicked itching and large bumps. Over four or five days, the bumps goes down but I still have bumps from the beginning. Wondering if I am reacting to the Teflon cannula? I did meet someone at work who using an Omnipod who said she gets them but they disappear quickly. Do they make pods with metal cannulas and different lengths? When I did use Teflon, I never had this kind of reaction. And of course it could be the medications but I don’t think I am getting the drug. I check in tomorrow with the researchers and will ask about allergy to medications? Not sure about allergy to pods. Thanks!

No, they only make one type unfortunately.

For me I will sometimes get a bump at the site of infusion, but it just kind of depends. It is not consistent.

So you think they are just injecting saline? I would not expect that would cause any issues by itself.

Sorry to hear no length options or metal options. I do love my metal infusion sets. One less worry. That being said, I did hear back from the doctor & he wanted to make sure it was site problems not adhesive problems. (Thankfully never had issues with any adhesive). And a few others are having problems with itching & pumps. Who knows? My time in range has dropped since being in the study, so maybe I am getting the glucagon? Only thing that is driving me nuts is the climb after meals. But it is very delayed, like 6-8 hours, even with 20-30 pre bolus.
So I was asked to bring my Dexcom reports as they like those better & see what they think.
The itching isn’t a deal breaker, so I hoping they won’t kick me out. I know how hard it is to get good research numbers if people are dropping out. Thanks again for the help.

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So maybe you are getting the glucagon and that is causing the itching? Who knows. That could be it. :man_shrugging: