Pen Symlin in a Pump?

I'm interested in pumping symlin in a backup pump, but I'm curious as to how to convert the mcg to units. If I load it and keep it on a very low basal rate (say, .0025) until I need to bolus it, what do you bolus to equal the 15mcg?
I know sometimes the pen dosages do not exactly equal what they would in syringe units from a vial, so I just wanted to be sure of the correlation before trying to use a second pump.

I'm also interested in this idea, but my hangup with it is that I wouldn't know how to get enough pumping supplies (infusion sets & reservoirs)... I figure I would go through my backup supply pretty quickly and then not be able to get enough more. Just curious how you plan to handle this if you don't mind sharing.

Thanks and good luck. I'm sorry I can't help with the conversion to units. There used to be some pages on the web site that had *similar* information, but not really the same. And they used to sell Symlin in vials that were measured in units, but I think those have been discontinued in favor of the pens now.

Also, why the low basal rate instead of no basal at all (just curious!)? Thanks!

The way my supplies were shipped with my backup pump, I have tons, and I don't want it to expire. And the teeny basal rate would be just to keep the tubing from clogging.

I would imagine that much as insulin can be diluted (as can be the case for small children with type 1 diabetes), the same process can apply with Symlin. A very qualified pharmacist can be very useful (good luck finding one, they can't be found everywhere). Children With Diabetes has a thread on this subject at and CDE Extraordinaire Gary Scheiner writes about this under the heading "Creativity", and also in the book "Think Like a Pancreas". The specifics on how this can be done can also be discussed with a good endocrinologist, but I would advise that you may need to demand their help!

I did the conversion because I was curious when I started Symlin a month ago. Math ahead.

My Symlin pen says that it has 1000mcg per mL. I use 100-U insulin, which means that there are 100 units per mL. This means that 1 unit, in terms of volume, is 1/100 mL. Going back to the Symlin, if you multiply 1000 mcg/mL by .01 mL/unit gives you 10 mcg per unit.

So, if you wanted to give yourself 60 mcg of Symlin, using pump or a 100 U syringe, you would "draw up" 6 units.

That's the same calculation as I got; glad to know it might be right...

Yes, these calculations are correct. Gary Scheiner told me this himself and I checked with my endo. I inject the symlin with syringes now because I use 90 mcg (9 units on the syringe) and the pen only allows 60 or 120. There is a man on this list who uses two pumps.(QUE I believe) I rather do the shots than work with more infusion sites. I have enough trouble finding good sites for the insulin to be absorbed well.

Thanks! great. Gary would know. why do you use 90? (just curious). I've just started with the pen this month and now up to 60. I haven't put it in a pump but was thinking about it. has anyone tried disconnecting the insulin pump and using the same insertion site for symlin, using another pump?

I actually used the 60 mcg for a year and then my body got used to it and it wasn't having the desired effects. So I wanted to increase some but the 120 was much too much and caused lows. For you 60 may be fine. One lady wrote that she used 75 mcg and did it by injecting first the 60 and then the 15, but she has the smaller pen. She had to get 8 pens at a time. I prefer the larger ones that have only 60 and 120. I tried "guessing" an amount and often had lows so I want to be exact.