I am throwing out a lot of insulin, any advice?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Julie and Honey, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    I have gone through almost 40 doses in the last 4 days according to the pen with the rubber plunger now at the 260 mark, only 2 doses went into the cat. That means $10 worth of insulin went down the drain in the last 4 days. :( I have also thrown out about 15 extra syringes, accidentally touched needle, accidentally bent needle taking off cap, along with do overs due to not being able to get bubbles out of syringe. Syringes are cheap, so don’t care so much about those.

    The problem I am having is when drawing a small dose, I can’t get the air out of the syringe easily, tapping on the barrel is not working when I draw say 1 unit. If I draw out way more than I need, then it is easier to get rid of the air in syringe by tapping barrel. I am trying not to draw out more than a couple of units, but often end up drawing 4 or 5 by accident. Then I try to get it down to .25 and sometimes go too far, so I throw out that syringe and start over.

    For me getting the right amount of insulin without air in syringe is by far the most difficult thing about this.

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Chloe Cat

    Chloe Cat New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    This might sound dumb but I was having the same issue and my husband suggested that I hold the pen upside down. Then I draw in the insulin without any air bubbles.
     
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  3. JoyBee&Ravan

    JoyBee&Ravan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    It sounds like you need to take a few deep breaths to calm down before drawing out the insulin.Take a used syringe & practice with water.

    "twisting" the plunger in the syringe helps to get a small amount of insulin out.Just go real slow.Some people use a Magnifying glass & a lightbox To make sure they have the correct amount. I sit in front of my desktop computer with the screen lit up white. I hold the syringe in front of the screen to clearly see how much insulin I have in the syringe.
    I've been doing this for a year & yes there can be some bubbles in the pen. You can draw them out with the syringe (a tiny amount is all you need to pull the bubbles out) don't turn the pen upside down if you want to remove bubbles,they float to the top. Once the bubbles are out then you turn the pen upside down to draw out the insulin.

    I cannot afford to waste any insulin or syringes. I'm very careful, I have touched the syringe but I still use it (I wash my hands before I start) If there is a tiny bubble in the syringe I just use it anyway. ( I think most people just ignore a tiny bubble)

    The syringe has lubricant in it. Before you draw out the insulin, gently move the syringe around up & down to spread the Lubricant.

    Take your time & practice with water & a used syringe. It will get easier with time.

    Good Luck to you & Honey!:) :bighug:
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 6:41 PM
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  4. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Draw up only a little more than you need, not a lot. Use a screw type of action on the plunger especially when expelling the excess. Do your best to avoid air bubbles but it can be almost impossible to eliminate them entirely. I gave up worrying about them a long time ago. Also - breathe ... :)
     
  5. Amina&M'row

    Amina&M'row Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    I draw up (obviously) with the needle in the vial. If I see I have drawn up too much, I squirt the excess back into the vial WITHOUT REMOVING THE SYRINGE IN THE MEANTIME. That's how I was trained in (human) med school. I too ignore those tiny bubbles. You'll get it!!
     
  6. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I think that puts some of the lubricant from the syringe into the insulin pen. I don't think that's a good idea.
     
  7. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    Thanks all, and yes, I have also heard they don’t recommend putting it back due to lubricant from syringe getting into insulin which may make insulin degrade sooner (very likely on this site). Unfortunately that is why so much went down the sink.. I have been adjusting drawing position and trying not to take out as much, very hard to do by myself. Hopefully I will get better at it, I could not afford the insulin to begin with and it kills me to be wasting so much.
     
  8. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    It's like anything else FD related: you'll get better at it. We all surprise ourselves eventually with how much we've learned, the techniques we've mastered, the ability to stay calm (-ish) when confronted with a lime green and so on.
     
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  9. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    Thanks Kris, I remember when I thought she would never sit still for testing, omg, how am I ever going to get her to not run away, now testing is the easy part! She could care less about that now. Never believed when people would say the cat will come over for their test, but it is true. Low carb treats are the key as long as kitty really loves them and lots of patience.
     
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  10. Amina&M'row

    Amina&M'row Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    I have read so much on both sides re squirting insulin back into the syringe if one initially draws out too much! Have you tried asking the manufacturer about this??
     
  11. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    I am sure it goes back to when they did not have lubricant in syringes and in that case, it made sense. Can’t remember if I talked to Sanofi or not. Many people still do it that way because it was always taught that way in the past, like you and thousands of others learned in med school!

    Also, if you are using drug up quickly (as you would be in a hospital on humans), it would not matter, humans have much higher doses than cats so if lubricant got put in there it would be used up quickly. I think the concern is if using small amounts for a pet, the insulin is lasting a lot longer and therefore you would continuously be putting a tiny bit of lubricant back in and over time it would accumulate in the insulin, possibly making it degrade faster, but who knows if they have done studies on that to see the difference. You are not doing anything different than I am sure thousands of other people are doing because they learned the same way you did. Just something to be aware of.

    The trick of “turning” the plunger on the syringe when releasing excess (when syringe is outside) to slowly get the dose is working very well. I was pushing plunger, trying to be so careful, but turning gives you so much more control and is working great. Also nice because it drips out the needle instead of squirting. The other day, before I started using the turning method, some coming back down sprayed on my face and I got a drop in my eye! I rinsed it and ate a cookie, just in case, lol. Like I need an excuse for cookies.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019 at 7:56 AM
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  12. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    Not dumb at all, when drawing I am now holding end of pen against my stomach at a downward angle to help steady it, which has helped from drawing in air to syringe. It took me awhile to make the connection myself, initially I was lying pen on counter and trying to draw it sideways which was not working as well. It really is not easy with 2 hands, sometimes I wish the cat could help me hold it:)
     
  13. Amina&M'row

    Amina&M'row Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    And, on the subject of our kitties' distress (or not) on being poked, I read somewhere here that if I made this an experience full of pleasant things (cuddles, treats, me being calm, so forth) M'row would soon settle right down for this experience. Amazingly, this is true. Sometimes he lets out a tiny squeak for the lancet, but I think this is just to preserve his dignity. No protests for insulin injection for weeks now. I love FD site; I keep learning so much '-)
     
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  14. Amina&M'row

    Amina&M'row Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Thanks for everybody's wisdom. I wonder if this lubricant is necessary; agree that probably mass studies are probably not going to be done on its effects on feline insulin by highly funded researchers. Maybe I will some new syringes, rinse them out with water a few times, then see if the plunger moves more or less readily. If the rinsed (no lubricant left) work just as well, will try a rinse with sterile water (easily made by putting water in mason jar, then sterilizing in pressure cooker; maybe one can buy this in pharmacy even), then report back. Tap water is pretty much sterile, but I'd rather be certain. If I ever accidentally shoot myself with insulin, I will be sure to immediately eat a cookie or two; this precaution will require having cookies on hand at all times, and I can see where that's going, as cookies have a short half-life at my place!
     
  15. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    My understanding is the lubricant is to make the plunger move freely, so that is a good thing, without it I imagine dosing would be difficult.
     
  16. jayla-n-Drevon

    jayla-n-Drevon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    This should make you laugh...Dre has had fd for 3 years and like you the small doses are teeny and 1 drop can cause a dive. So in my brilliance I accidentally found that if I put my finger behind the syringe as I am measuring, after pulling from pen (I go kind of side to side instead of straight up when getting the right dose.) but anyway my finger behind the syringe makes it so much easier to see! For me the trick is the side to side/twist kind of and watch the tip of the needle so you can see a drop or a 1/2 drop coming out and the hand being a backdrop, You got this!
     
  17. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    I am wasting less now, probably should have started at .5, easier to get the right amount, but I wanted to be safe than sorry, it was the only way
    I was going to start insulin at all, put it off for a couple of months as it was. Hey, if I ever need low doses again, I have it down now.
     

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