Insulin for Diabetes Treatment (Types, Side Effects, and Preparations) (cont.)

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For what type of diabetes is insulin prescribed?

Indications for insulin

  • Diabetes mellitus type 1
  • Diabetes mellitus type 2
  • Insulin resistance
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Diabetes mellitus treatment during pregnancy

What is the dosage and how is insulin administrated?

Dosage and Administration of insulin

  • A meal should be consumed at least 30 minutes after administering regular insulin
  • Insulin usually is administered by subcutaneous injection into the abdominal wall, thigh, gluteal region (buttocks), or upper arm. Injection sites should be rotated within the same region.
  • Some insulins (for example, regular insulin) also may be administered intravenously.
  • Dosage is individualized for each patient.
  • A combination of short/rapid acting and intermediate insulin or long acting insulin typically are used
  • Some patients may develop insulin resistance.
  • Multiple daily insulin injections or continuous subcutaneous infusions via a pump closely mimic pancreatic insulin secretion.
  • Insulin sliding scales are used for managing critically ill hospitalized patients.

What are the side effects of insulin?

Common and Serious Side Effects of Regular Insulin
Common Side Effects Frequency Serious Frequency
Hypoglycemia >40% Severe hypoglycemia n/a
Headache 12% to 35% Allergic reactions n/a
Flu-like symptoms 13% Anaphylaxis n/a
Weight gain 33% Hyopkalemia n/a
Lipoatrophy n/a
Itching n/a
Rash n/a
Injection site reaction n/a
* n/a = not available
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/9/2013


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