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Back-up insulin

Discussion in 'Insulin Pump Forum' started by Ruth0212, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. Ruth0212

    Ruth0212 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi, I always take a back up of pens and insulin cartridges when going away in case my pump was to fail for some reason. The cartridges come in boxes of 5 and I have never yet had to use them (Luckily). I just feel this is such a waste as the date expires and I have to throw them all away. Does anyone use the pre filled pens for this reason, and are they more economical or not?
    Also, can you get Lantus in a pre filled pen??
    Just wondered what other people do.
    Thanks.
     
  2. hale710

    hale710 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm not on a pump, but if I were I would definitely take back up pens. You don't know what could happen!


    Blogging at drivendiabetic.wordpress.com
     
  3. Thundercat

    Thundercat · Well-Known Member

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  4. Mel24

    Mel24 · Member

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    I just take my insulin vials and a syringe as back up if my pump was to fail or if I need to inject some insulin for what ever reason


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  5. Ruth0212

    Ruth0212 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Thundercat, do the solotsar pens come in singles or a batch?
    Thanks for answers so far.
     
  6. Riri

    Riri Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have novo rapid fast acting insulin cartridges and Levermir pre-filled pens as back up in the fridge. When I go away for a day, weekend or longer I take however many cartridges and pens I need with me and carry them in a cool frio wallet. If not used, I return them to the fridge after I come home. They do have a 2 year end date normally but even then there is bound to be some wastage. I don't think we can help that.
     
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  7. Julie1471

    Julie1471 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Ruth0212, the Solostar pens come in a box of 5. Just like the cartridges. I have a box of short acting and a box of long in the fridge, plus 2 spare pens and syringes as well. Just in case.
     
  8. Lucie75

    Lucie75 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm fairly new to pumping and I couldn't understand why I was given a pack of syringes with all my supplies as I thought I'd just carry my novopen around as a back up with novorapid cartridges in. Seeing as I carry back-up 100% of the time it means the back up never goes back into the fridge and it will only last for a month out of the fridge. In other words my cartridges will expire really quickly because I never use them, whereas if I carry the vial of insulin around that I draw up from for my pump I'll use this every 3 days so it'll be used before the month is up. THIS is why they gave me syringes! Does that make sense? I'm not even sure I answered your question then. :confused:
     
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  9. Platinum

    Platinum Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I agree it is a waste but my DSN said better safe than sorry. I also take a pen with me ‘just in case’ in a Frio pouch to keep it cool. One point though, I only ever take an Apidra or Novo-Rapid fast acting insulin pen with me – My DSN pointed out that should the pump fail, Accu-Chek will have a replacement with me within 24 hours. If I was to start injecting a long acting insulin (Lantus), this would give major problems when I went back on the replacement pump. She said that I would have to accept reduced control for the 24 hour period and just use the fast acting insulin.
     
  10. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

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    Here's a bit of food for thought................

    You can fill an Accu chek pump cartridge by injecting insulin from a pen. All you have to do is attach cartridge to vial adaptor to cartridge making sure that the plunger in the pump cartridge is at the bottom and can move the black seals up and down to lubricate leaving the plunger resting at the top and then remove insulin pen needle and push the needle from the vial cartridge adaptor of the pump up into the rubber membrane of the pen cartridge. Then just dial up on the pen about 30u or whatever the pen is able to deliver in one go and push the pen insulin down into the pump cartridge. The pump cartridge will start to fill up with no air bubble. Once the pump cartridge is filled just remove the vial/cartridge adaptor from the bottom of the pen. So pen at the top, cartridge at the bottom underneath the pen. Dont inject air up into the pen cartridge as there's no need.

    This ensures everyone has a back up of using a pen and does away with the need to prescribe vials and pen cartridges.
     
  11. Riri

    Riri Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Wwwww - I must admit to getting a bit confused now with syringes, vials and cartridges. My head is starting to hurt! I think I'm right in saying that we all need back-up pens don't we (?) because if we get high blood sugars and sometimes ketones as well we should use our pens to do the corrections. That's what I was told by DSN, but she never told me the bit about not taking my long acting if pump failed so I will check that with her when I see her in Feb. I can see the logic though in just taking fast acting for 24 hrs until replacement pump arrives. Need a lie down now :)
     
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  12. Julie1471

    Julie1471 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Riri my DSN never told me to take long acting, but to take it away with me if I go away, but to just use short acting while the pump was being replaced..
     
  13. cally

    cally Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have Insulatard in a vial to use as back up with a syringe. I have had to use it twice in 6 years due to pump failure and as it only lasts 12 hours or so it was not a problem.
    Nothing would induce me to inject myself with Lantus ever again.


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  14. Jkm2010

    Jkm2010 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I'm on a accucheck pump and I also take back up pre filled pens when I'm away and store them in the fridge at home. Don't feel guilty, if you did not have the pens and you suddenly need insulin, a hospital visit costs the nhs £500. The pens cost £45 every six months. Look after number one.


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  15. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    6 months?
    To save some money, I make sure that the pharmacist knows I'm about to need new pens He then makes sure that they come with a maximum shelf life ie 2 years. (OK I'm not in the UK but I can't see that the shelf life will differ across the channel)
     
  16. czj

    czj Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  17. pumppimp

    pumppimp Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Cheapest and easiest for me is just syringes, I always have one or two spare in what ever hand bag or backpack I have in the car as well, they cost like £2.50 for a pack of 20, the vials of humalog we have for filling our cartridges cost about £10 for 10ml the pen cartridges or pens cost £50 for 3ml. My pump has broken several times each time I've had my replacement within 24hrs so can easily deal with just the short acting a few units of bolus every 2 hrs usually keeps me in enough control. I don't have lantus as I don't see the point it only goes out of date and I've never used it since 2006 when I got my pump. Also if you're ever without a syringe you can get them from anywhere whereas pens etc may not be in stock, people can be funny about giving out emergency perscriptions, whereas syringes everyone has in stock, and you can just buy them outright if pharmascits don't like doing the emergency perscription bit, £2.50 is as cheap as chips. Also if you knew you were going to be without your pump for longer than 24hrs it's still easy enough to get some lantus, in what ever form vial or cartridge from your GP or if at the weekend your pharmacist or just one that has some in stock.
    Also it's easy enough to do a correction dose with a syringe, when needed.
     
  18. Riri

    Riri Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Never having used a syringe ever, are they easy to draw up small amounts. I don't bolus much for food - max 4 units and sometimes less than 2 for breakfast. Would this be a problem with a syringe?
     
  19. Julie1471

    Julie1471 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Riri, I've got a 1ml syringe - 100units, but you can get 50ml ones -50units. So for the amounts you do a 50ml would be ideal.
     
  20. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

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    Unless things have now changed, it should be poss to get 0.3ml (30u) disposable syringes with 5mm needle BD

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