A fixed dose insulin therapy is one whereby insulin doses are kept fixed and appropriate amounts of carbohydrate should be eaten at each meal.
Fixed dose therapy can apply to people on one injection a day and to people taking multiple injections per day
How does fixed dose insulin therapy work?
If you are on a fixed dose insulin therapy, you will take the same amount of insulin at a specific time each day.
For example, you may take 30 units of insulin at breakfast each day and 20 units at dinner each day.
Because the doses stay the same from one day to another, you will need to eat a specific amount of carbohydrate for each meal.
For example, at breakfast you may need to eat 50g of carbohydrate, at 70g of carbohydrate at lunch and 60g of carbohydrate for dinner.
Raising and lowering blood sugar levels on a fixed dose regimen
On a fixed dose regimen, managing your intake of carbohydrate is the main method of controlling your blood glucose levels.
If you have high blood sugar levels before a meal, for example, you may need to decrease the amount of carbohydrate you have at the meal to keep your blood glucose levels from remaining too high.
Some people may be encouraged not to alter their carbohydrate intake at meals. If you are in doubt, speak to your healthcare team.
What are the benefits of a fixed dose insulin therapy?
On a fixed dose therapy, you will be having same amount of carbohydrate for each breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This can be helpful for settling into a routine that keeps blood sugar levels consistent.
It may be easier to make sense of blood glucose results on a fixed dose regimen as there will be fewer variables to take into account.
Blood glucose testing is necessary on a fixed dose regimen but may not need to be performed as frequently as on a flexible dose therapy.
What are the disadvantages of a fixed dose insulin therapy?
The main disadvantage of a fixed dose regimen is the lack of flexibility. People on a fixed dose therapy will need to eat specific amounts of carbohydrate at each meal, regardless of their appetite at that time.
A second disadvantage of a fixed dose therapy is that having fixed doses offers less choice in taking remedial action to help lower blood glucose levels.