How to Mix Insulin in a Syringe

Diabetes Care

People diagnosed with diabetes are often asked to take insulin shots to manage their blood sugar levels. Taking an injection is not a very popular act and most of the patients have an unknown fear of the needle. The fear tends to escalate especially when one learns they have to take their insulin shots on their own. However, insulin shots are not very painful. They are a type of subcutaneous injection that requires use of short needles that are poked in the fatty tissue below the skin. A few patients are asked to take a mixed dose of insulin, that is, use of more than one type of insulin at the same time. This helps because a single shot is enough to get the benefits of both, short-acting insulin as well as longer acting-insulin. We shall learn about mixing insulin in a syringe in this Buzzle article. It will benefit all those who are supposed to take their shots on their own without the help of a medical expert.

How to Mix Multiple Insulin Injections in One Syringe?
When the doctor orders use of two different insulin, you will find one vial of insulin is cloudy and the other is clear. However, before mixing the two insulin together, make sure you check with your doctor or pharmacist. This is because there are certain solutions that should never be mixed together. For example, Lantus is a type of insulin solution that should never be mixed together with any other insulin solution. Once you are sure you can mix your insulin solutions together, you can continue reading the following instructions

Requirements for Mixing Insulin in a Syringe

  • Bottles of insulin to be mixed
  • Insulin syringe
  • Alcohol swab or a cotton ball dipped in alcohol

Instructions to Mix Insulin in a Syringe
The first thing you need to do is check the labels of your insulin bottles. NPH and Lente are insulin solutions that are cloudy. Lisporo and Aspart will have a clear insulin solution.
Pick up the cloudy bottle and roll it in between the palms of your hands gently. This will make sure the powered in the bottle is mixed completely without any formation of air bubbles.
Take the cotton ball dipped in alcohol and wipe clean the top pad of the bottle. Do not touch the mouth or rubber pad of the bottle with your hand, once cleaned with alcohol.
Remove the sterile syringe from the package and remove its cap. Now, pull the plunger of the syringe down to the number of units of cloudy insulin as required.
Now place the cloudy insulin bottle through the rubber stopper of the cloudy insulin bottle. Now, push the plunger all the way down. This will cause the air in the syringe to be pushed into the bottle. This will help in getting the insulin into the syringe.
Do not pull up the plunger and remove the needle from the cloudy insulin bottle.
Leave the cloudy insulin bottle aside and pull the back the plunger of the syringe down to the number of units of the clear insulin. Allow air to fill in the empty syringe.
Push the needle into the rubber stopper of the clear insulin bottle and push the air into the bottle.
Hold the clear insulin bottle upside down with the syringe still attached to it. Now, gently but firmly pull the plunger down to the number of units required of the clear insulin.
Without removing the needle, check for air bubbles. If you spot any air bubbles, tap the syringe with the fingertips. This will help the bubbles move to the top of the syringe. Push the plunger back a few units as this will help push the air bubbles back into bottle. Now, pull back the plunger and fill the correct amount of insulin in the syringe.
Remove the needle from the clear insulin bottle. Place the needle into the cloudy insulin bottle. Make sure you do not push the clear insulin into the cloudy insulin.
You need to add the number of cloudy and clear insulin together to get the total number of units. Once you get the total number of units, you need pull the plunger back and fill the syringe with cloudy insulin. The plunger should be pulled back till you reach the total number of units measured on the syringe.
In case, you pull in more cloudy insulin in the syringe than the total number of units required, do not push it back into the bottle. Remove the needle from the bottle and throw away the syringe. Attach a new syringe to the needle stuck in the bottle and start all over again.

This is all you need to do when mixing insulin in a syringe. It is always a good idea to visit a doctor or nurse and learn how to mix insulin in a syringe from them. Follow the instructions carefully and soon you will be able to mix the two insulin solutions like a pro. Ask your doctor or nurse for more information related to injecting insulin subcutaneously. However, make sure you double-check with your doctor about the instructions and the type of solutions that can be mixed together.


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