5 Tips for Starting Mealtime Insulin

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    Your New Treatment Regimen
    If oral or non-insulin injectable medications aren’t enough to control your diabetes, your doctor may prescribe mealtime insulin, like Humalog® (insulin lispro injection) 100 units/mL, to help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Humalog® (insulin lispro injection) 100 units/mL is used to treat people with diabetes for the control of high blood sugar. Do not take Humalog® (insulin lispro injection) 100 units/mL if your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or if you are allergic to insulin lispro or any of the ingredients in Humalog® (insulin lispro injection) 100 units/mL. Most mealtime insulins are taken right before or after meals. You’ll take your mealtime insulin as prescribed, matching your intake of carbohydrates to your insulin dose. But you might find it difficult—at least at first—to follow your new treatment regimen. Many people find the process of taking mealtime insulin frustrating because there’s a lot to remember, but there are many things you can do to make starting your new treatment a little more easy.
  • man using insulin pen with glucose meter on table
    1. Get organized.
    Keeping all your insulin supplies in the same place makes the mealtime insulin process easier. Set aside a specific area for your lancing device, glucometer (blood glucose meter), test strips, and, if you use them, Kwikpen, insulin vial, needle, syringe, alcohol swabs, and sharps container. You can also store your insulin with these supplies, out of the refrigerator, for 28 days. But be sure to keep your insulin out of direct sunlight and away from extreme heat or cold. Also, check to confirm your insulin isn’t expired before using it.
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    2. Make it part of your routine.
    It’s important that taking mealtime insulin becomes part of your normal, daily routine. Be sure to have your supplies readily available when it’s close to mealtime. For example, if you take MTI before you eat, make it a part of your pre-meal routine like washing your hands. Do this often enough, and your mealtime insulin regimen will become second nature before preparing and eating meals.
  • Middle aged man with glasses looking at smartphone
    3. Set reminders.
    We all need a little extra help remembering things from time to time, and mealtime insulin is no different. Even if it’s worked into your daily routine, actual reminders, like smartphone alarms, can help immediately direct your attention to your new treatment. Simply set an alarm on your phone that reminds you to check your blood sugar and administer your medication as instructed by your physician.
  • grandfather smiling at table with son and grandson
    4. Ask for help.
    Your healthcare provider should be your primary source of guidance. But in addition to reminders on your phone, you can also ask family or friends to help you remember your new treatment. Ask a parent, sibling, spouse, or friend to check in with you frequently during the day to make sure you’re testing your blood sugar and taking your insulin as advised by your physician. Involving another person keeps you accountable and makes it that much easier to remember your mealtime insulin.
  • Doctor and patient
    5. Educate yourself.
    It’s key to educate yourself about mealtime insulin and how it helps control high blood sugar levels. For many, mealtime insulin is vitally important for preventing serious diabetic complications. If you have questions about how mealtime insulin works and why you’re taking it, your doctor can help you better understand the benefits of taking your mealtime insulin on a regular schedule.
Tips for Starting Diabetes Treatment | Help With Insulin

About The Author

Sarah Handzel, BSN, RN began writing professionally in 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and worked as a registered nurse in multiple specialties, including pharmaceuticals, operating room/surgery, endocrinology, and family practice. With over nine years of clinical practice experience, Sarah has worked with clients including Healthgrades, Mayo Clinic, Aha Media Group, Wolters Kluwer, and UVA Cancer Center.
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  4. Insulin Routines. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/insulin/insulin-routines.html
  5. Insulin Storage and Syringe Safety. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/insulin/insulin-storage-and-syringe-safety.html
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  7. Taking medicine at home – create a routine. U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000613.htm
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2019 Apr 8
THIS CONTENT DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. This content is provided for informational purposes and reflects the opinions of the author. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional regarding your health. If you think you may have a medical emergency, contact your doctor immediately or call 911.