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December 30, 2002

Insulin, Insulin Pumps

Question from Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA:

I've been on a pump for two months, and I feel that a lot of insulin is being wasted every time you change the sites because there is about 20 units of insulin left in the tubing when you change. I change every two or three days, so in about 2 weeks time I'm throwing out over 100 units of insulin. I was wondering if it's all right to inject the insulin from the tubing into a vial of insulin so I can use it later instead of throwing out good insulin?

Answer:

You should review with your diabetes team why you are having so much wasted insulin.

SB

[Editor’s comment: I don’t think this would be a good idea. The insulin in the tubing has been exposed to varying temperatures and may cause what’s remaining in the vials to not act properly. One of the downsides of using a pump is the increased cost involved, when borne by you or your insurance carrier.

SS]