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October 27, 2001

Insulin

Question from Darien, Connecticut, USA:

Two weeks ago, my two year old son (diagnosed with type�1 diabetes five months ago) was started on Ultralente at dinner, and about that time he started waking up between 1 and 2 am coughing his little head off. Numerous times the coughing had gotten so bad that it caused vomiting. Is there something in the Ultralente that is not in the NPH that may be causing this reaction? As an infant, we had a lambs wool pad in his crib that also seemed to cause nighttime coughing. Any thing ovine related in the Ultralente?

Answer:

I think it is merely circumstance, and it is likely a sinus drip. NPH has protamine, and Ultralente is merely zinc crystals of insulin. I don’t see how it can make him cough.

LD