insulin bottles and needles

People with diabetes may be prescribed two types of insulin to be taken at the same time. To reduce the number of insulin injections, it is common to combine two types of insulin in a single syringe using r apid-acting (clear) insulin with either an intermediate or a long-acting ( cloudy) insulin.







​ ​​






​ ​

Follow These Steps to Prepare the Injection:

insulin injection guide 
  1. Prepare your supplies and remove the insulin vials from the fridge half an hour before your injection. Check their expiry dates. Discard the vial six weeks after opening or as per the manufacturer’s guide.

insulin injection guide 
  1. Wash your hands with water and soap.

insulin injection guide 
  1. Roll the vial of cloudy insulin (intermediate or long-acting insulin) until the white powder has dissolved. Do NOT shake the vial.

insulin injection guide 
  1. Clean the rubber stopper of the insulin vials with an alcohol wipe or a cotton ball dipped in alcohol.

insulin injection guide 
  1. Draw air into the syringe by pulling the plunger down. The amount of air drawn should be equal to the dose of cloudy insulin that you require.

insulin injection guide 
  1. With the vial standing upright, insert the needle into the vial containing the cloudy insulin. Inject air into the vial and remove the needle.

insulin injection guide 
  1. Repeat the steps with clear insulin. Draw air into the syringe that is equal to the dose of clear insulin you require.

insulin injection guide 
  1. Insert the needle into the vial containing the clear insulin and inject air into the vial. Do NOT remove the needle.

insulin injection guide 
  1. With the needle in the vial, turn the syringe and insulin vial upside down, and draw out your dose of clear insulin. Read the line markings on the syringe to make sure you have drawn the correct amount of insulin.

insulin injection guide 
  1. Insert the needle back into the vial containing the cloudy insulin. Do NOT push the plunger. Turn the syringe and insulin vial upside down, and draw out your dose of cloudy insulin. This will now give you a total dose of both clear and cloudy insulin.

    Total amount of insulin = Amount of clear insulin + Amount of cloudy insulin. For example, if you need 10 units of clear insulin and 25 units of cloudy insulin, you should have 35 units in your syringe.



Related: About Insulin for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Some Tips to Remember:

  • Inject air into the cloudy insulin vial first, before injecting air into the clear insulin vial.

  • Always draw clear insulin into the syringe before drawing cloudy insulin.

  • Only insulins from the same source should be mixed together, for example, Humulin R and Humulin N are both from human source and can be mixed.

  • Get your insulin dose right. If you draw up too much of one insulin accidentally, you must throw away the entire medication and start over.

When in doubt, ask your doctor or nurse to show you how to:

  • choose a syringe size that is right for you

  • read the label on the insulin vial

  • prepare two types of insulin in one syringe

  • measure insulin dose