On Pump and Need Backup Insulin Pens


(J) #1

Does anyone have a doctor that requires them to purchase insulin pens- both long and short acting insulin in case of pump failure or an occlusion? Is there a way you can use the Novolog vial alone to help you? It can take 2-3 days to get a replacement pump.


(Jess) #2

There is absolutely no reason to have the short-acting pens. You can just use a syringe and take insulin directly out of the vial for the 2-3 days you are without your pump.

Long-acting insulin, you will need. You may be able to get a single pen of long-acting insulin from your doctor; they do get samples from time to time.

Trying to take short-acting insulin every few hours out of the vial to cover your basal needs doesn’t work well. I got fed-up with my pump for about 3-days once, and tried doing that. Those 3-days were a roller coaster of ups and downs. I ended up getting slight keto-acidocis too, and felt like crap those 3 days.

If you know some other T1Ds on pumps, you might suggest splitting the cost of the long-acting insulin pens, and dividing the box among yourselves so you effectively only have to pay for one backup pen, instead of a whole box. Keep your backup pen(s) in the refrigerator so it lasts longer.


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #3

@W7tzn1Ck83e, as Jess @MrEntropy suggests, a backup pen [or vial] of long-acting insulin might be reasonable all depending on how long you plan, or expect, to be without use of your pump.

If your pump goes out of service, or in the possibility that your BGL remains above your safe level, where you must take insulin by means other than an infusion point, you should have within ready reach a syringe and needle an vial of rapid-acting insulin. With knowledge of your body and insulin you could survive with only rapid-acting, but long acting might [if you know how] make life more simple.

On two occasions I suspected pumps were malfunctioning so I called Medtronic to report and replacement pumps were immediately sent - including one I called in on a Friday evening and a replacement was delivered to my door at 8:20 on Saturday morning. Remember, pump manufacturers NEED us alive.