Rapid-acting Insulin

Most students with diabetes mellitus require an insulin injection before meal and some may require an injection before snack.

The rapid-acting insulin is commonly used for this purpose.

Common brand names: Humalog, Novolog, Fiasp and Apidra

Rapid-acting insulin is also be used to lower blood sugar outside of the mealtime. This is often called "correction factor" or "sliding scale".

How to calculate insulin dose

Every student with diabetes mellitus requires a Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP). The plan is created by the treating physician and contains specific instruction regarding the dose and the timing of insulin injection.

An example of DMMP with fixed-dose insulin (below left): This student requires 6 units of rapid-acting insulin before lunch. At lunch time if the student's blood sugar is 251, the patient will require 6 units of rapid-acting insulin for her meal and 2 additional units to lower blood sugar to the target range. The total dose will be 8 units.

An example of DMMP with carb counting method (below right): This student requires 1 unit of rapid-acting insulin for every 10 grams of carbohydrate. If the students is going to eat lunch with 40 grams of carbohydrate and the blood sugar is 251, the student will require 4 units of rapid-acting insulin for meal and 2 additional units for blood sugar. The total dose will be 6 units.

Each DMMP has specific instructions if blood sugar levels are below or above certain range. Please consult with the healthcare provider for these specific instructions.

Diabetes Plan with fixed dose pre-meal insulin

Diabetes treatment plan with carb counting method

Smart Insulin Pen (InPen)

The newest technology invented by Companion Medical called "InPen" uses Bluetooth technology that allows the pen device to communicate with the smartphone application to calculate insulin dose and records the amount of insulin that is given to the student. The application is usually programmed by the healthcare provider.

Instruction brochure for InPen can be found here. For additional information from Companion Medical can be found here.


Slides from 2020 School Diabetes Management Webinar

Using insulin pen video (created by Cincinnati Children's Hospital)