Conventional Insulin Therapy


Conventional therapy usually involves one to three daily injections that are the same every day. The types of insulin that you take and the number of injections and dose sizes are determined based on how much food you eat, when you eat, how much activity you have in a typical day and other factors.

Typical Conventional Regimens

The regimens below are only examples. There are a wide variety of excellent therapy regimens. You should follow the one that your doctor prescribes, even if it does not fit exactly into the categories you see here.

Regimen 1:  Regular or rapid-acting insulin and intermediate-acting insulin; two injections.  For example only*

Insulins Regular- or rapid-acting and intermediate-acting.
Number of injections Two per day.
Injection times

Injection 1:

5 to 15 minutes before breakfast if using rapid- and intermediate-acting insulin mixed in one syringe.

30 minutes before breakfast if using regular and intermediate-acting insulin mixed in one syringe.

Injection 2:

5 to 15 minutes before dinner if using rapid- and intermediate-acting insulin mixed in one syringe.

30 minutes before dinner if using regular- and intermediate-acting insulin mixed in one syringe.

Dosage performance Regular or rapid insulin (before breakfast and before dinner) covers your breakfast and dinner. (Injecting extra insulin around mealtimes imitates the normal effect of the pancreas.)

Intermediate insulin starts working in two to four hours. The morning dose covers your lunch (if eaten 3½ hours after your injection) and the evening dose works through the night.

Advantages This regimen gives you the benefits of four insulin doses in two injections.

* Information on the BD web site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your doctor to discuss your diabetes care.

 

Regimen 2: Regular- or rapid-acting insulin and intermediate-acting insulin; three injections.  For example only*

Insulins Regular- or rapid-acting and intermediate-acting.
Number of injections Three per day.
Injection times

Injection 1:

5 to 15 minutes before breakfast if using rapid- and intermediate-acting insulin mixed in one syringe.

30 minutes before breakfast if using regular and intermediate-acting insulin mixed in one syringe.Injection 2:

5 to 15 minutes before dinner if using rapid-acting insulin.

30 minutes before dinner if using regular-acting insulin.

Injection 3:

Two to four hours before bed with intermediate-acting insulin.

Dosage performance Regular or rapid insulin (before breakfast and before dinner) covers your breakfast and dinner. (Injecting extra insulin around mealtimes imitates the normal effect of the pancreas.)

Intermediate insulin starts working in two to four hours. The morning dose covers your lunch (if eaten 3½ hours after your injection) and the evening dose works through the night.


Advantages This regimen gives you the benefits of four insulin doses in three injections.

* Information on the BD web site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your doctor to discuss your diabetes care.


Keys to Success with Conventional Therapy

Insulin therapy is accomplished by balancing three factors: 

  • Insulin doses (and/or oral medication for people with type 2), which lowers your blood sugar

  • Diet, which raises your blood sugar

  • Exercise, which lowers your blood sugar

For conventional therapy to keep your blood sugar in your target range, you need to balance these factors by following the regimen that your doctor puts together for you and sticking to it every day. This means not only taking the same doses of insulin at the same time everyday, but also eating about the same number of carbohydrates at the same time every day and getting the same amount of exercise at the same time every day.

 


The BD Diabetes Learning Center describes the causes of diabetes, its symptoms, and diabetes complications such as retinopathy and neuropathy. This site contains detailed information about blood glucose monitoring, insulin injection and safe sharps disposal. Interactive quizzes, educational literature downloads and animated demonstrations help to teach diabetes care skills.

Important Note: The content of this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Do not disregard your doctor's advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this website.

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