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Who knows about insulin, syringes, and ml/cc/unit conversions?

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Madrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-15-06 10:53 PM
Original message
Who knows about insulin, syringes, and ml/cc/unit conversions?
This is where I'm at:

Cat has diabetes. After 1 year of trying to handle it with diet (at the vet's suggestion) I caved and took him back to the vet on Monday because he just keeps drinking as much as the dog and pissing by the gallon - everywhere - often not in the box. We decided to go w/ insulin injections - 1x per day. Vet called in RX to a place in AZ that put the insulin and syringes in the mail - I got them today. And realized ... I have no direction.

Here's my issue:

Insulin = U50 as per the label

Syringes = U-100, or 3/10cc

prescribed dose = .04ml



Uhh... Hello? How much of a u-100 syringe = .04 ml? I've been all over the net trying to figure this out with no luck. DUers know *-everything-* so I figured someone here may be able to give me some leads.



Pllllllleaaaaaaase don't lock this thread. Not looking for medical advice, just how to figure out the conversions.
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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-15-06 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Your syringes are for insulin that is 100 units of insulin per CC or ML
1 CC = 1 ML.

Since the needles themselves have a volume of 3/10 of a CC, and the dosage is for .04 ML (or 4/100 of a CC), you would fill the syringe 1/12 of the way.
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Madrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-15-06 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. So - 2.5 lines?
Or "units"?
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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-15-06 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yes, that sounds right
I was diabetic and on insulin during my pregnancy. I had to refresh my own memory.

Now, the insulin from the vet is U-50? That means it is 50 Units per CC. Did the vet tell you to use 0.04 CC of the U-50? If so, then 2.5 units (on the syringe) would be correct.
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Madrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-15-06 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Well, I'm going to try and call to verify w/ him tomorrow, but -
- the insulin I received in the mail is defininitely U-50, and the prescribed dosage on the RX sticker is .04

I guessed and tried to err on the side of caution and gave the kitty *maybe* one unit tonight. (He was FABULOUS, btw!) I just wanted to put my mind at ease that I didn't overdose him so I don't lay awake and worry about it all night! ;)

I'll verify w/ the vet and give him the full dose tomorrow. What you said makes perfect sense - I was just having a lot of trouble picturing it in my head, then wrapping my mind around it. Add to that the worry of overdosing him and a complete lack of a "math" partition in my brain and I was :crazy:

Thanks SOOOOOOO much!
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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-15-06 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Sure, glad I could help
if he intended to prescribe U-100 insulin, you just double the dose so instead of 2.5 units on the syringe, you would give kitty 5 units.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-15-06 11:14 PM
Response to Original message
6. My cat Teddy was diabetic.
Edited on Thu Jun-15-06 11:17 PM by ocelot
I had to give him injections of 4 units of insulin twice a day. The syringes had lines corresponding to units, so I'd fill the syringe to four lines. You have to be sure to get the smallest needles available.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-16-06 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. We Had Two Kitties With It, Too!
They were litter mates, so i guess that explains it. They both lived about 5 or 6 years under insulin dependence.

Boy, it's hard to regulate the blood sugar of a cat, isn't it?
The Professor
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Iniquitous Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-16-06 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
7. I think you need to get ahold of an insulin syringe and talk to the vet.
I don't know if there are any differences between the kind given to pets and what is given to humans, but are you saying the dose is 50 units?! In a human that would be a damned huge dose.

Insulin syringes come either in 100 unit or 50 unit sizes. Clarify the prescription. Don't worry about the mls. The mls are such a fraction here, it simply will create more error. GET THE CORRECT UNIT DOSAGE FROM THE VET! He should not be giving you the dose in mls and if he did, he needs to clarify it. If he won't, contact another vet. If that's not possible, contact a pharmacist. Draw up that amount with an insulin synge only. Inject under the skin at a 45 degree angle.

Insulin isn't something to mess around with, which is why I'm not doing the conversion here. As someone who has to give people insulin in a medical setting, this is my best advice. Overly cautious, but the health of your pet is important here.
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