Concentrated Insulins – Clearing up the Confusion

Concentrated Insulin Update

There are currently 4 different concentrated Insulins as shown in the chart below. With the increasing BMI in the population of people with diabetes, daily doses of more than 100 units are more common. Concentrated insulins are particularly useful for people requiring these higher insulin doses.

Of all the concentrated insulins, only U-500 is still available in a vial. In July, 2016 the FDA approved  the first dedicated U-500 syringe. The U-500 syringe, manufactured by BD, will be available starting November 2016. 
The updated package insert for U-500 reflects this change and requires that only U-500 syringes be used with U-500 insulin.

FDA requires that all newly approved concentrated insulins have a matching delivery devices. As a result, all of the newer concentrated insulins are available only in a pen delivery device. U-500 is still available in a vial for use only with a dedicated U-500 syringe or in a U-500 pen.

Concentrated Insulin Chart from NEW PocketCards

Concentrated insulins deliver the same dose of insulin in less volume.

  • U-200 = 2x’s the concentration of U-100 insulin
  • U-300 = 3x’s the concentration of U-100 insulin
  • U-500 = 5x’s the concentration of U-100 insulin

Clearing the confusion with Concentrated Pens – No conversion required!
The pens automatically deliver the correct dose (in less volume). No conversion, calculation or adjustments are required.  For example, if an order reads 10 units insulin, dial the concentrated pen to 10 units.  The pen will deliver the correct amount of insulin in less volume.

Warnings – Make sure to carefully read the label on the pen and look for the yellow or red boxed information that indicates the insulin is concentrated.
Also make sure patients know that they should never withdraw concentrated insulin from the pen using a syringe. This could lead to an overdose of insulin and hypoglycemia.

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