Faster Acting Insulins in Pumps

Faster acting insulins can be used in some pumps. Find out if it's an option for you or your patient.


Authors: By ADCES in Collaboration with Lilly Diabetes


Lower Blood Sugar Quicker With Faster Acting Insulins

There are di­fferent types of insulin that people with diabetes can use in an insulin pump. One of these types, called faster acting insulin, begins to lower glucose (blood sugar) faster than other types of insulin.

It’s important to learn about different types of insulins, including faster acting insulin, and then work with your health care team to decide if faster acting insulin is right for you. The different groups of insulin for pumps include short acting, fast acting, and faster acting.

Potential Benefits of Faster Acting Insulin

Faster acting insulin has ingredients that typically cause it to start lowering your blood sugar faster than other types of insulin do. This also means faster acting insulin leaves your body quicker than other insulins.

If your blood sugar after meals is above your target range, faster acting insulin may be a good option for you. This is especially true if you’re worried that your blood sugar could get too low because you keep changing the dose of your current insulin.

Use Faster Acting Insulin That’s Approved for the Specific Insulin Pump

If you would like to use faster acting insulin, ask your health care team or pharmacist first. They can direct you to a faster acting insulin that is approved for use in your specific pump. Be sure to use the faster acting insulin according to the insulin pump Instructions for use.

Follow Safe Practices for Using Faster Acting Insulin in a Pump

These recommendations, along with proper training and insulin pump support, will help you manage diabetes with an insulin pump successfully and safely.

Talk with your health care team if:

  • You decide to switch to faster acting insulin. You may need to change your pump settings, and your health care team can help you choose the right settings.
  • Your blood sugar has been high, and you haven’t been able to lower it quickly — or if you’ve been having periods of low blood sugar. This could be a sign that something is wrong with your pump or insulin, and your health care team may recommend that you switch to insulin injections.
  • You’re having skin reactions — like itchiness, lumps or thickened skin — at the site of your pump. Your health care team can help you figure out the reason for these reactions. Changes in the skin at the infusion site could be a sign of infection or other problem that needs medical attention.

When using your pump and insulin be sure to:

  • Use your pump and insulin according to the user manual and guidance from your health care team. Since this device delivers insulin, it requires knowledge, skill and training to use it safely.
  • Change the insulin in your pump reservoir according to the pump’s instructions, even if you haven’t used all the insulin. Insulin should not be used past its expiration date during room temperature use or if the insulin has been exposed to temperatures higher than 98.6 °F (37 °C).

Insulin infusion sets must be:

  • Placed in a part of the body that is recommended in the instructions from the pump manufacturer. How well insulin works may be a­ffected by where you infuse it.
  • Not placed into thickened, tender, bruised, scaly, hard, scarred or damaged skin. This can help improve insulin absorption.
  • Rotated to diff­erent sites to reduce the chance of pits, lumps or thickened skin. Infusing in the same site can lead to skin changes that stop the insulin from working like it should.
  • Changed according to your pump’s instructions. Wearing an infusion set longer than recommended can lead to skin reactions. It can also cause a partial or complete blockage of insulin infusion. This could eventually lead to a serious condition called diabetes-related ketoacidosis.


Changing to Faster Acting Insulin

Using insulin delivered by a pump can allow for flexibility in di­fferent parts of your diabetes management. This can include eating when it works best for you instead of at set times. Also, you can have the pump deliver insulin all at one time or spread the dose over a set time.

Faster acting insulin might enhance your insulin pumping experience because of its quick action. Now that you know more about how it works and how to use it safely, you may want to give it a try!

Make Your Insulin and Other Medications Work for You

Taking insulin and other medications as directed helps you manage your diabetes successfully. Talk to your diabetes care team if you are having trouble taking your insulin and other medications as directed or if you have questions about the medications you are taking. Find a list of sample questions for your diabetes care team and tips for taking medication.

Find Faster Acting Insulins and Other Medications 

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This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your diabetes care and education specialist or health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. To find a diabetes care and education specialist near you, visit the ADCES finder tool.

ADCES and danatech curate product specifics and periodically review them for accuracy and relevance. As a result, the information may or may not be the most recent. We recommend visiting the manufacturer's website for the latest details if you have any questions.

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