Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How to Accurately Measure 0.25- or 0.5-Units Doses of U-100 Insulin

I'm tying to locate a supplier of insulin syringes (U-100) graduated in 0.25 to 0.5-unit increments.

In a few of the cats and small dogs that I'm treating with glargine or detemir insulin, I need to make tiny dose adjustments and the owners find it very difficult to do with most of the low-dose U-100 syringes.

My Response:
In some diabetic cats and small dogs, we certainly do need to increase or decrease their insulin dose by half a unit. This is especially true in the diabetic cat that is starting to go into diabetic remission, in which we we need to gradually lower the dose.

U-100 syringes with 0.5-unit markings are certainly available, but they are not that easy to find because many pharmacies do not carry them.

Wal-mart and Sam's Club pharmacies both sell the ReliOn brand of U-100 syringes, including 3/10 cc syringes with 0.5-unit markings. Likewise, some of the BD Ultra-fine 3/10 cc syringes are available with 0.5-unit markings. You may also be able to find these insulin syringes online at

I am not aware of any company that makes 0.25-unit insulin syringes, but I don't generally try to do such tiny dosing adjustments. If the owner is going to attempt to do so, they would need a magnifying glass to accurately align the plunger halfway between the 0.5 mark and the whole unit mark — it's possible, but tough to do!


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