January 12


10 Steps to Prepare a Mixed Dose of Insulin

By Gabriela

January 12, 2021

Many individuals that have diabetes need to take insulin in order to keep their blood sugar in a proper range. For certain individuals that can be scary, particularly the first time. People should know that insulin shots are actually not painful since the needles are thin and short.

Also, insulin shots are usually placed in the fatty tissue found below the skin. This is known as a subcutaneous injection.

There are cases when the doctor prescribes a mixed insulin dose. This means that people need to take more than 1 type of insulin and people need to do that at once.

With a mixed dose, people will get the benefits of both longer-acting insulin and short-acting insulin without having two separate shots.

In general, one of the insulin is clear and the other cloudy. Also, they should know that certain insulins cannot be mixed in one syringe. For example, one should never mix Levemir or Lantus with other solutions.

Always make sure to consult a diabetes educator, doctor, or pharmacist before mixing. The steps below explain how to mix 2 different insulin types into one single shot properly.

10 Steps to Prepare the Injection

Step #1

The first thing people need to do is prepare the supplies and remove the insulin vials from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before the injection. Also, they need to ensure to check the expiry dates.

According to the guide of the manufacturer, people need to discard the vial 6 weeks after its first opening.

Step #2

Then, the next thing they need to do is to wash their hands properly and thoroughly with soap and water.

Step #3

They need to roll the vial of the cloudy insulin (long-acting or intermediate insulin) and do that until the white power dissolves. Remember, to not shake the vial.

Step #4

Dip a cotton ball in alcohol or take an alcohol wipe and clean the rubber stopper found on insulin vials.

Step #5

Pull the plunger down and then draw in the syringe. The amount of air needs to be equal to the cloudy insulin dose which is needed.

Step #6

The vial needs to be standing upright; then people can insert the needle into the vial. Inject air from it and remove the needle.

Step #7

Do the same with clear insulin. Draw air into the syringe equal to the clear dose of insulin needed.

Step #8

Put the needle in the vial with the clear insulin and then inject air into the vial. Remember, to not remove the needle.

Step #9

When the needle is in the vial, people need to turn the insulin vial and syringe upside down and then draw out the clear insulin dose. They need to read the line-markings found on the syringe in order to ensure that they have the proper amount of insulin.

Step #10

The final thing they need to do is insert the needle into the vial of the cloudy insulin. Remember, to not push the plunger. Turn the insulin vial and syringe upside down and then draw the cloudy insulin dose.

This is how people will have a dose of both cloudy and clear insulin.

Additional Tips

  • First, inject air into the cloudy insulin vial and then into the clear insulin vial;
  • Draw the clear insulin into the syringe and then the cloudy insulin;
  • Mix only insulins that come from the same source, for instance, Humulin N and Humulin R are from the same source, therefore we may mix them;
  • In case we draw too much of one insulin, we need to throw away the drug and start all over again;
  • We can always ask our nurse or doctor to show us the proper way to do it.

Remember to measure the insulin dose, choose a proper syringe size, prepare 2 insulin types in 1 syringe, and read the label is found on the insulin vial. Always consult a doctor in case of any doubts.


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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