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Insulin Timing, Insulin Administrtion

Practical Considerations while Administering Insulin Timing

Insulin Time of Administration

  • The Insulin timing of shorter-acting insulin in relation to a meal is important in order to maximize the effect of insulin.
  • Short-acting (soluble or regular) insulin takes time to be absorbed. Therefore, meal should be taken after 30-45 minutes of insulin injection.
  • Rapid-acting insulin is absorbed quickly so it would not be injected more than 15 minutes before a meal. Ideally, it should be injected immediately prior to the meal.
  • Intermediate or long-acting insulin can be administered anything
  • Long-acting analogues are clear in appearance.
  • Cloudy insulin should be mixed well and not used if clumps do not dissolve.
  • In some cases, such as when people are unsure of the amount to be eaten, as in young children, the rapid-acting insulin would be injected after the meal. In this way, the insulin does would be adjusted to appropriately cover the amount eaten.
  • Intermediate-or long-acting insulin can be taken at any time and does not need to be taken in relation to food


  • All insulin vials or cartridges have expiry dates printed on them. The expiry date which indicates the date before it is unopened insulin vial or cartridge should be used.
  • Once the vial or cartridge is opened it should be discarded after 1 month, even if some insulin remains, as the potency of insulin is also affected by cold and heat. Therefore, insulin should not be frozen or stored in direct sunlight or heated areas.
  • If a person is unable to prepare their own syringes, a family member can pre-draw the syringes and these can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 month. However, syringes should be rotated many times to re-suspected the insulin before the injection is given

The insulin storage requirements……

  • Unopened (unused) bottles — Stored in the refrigerator — discard after expiry date given on bottle.
  • Opened bottles — Stored in the refrigerator — discard after 3 months
  • Opened bottles — kept at room temperature — discard after 1 month