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What Is Insulin

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is insulin?

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. Insulin helps remove sugar from your blood. This helps lower your blood sugar level. You may need to take insulin if your pancreas is not making enough. You may need to take insulin if your body cannot use insulin correctly.


What are the different types of insulin?

Several types of insulin are used to lower blood sugar levels. The type tells you how fast the insulin starts to work or how long it lasts in your body. Your diabetes care team provider will help you find the insulin that is right for you:

How is insulin given?

How should I store insulin and insulin supplies?

Follow the storage directions on the label or package insert that came with the insulin. The following are general guidelines:

How should I throw away insulin and needles?

Do not use your insulin if you see clumps or color changes. Cloudy insulin that has small, white, particles that will not mix should be thrown away. Clear insulin that looks cloudy should be thrown away.

When should I call my doctor or diabetes care team provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.