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"I Just Injected 46 Units of the Wrong Insulin!"


Dec 6, 2007

I have lived with type 2 diabetes for thirteen years, and I know very well how to take care of myself. In fact, I have it down to a routine. The flaw of a routine activity, however, is that it is so very routine: you go through the motions without thinking. And that, as I learned to my deep chagrin, can be dangerous.

On a recent speaking trip, I was just about to step into the shower when I remembered that it was time for my Lantus injection. No problem-I stepped away from the shower, prepared the dose, and injected the insulin. As soon as the deed was done, however, dismay overwhelmed me. I had grabbed the wrong insulin and had just injected 46 units of rapid-acting Apidra instead of slow-release Lantus. And I was alone in my hotel room, stark naked.

My experience as a diabetes trainer kicked into overdrive as I yanked everything out of the mini-fridge, desperately counting the carbohydrates available to counter the quick-acting Apidra. The procedure I teach to treat hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is to eat fifteen grams of fast-acting carbohydrates, wait fifteen minutes, and then check your blood sugar level. This process should continue until your blood sugar is over 70 mg/dl. But because I did not know how low my blood sugar would plummet on 46 units of Apidra, my overriding thought was to stuff down as many simple carbohydrates as I could, as fast as I could.

That night, thankfully, the mini-fridge was uncharacteristically full. I swept up two pieces of leftover bread, two small bunches of grapes, crackers, and a real Coke, in addition to my usual glucose tablets and orange juice. One part of my brain began methodically counting the carbohydrates that I was ingesting: thirty-three grams from the orange juice, twenty from the bread, twelve from the glucose tablets.

The other part of my brain was churning with thoughts of getting help. Since I was traveling with friends who have diabetes, I made a hasty phone call: "Paula, I just injected 46 units of Apidra! Call Susan and come quickly!" Without waiting for a reply, I began to guzzle the Coke as I tried to pull on my clothes. I haven't drunk a real Coke in fifteen years, but my need for sugar overrode any misgivings about the taste.

There I was, drinking, dressing, and running around to collect my cell phone, room key, and wallet in case we decided to go to the emergency room. I was even "with it" enough to prop open the room door so that my friends could reach me if I became unable to open the door. Within fifteen minutes, they rushed in loaded with more quick sugar goodies. Piling the food on the desk, Susan said, "Don't worry, we're going to see you through this. How many carbs have you eaten? What was your last blood sugar reading? We'll take it every fifteen to twenty minutes so we'll know what's happening."

My reading just before the ill-fated injection had been 107, but that had been 25 minutes ago, before the 46 units of Apidra and the 130 grams of carbohydrates I'd stuffed down in the form of juice, fruit, sodas, and cookies. I did a finger stick test, and my result was 124. We decided to follow our training for hypoglycemia, writing down my finger stick reading every twenty minutes and recording the carbohydrates I had eaten, until we were sure that the Apidra was out of my system. Because Apidra acts within an hour and is out of the system within four hours, we knew we had awhile to go.

Paula called 911 as soon as she saw me. The 911 dispatcher told Paula to call the Poison Control Center, and the consensus of both dispatchers was "Go to the ER!" Forty-five minutes after I had taken the Apidra, a violent trembling began in the center of my body, and my arms and legs began to twitch and jerk so violently that I had to sit down abruptly. As the trembling increased, I felt my first twinge of fear and agreed that the ER was the place to be.

A hotel staff person drove us to the hospital. Because the Poison Control Center had alerted the hospital, the ER staff admitted me to a room immediately. Then they gave me more food and did a finger stick test. My blood sugar was up to 142, but, still fearing hypoglycemia, I drank more apple juice and ate the Rice Krispy treats they brought me. My total carb count was now close to 180 grams. Susan stayed with me, and throughout the next four hours, we checked my blood sugar every twenty minutes.

The results were reassuring, as my blood sugar level continued to rise in response to the carbohydrates I had eaten. At 3:15 am, a lab tech drew blood to see if the Apidra was out of my system, and I stuck my finger for the fifteenth and final time. Both finger stick and lab work showed a blood sugar level of 119. Utterly amazing! Susan had weathered the storm with me. We could return to the hotel, tired but wiser, and sleep for a few hours before starting our busy day.

For many people with diabetes, injecting two types of insulin is a daily requirement. Because the routine is so familiar, we sometimes do it without thinking, and that, as I learned the hard way, can lead to dire error. Here are four tips to prevent an insulin mistake from happening to you:

  1. Use a syringe and vial for your long-acting insulin and an insulin pen for your rapid-acting insulin.
  2. Use color to distinguish the insulins by putting a different-colored tape around each vial or insulin pen.
  3. Keep your insulins in separate places on the kitchen counter or in the refrigerator. That way you won't accidentally pick up the wrong insulin.
  4. Stop, think, and then act. Being in a hurry or relying on a thoughtless routine may cause a serious mistake.

While I certainly don't want to go through such an ordeal ever again, I did learn three powerful lessons: I can act effectively in a diabetes emergency; patient education is invaluable; and friendship is priceless. May you never encounter the same situation, but if you do, remember: keep your head, call for help, and follow the protocol.

Editor's Note: We hear of this happening often, and we don't think that such events are documented sufficiently. If a mix-up in your insulin has happened to you, please let us know. And for other stories on the same subject, see "My Insulin Overdose" and "Insulin Overdose: A Mom Accidentally Gives Way Too Much Insulin To Her Son".


Categories: Beginners, Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Insulin, Lantus, Low Blood Sugar, Pens, Syringes, Type 1 Issues, Type 2 Issues



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Comments

Posted by Bobette on 7 December 2007

On insulin for at least 16 years... I've done it more than once (not that much). Sometimes I've not been sure which one I injected. I just test and test and drink juice, etc. In fact this morning my bg was a bit high - I injected 2 units of "something" Time to test - if it didn't go down I'll know I made a mistake. I'm responsible - I can't depend on others.

Posted by Anonymous on 7 December 2007

This happened to my teenaged son twice. First time was MY fault--I was just "helping" and prepared the injection. In spite of the fact that I am an RN--very well aware of the "5 rights of medication administration"--I messed up and prepared a Humalog injection instead of Lantus. From day one we always had a rubber band around the Lantus vial & kept it in a separate part of the frig . . . We pushed carbs & I lost sleep that night waking him to check.

In the hospital two nurses must verify any insulin administration (dose & type) & ensure that the proper amount is drawn up. After making this mistake at home--any other time I prepared a shot for him, I would verbally acknowledge to him WHICH bottle I drew it from. (He's self-sufficient & does his own thing, just so you know--just once in a while allowed me to butt in to his evening insulin schedule).

What do you know, about 18 months later my son made this mistake!!! Again, no serious consequence--it didn't take long to figure out the error & was resolved with extra carbs over 4 hours. Now he's recently started pumping . . .

Posted by Anonymous on 7 December 2007

please !!! pongan esta informacion en español!
es muy interesante, ojala pudieran tener la misma pagina en español.

Posted by Anonymous on 7 December 2007

This would be another reason to split the Lantus/Levimir dose into two. That way you'd only have half as much to deal with if you inject the wrong insulin.

Posted by Anonymous on 7 December 2007

I've done this one or two times and it scared me to death. Why do they call two different insulins with very different actions by such similar names as "Novolog" and "Novolin?" Why are the product vials so similiar in looks? Can't one have a different color label?

These seem like simple low cost moves that would help many of us avoid such errors.

Posted by Anonymous on 7 December 2007

I did the same thing a few months ago. Accidentally took 7 units of Novolog instead of Levemir at bedtime, by myself in a hotel room while on a business trip. As I sat there consuming a huge piece of carrot cake, apple pie, and two chocolate chip cookies that I'd ordered from room service, I thought to myself, "there HAS to be a better way." That incident was one of the "last straws" that finally convinced me to go on the pump!

Posted by gandalf888 on 7 December 2007

I've been diabetic for over 51 years. I have taken the wrong insulin 3 times in the last few years - each time I was in very stressful situations (all three times were when my husband was in the hospital for heart procedures and I was away from home). I take 17 units of Lantus at night, and 4 to 5 units of Apidra with each meal. At home, I keep the Apidra in a totally separate room from my Lantus. However, even with this, I have to be careful, because I not only inject myself with Lantus at night, I also prepare my husband's nightly injection. When I am overly tired, stressed, or distracted, I worry about taking my shot and then taking his shot. I'm so used to injections (3 to 5 a day for 51 years, they really are second nature), that it would be easier to do than you may think!

I tried "eating my way through it" the first time I used Apidra instead of Lantus - that was disastrous! The next time, I went immediately to the ER. They hooked me up to an IV and gave me glucose whenever my blood sugar started plummeting (and it absolutely PLUMMETS if you do this!). During the first incident, I could not eat or drink enough to keep my sugar level above the 50s, and then I became violently ill as the Apidra wore off. Going to the ER and having an IV is the only sensible way to handle this situation as far as I am concerned.

This is a serious situation, which I truly believe could be deadly.

Posted by Anonymous on 7 December 2007

Question: Why did you have violent tremors if your blood sugar remained WNL? I do not recall reading that your blood sugar dropped to a dangerous low during your ordeal so why the tremors? Was it a reaction to something else?

We put a rubberband around the Lantus bottle. It is a visual and an auditory heads up that the vial is Lantus. We typically use Humalog pens exclusively so the difference is clear: Lantus 1x per day for basal via a syringe and Humalog with meals and snacks via a pen. We do keep Humalog vials on hand for back up.

We did have an incident where we injected 32 units of Humalog instead of 32 Units of Lantus....it happened one time. We did blood sugar checks every 15 minutes, constantly drank OJ and gatorade for quick sugar and followed up with eating sustaining carbs. It was check and eat/drink, check and eat/drink for 3 hours. My son never had a tremor and we survived it. We did not go to the ER but my phone was right near me the entire time. We checked blood sugars 20 times within 3 hours. It happens. It is scary.

So, help me understand why the tremors if your blood sugar was maintained like my sons through a similar ordeal?

Thanks

Posted by Anonymous on 7 December 2007

I have double dosed myself on humolog twice, and taken Humolog for Lantus (27U) once. In all cases I just ate my way through it without incident. Is Apidra some super powerful stuff, or was I just lucky.

Posted by Anonymous on 7 December 2007

I've had diabetes for 23/yrs, and I too have switched insulins about 3 times. Most recently, I was traveling and carried my Lantus and Novolog in the same bag. At home, I keep them in separate locations. I woke-up early and injected 24/units of Novolog instead of my usual 4. I didn't switch insulins, I switched the doses. As soon as I took the needle out, I realized what I had done. What keyed me in to my mistake was the sound of the clicks on my Novolog pen compared to my Lantus pen. I called 911 and my blood sugar dropped about 1-1/2/hrs later to 45 at the hospital. Both pens are blue and the manufacturers should make them in different colors (how simple could that be). I write with permanent marker on my Lantus pen "slow" acting. The other two times, I wasn't using a pen and mixed-up the viles. Cloudy and clear helps, but different colored labels would be better. It should be a universal color code system for long & short acting insulin. That would also help caregivers from making a mistake. Hang in there fellow diabetics!

Posted by ricklude on 8 December 2007

You just can't grab anything and put it in your body becouse your in a rush, regardless of it's cause! That's just a plain dumb & lame excuse for not using proper care while self medicating.

I take twenty oral meds, (for other medical problems I have) some of which look very similar to others in size, shape, and color, as well as, bolis and basil injections.

READ THE LABEL FIRST!!!

I like the idea of marking one container, with a colored tape, specially if you have problems with reading but still, MAKE SURE IT'S THE CORRECT MED YOU'RE ABOUT TO PUT INSIDE OF YOU!!!! Hopefully, you didn't tape the wrong container.

I also like someone's idea of writing "slow acting" on one pen with a marker but, some folks don't have the manual dexterity to do so. Again, was the correct container marked?

So called "mistakes" are not uncommon at all and happen in hospitals as well. For example, my wife, an RN, had ordered up a med from the hospital pharmacy and was delivered the wrong, way, way, over, vile dosage. If she didn't follow her training and read all the medication labels first before giving meds out, the patient could have died from an over dose of this med.

The labeling of heprin was in the news as of late also. The 10 units vs. the 1000 (or is it 10,000 units, I forget) unit viles looked alike and many patients have recieved the wrong doseage. The maker changed the label colors but, the darker blue vile (10 units) looks very close to being the slightly lighter blue, heavy dosage.
I think, in this case at least, the use of different color label, NOT JUST SHADES OF ONE COLOR, would help. It would also drive up the cost of the medication as well.

In the end, for all of us self medicating diabetics and/or victims of other medical problems, it's OUR RESPONCABILITY to be sure we take the correct meds, in the correct dosage, and at the correct times!

No one method or methods, utilized to identify, by "glance", a proper med, is going to work for everyone. WE are all different and may have other different problems. HOWEVER, we ALL must THINK before acting!

It's just soooo easy to place the blame for our oun stupidity on someone or something else today, isn't it. So, don't be an idiot. Take the time out, LOOK, SEE, FEEL, LISTEN, SMELL, READ THE LABEL, WHATEVER! Make sure it's the correct med, and then, take the right stuff! GEEZ! THINK PEOPLE, THINK!

The author of this article sure as heck didn't! STUPID!!! PLAIN STUPID!!! And it's her oun damd fault!!!!! She rates NO pity or sorrow from me!

Posted by bdebruler on 8 December 2007

In response to the anonymous poster who commented on the Novolin/Novolog names. This is a case of marketing taking precedence over concern with the patient. Novo Nordisk wants their name as part of the drug name. Of course Humalog/Humalin isn't much better, but at least it's not Lillylog/Lillylin.

Uh oh. I may have just given them the idea.

This could of course happen to anyone that uses two insulins that aren't visually different (and even perhaps if they are). Remember NPH? Nice and cloudy.

Posted by gandalf888 on 8 December 2007

In response to Ricklude: Call what names you want - it happens. Calling people stupid sure doesn't solve the problem! Try staying up over 24 hours with your husband (or wife) in one hospital and your child in another, and see if you don't eventually stop thinking. That is when I picked up the wrong bottle. Stupid? Perhaps. I am not, however, a stupid person, no matter how many names you call. There is no reason the drug companies cannot make bottles that have different color coding! I would suggest, sir, that you be careful with the stones you throw.

Posted by Florian on 8 December 2007

When I was doing MDI with Levemir and Apidra I accidentally injected 14 units of Apidra instead of Levemir on two occasions. Both times I was home and covered with carbs in the form of oatmeal cookies and checked my bs every 30 minutes. It never went down below a 100 and everything worked out well.

To prevent it from happening again, I split the Levemir into PM and AM doses and I started using the Levemir Pen and the Apidra Vial so there was no chance of mixing vials.

Those days are now gone forever as I am now using an Animas 2020 pump + Apidra.

Florian

Posted by Anonymous on 9 December 2007

I took 40 units of Humalog instead of lantus one time while I was traveling on an airplane. As soon as I realized what I had done, I immediately asked the flight attendant for a soda (not sugar free), and monitored my bg's every 20-30 minutes for the rest of the trip (Supplementing with more carbs as needed). I have been a diabetic for 29 years, and it's true...you begin to just go through the motions without thinking.

Posted by Eileen on 10 December 2007

I took 34 units of Aprida instead of Lantus (twice) since September. The first time I was final able to get around after a bout with pneumonia. I was in a routine as well and I noticed as I was filling my dosage - that the bottle looked like it was pretty empty (I had just opened a new Lantus bottle) and immediately after I had finished the injection - I realized that I had taken Aprida. I screamed and ran in the bedroom and got my husband out of bed. My daughter had just gotten home from work a(at a hospital) and she called her work and they told us to go to the emergency room and tell them I overdosed on my insulin. My husband dressed and brought me a bottle of orange juice and some peanut butter crackers. I drank the OJ immediately and got another one on the way to the car. I kept testing my BG and it was dropping quickly - I had just taken my Metformin right before my injection. At the hospital I told them that I had overdosed on the wrong insulin and when they were checking me in - they questioned me like it wasn't an accident and they were questioning my husband as well. We learned that we should have said I 'accidently' overdosed on insulin! I got to the hospital at 12:30AM and by 2:15 AM my BG had dropped to 40. I was going into the shakes and sweats and everything started feeling like I was in a dream world - just as I started feeling like I was going to pass out the nurse came in the room and they immediately injected me with glucose and started me on an IV. About 3:30 AM the doctor came in and told my husband to go home and come back about noon - they kept me to make sure I was okay.

Then about 4 weeks later the same thing happened again but this time I had NOT taken my metformin before my injection. We had just found out our Uncle had died and we had been home for a short time - I was tired and then it happened. I was so angry at myself. We did the same thing - the OJ, crackers and ER but this time we made sure they knew it was an accident. My BG had only dropped to 60 before they injected me -my husband and I decided that I would move the Lantus to the garage refrigerator and I had to show either him or my daughter the vial BEFORE I give myself any injection, and I had to tell them how much I needed to give myself. We also got red nail polish and painted the bottle of Aprida so we will know it's the DANGEROUS one.

I still get a little nervous giving myself an injection but I guess that's okay because it makes me very aware of what I need pay attention to.

Posted by ricklude on 11 December 2007

In responce to Gandalf888.

IF you were so tired that you couldn't find the correct med on your oun and took whatever wrong one it was anyway, that was a DUMB MOVE ON YOUR PART sir. Hence, "stupid". Seek help next time to find the correct med before you kill yourself.

Although I am sorry to read about your personal family woes, using that as a reason is still not a valid excuse for not thinking.

Further, how were you getting back and forth between hospitals? Driving your self around while sooo tired, you put not only yourself but, others in harms way. Gee! Thanks! {I just bet you'll say you didn't drive. Sure ya didn't!)
Start THINKING.

Posted by chickadee410 on 11 December 2007

I'm glad to hear other people beside myself has made this mistake. However, I'm not glad that anyone has ever had such a scare. I injected 23U of Humalog instead of my Lantus one night. I knew that 5 carbs increases my BG by about 10 points. I took a bag of powder sugar, added a little bit of milk, stirred and started eating. I ate a little too much, but at least I wasn't low.

Posted by Anonymous on 13 December 2007

Wow, I thought I was the only one to have done this. In June of this year (2007) my husband and I had been out with some friends one friday evening and when we got home, I checked my blood sugar so that I could take my insulin (Humalog). It was 246 so I was going to take 3 units. I drew up the insulin and injected it and about 5 minutes later, it dawned on me that I had just taken my Lantus dose (34 units) of Humalog. My husband called my doctor and spoke with the doctor on call. He said to check my blood sugar every hour on the hour for the next 4 to 5 hours and I was NOT to go to sleep. I started drinking orange juice to try and counter act it. Let me stop here to say that I had gastric by-pass the previous January so I was really limited to what and how much I could consume. I checked my blood sugar at 10:00 PM and it had dropped to 110. I continued drinking as much OJ as I could possibly get in. At 11:00 it was 54. I told my husband that if I was going to the ER we needed to go while I was still coherent. By the time we got to the ER and it was checked again (at approximately 11:30) it was 20. They started an IV and ended up injecting 3 vials of Dextrose before it finally rose and stayed at a safe level. Since that happened, I've wondered why some sort of color can't be added to the insulin.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 December 2007

My son is 12 and has had diabetes for 2 years. He has done this twice-- injected 23 units of Novalog instead of Lantus, and both times, we have stayed up and weathered it together. I called the hospital the first time and they told me that I could bring him in if I didn't want to handle it alone... I planned to take him if I got scared. I fed him cotton candy, jelly beans, and Skittles whenever he dropped below 70, following with nutrition bars (I like Balance Bars) with a low glycemic value. Both times, we coasted through, although it's not something I want to repeat.

Posted by Anonymous on 16 December 2007

Dear RickRUDE,

Perhaps you should learn how to spell own before calling others stupid.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 December 2007

Anyone could easily make this kind of mistake. Thank you to the author for a great story that we all need to hear so we can benefit. We will not be turning to people like RickRUDE for help when and if we need it. When I was on multiple injections I had great trouble remembering if I had injected or not. I agree with the author of this story; it become so automatic that is almost unconscious. Haven't you ever brushed your teeth twice, or forgotten to brush completely? The same thing happens when you take multiple injections. I sometimes test my blood sugar these days two or three times in quick succession, before I clue in the fact that I just tested it. Thankfully, on the pump now, I can use the "wizard" and I don't have to worry about overdosing. Thank you for a great story, very glad you made it ok. About the shaking....possibly the bgs dived very low and very quickly between tests. That can happen.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 December 2007

I cannot believe some of the comments on the accidental overdosing. All I can say is, as the years go on sooner or later it will happen to you, too! I don't care how careful you think you are, there will come a moment when stress or sleepiness or confusion will cause you to make a mistake. We all strive to make our care part of a routine so it is not so intrusive.

Posted by Anonymous on 28 December 2007

I think the worst part is the fear of not knowing when and if its all over

Posted by Queenallaw on 1 January 2008

Wow...what else can i say? I am a new onset, diagnosed in Nov., and this has already almost happened to me. I was drawing up my Lantus(26) and i could not seem to get the bubbles out. I almost gave up and just injected myself...went all of a sundden, the needle was already in, i realized i was holing my humalong bottle! SCARY! So heres my question..why wouldn't you just inject yourself with the Glugogun...aka teh sugar pen?

Posted by Anonymous on 4 January 2008

Years ago I injected 50 units of NovoRapid instead of Lantus, went to bed and woke up with my girlfriend and a paramedic crew of four at my bedside. They'd been with me for two hours.

Then I discovered Dr Richard Bernstein's low carb, low insulin, normal protein, high exercise regime for diabetics. Problem solved. Dr Bernstein's advice is never to inject more than seven units of insulin in any one site. If you need 21 units of Lantus, do three injections in three different sites of 7 units. It works to solve the problem described and it also, of course, facilitates better absorption and less tissue atrophy (which larger injections always cause.

Posted by Anonymous on 5 January 2008

My husband and I are both diabetic. He takes Humalog via pump and I take Apidra and Levemir. We keep all the unopened vials in the original packaging on the same shelf in the refrigerator.
The Humalog has an orange stripe. The Levemir has a greenish stripe and the Apidra vial is taller and thinner.Once opened. His Humalog is the only unboxed vial on the shelf.I keep mine in a transport case. That way we don't accidentlly get my Levemir and his Humalog mixed up. I just have to be extra careful not to mix up the Apidra and Levemir

Posted by Anonymous on 18 January 2008

I use Lantus at bedtime and Novolog before meals. My nurse educator suggested the pen for Novolog and a syringe for the Lantus. Even with this system, I've caught myself more than once reaching for the wrong insulin, always when distracted by other "stuff". I'm not sure if a mix up has ever happened, but could explain a "where did this reading come from????"

Posted by Anonymous on 25 January 2008

Hello, great subject!
NovoNordisk has those singleuse pens for Levemir and Novorapid almost the same! Terrible thing. Only difference is small part of the pen which is in blue and orange color. Usually it is enough, but later in the evening I was tired and supposed to take 18 units of Levemir. Instead, I took 18 units of Novorapid and I noticed really accidentally. Next 3 hours was horror for me and I am alive only because I accidentally noticed Novorapid pen on a place where usually Levemir resides..

Posted by Anonymous on 3 March 2008

just injected 25 units of novo instead of lantus. hoping to avoid hospital trip. eating carbs and testing every thirty minutes

Posted by Anonymous on 18 June 2008

Injecting the wrong insulin is harrowing, but it's nice to see others have also had trouble. But, the worst I've done was accidentally shooting up with 48 units of air! I drew it to put into an NPH bottle, but got distracted and shot the air into my system!

Posted by Anonymous on 21 June 2008

Probably you wouldn't use Glucagon because it only brings you up temporarily. Since you are still able to consume carbs, it is best to eat or drink. Glucagon can make you very sick as well. My son had a seizure from low blood sugar a few months ago so we had to give him the Glucagon. It brought him around but he was vomiting all over the place.

Posted by Anonymous on 21 June 2008

Excellent article! Ignore the rude person!

Posted by Anonymous on 24 June 2008

This morning I woke up and was going about my usual routine (Shower, get dressed, take insulin). Checked my blood sugar and it was at 70, I took my dose of 25 units of Lantus. Pulled the needle out and went to put the bottle back n the fridge and realized I was holding the Humolog and not Lantus. I told my wofe what I did and looked in the fridge for some Orange Juice (none to be found). Grabbed my briefcase and off to the store. Drank a 34 oz. container of OJ and had one Hershey bar. Got on the F train and was feeling okay. Everything was fine for a couple of hours until I was at a meeting at work, started feeling light headed and sweaty. Got up and left the meeting and went to my desk to check my BS and it was 28. Off to the vending machines in the kitchen. One snicker and Hershy bat along with a Ginger Ale (not diet). Out of test strips at the moment but I think I got through it. Feeling much better. This is the second time I have shot the wrong stuff.

Posted by Anonymous on 21 July 2008

does anyone fear early morning lows??
sometimes i think that i eat too much before bedtime because i am afraid of dropping unaware in my sleep.
then it goes high by waking time.
a lot of times i get "goofy" and don't realize how low i am, in the early a.m..
that is a scary, almost "tripped out" feeling.i leave easily chewed candy right by my bed, but when i am VERY low, i don't always "get it" to eat some.
anyone care to comment ?

Posted by Anonymous on 28 August 2008

hey there anonymous babe thats freaking out about early morning lows. dont freak out about it. thats totally happened to me before and i know what you mean about feeling "goofy" like you have no control. you just have to decrease the amount of lantus or whatever slow acting insulin you take before bed. it'll take time to realize what ur perfect dosage is. i started with 35 units of lantus and im now down to about 15 units of lantus. take it down 5 units first and if its still low, keep taking it down 5 units until u wake up with a blood glucose you're satisfied with :) hope i helped some

Posted by Anonymous on 28 August 2008

hey there anonymous babe thats freaking out about early morning lows. dont freak out about it. thats totally happened to me before and i know what you mean about feeling "goofy" like you have no control. you just have to decrease the amount of lantus or whatever slow acting insulin you take before bed. it'll take time to realize what ur perfect dosage is. i started with 35 units of lantus and im now down to about 15 units of lantus. take it down 5 units first and if its still low, keep taking it down 5 units until u wake up with a blood glucose you're satisfied with :) hope i helped some

Posted by Anonymous on 12 September 2008

I THINK YOUR SHAKES AHD NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING HYPO...JUST STRESS

Posted by Anonymous on 1 November 2008

I just can't take anymore of this without offering my over-rated self opinion.

I have never in my over twenty years of being a Type-1 ever injected the wrong insulin but I have dealt with some of the most hardcore crashes you could ever see.

Oww, one of the best ones was on the RATT tour when the morning after a show, barely able to wake up I was not only paralyzed but I couldn't speak. That was a fun first part of the day.

I completely understand how these mix-ups can happen to people and everyone is right: 95% of the blame rests with the drug companies.

I don't agree with the sense of panic most of you seem to have when these occur. I do understand the limitations of being in a hotel. I've spent about a quarter of my life in them.

Each one of us is different and I know some of you will feel this isn't right for you. Point taken.

For just about all of us the highest sugar content item is what we reach for first when we crash. So any type of juice, soda, Life-Savers... You know the drill. This is fine for getting or keeping yourself functional in the beginning. But all these items give you what I call hollow sugar or hallow calories. The insulin will eat these up quickly and if you just double dosed yourself your going to be throwing up orange juice long before you're able to drink enough of it to beat the dragon.

You need to add in what I refer to as complex sugars or calories. My suggestion is peanut butter and honey on graham crackers or a peanut butter and honey sandwich. This gives you a dose of instant sugar from the honey and the more complex from the peanut butter (very high in calories,) and whatever you put it on. These sugars take longer for the insulin to break down thus giving you a longer curve of decay which is what we strive for anyway. To just keep pounding OJ for four hours is crazy. The insulin needs something hard to work against a challenge if you will.

Look, I know how scary these can be. I have quite a few times at the end of one of these after dragging myself into the shower from being drenched in sweat found myself crying and wishing I wasn't alone or that one of them would just finish me once and for all. I understand the fear, I do.

So take it for what it's worth if it will help you.

Posted by Anonymous on 11 November 2008

My son switched his Lantus to noon injections. It made sense to take the Lantus at a time he was the least tired and less likely to make a mistake.

He also has had Glucagon injections on two occasions which prevented trips to the ER. The first time was about two months after his T1 diagnosis. He had injected his normal dose of Humalog but began to crash, apparently the honeymoon phase had begun. He didn't throw up either time. I highly recommend the use of Glucagon for emergencies such as the one above.

Posted by Anonymous on 8 December 2008

I almost did this once, almost took 10 units of Humalog instead of 10 units of Lantus. This was within the first week of my treatment, and I decided from that day forward that Lantus was not to leave the bathroom. One thing that's nice is Lily's pen is completely different in appearance to Sanofi's and I can easily tell the difference.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 January 2009

I just took 50 units of Humalog instead of Lantus. Thank God for your article..I am now testing and eating. Hope I am ok. Bottles too similar, putting green flourescent tape on NOW.

Posted by Anonymous on 5 September 2013

I was very glad to find your site. I just injected 30mL of NovoLog instead of Lantus. I been eating and drinking like crazy, so far my levels are around 133. So far, so good. Thanks for having this website!

Posted by Anonymous on 14 September 2013

Yep, did this last night. 60 u of Apidra instead of lantus. Went to the ER because I live alone. There's tape on the lantus now. Arrgh!

Posted by Anonymous on 17 October 2013

Oh this happened to me! I mistakenly injected 90 units of novolog rather than lantus, right after I did it I thought "I just killed myself" I didn't have any sugar..I had sense enough to immediately call an ambulance...and I ran to each neighbors house looking for sugar. One lady gave me some OJ and another gave me a cup of sugar. The ambulance came and put me on a sugar drip. I had to stay in the hospital over night with the sugar drip. They said that was one time that being overweight saved my life.

Posted by Anonymous on 6 February 2014

just did this, luckily I started a low carb diet three days ago so my insulin is half what it was, so I injected 30 units of Humalog instead of 60!! Unfortunately, my low carb diet is out the window for tonight, and ive got kids on shift watching me (teenagers), eating carbs and honey and checking my bg every half hour, it went down to 104 before it started coming up, this for a lady whos previous average is 350... they have instructions to put honey under my tongue and call 911 if I lose consciousness... what an idiot.

Posted by Anonymous on 14 February 2014

I must say this article has been very helpful, thank you. I'm a newly diagnosed (2 months ago) Type 1 Diabetic and I did this last night. Accidentally injected 10 units of Novorapid instead of Lantus. I'm very sensitive to insulin and have been on 0-2 units of Novo per meal. I realised what I had done when I put the Novo pen down. At first I was like, "what's this doing in my hand?" Then the panic set in! I wasn't thinking straight at the time because my BSLs had been around 14mmol and I just went into autopilot mode when I did my injection. I remember wondering why my injection was making such loud clicking sounds... The second I realised it I screamed and luckily my parents drove me to the ER immediately, me chugging down chocolate milk from the carton and jelly beans all the way (the first things I could get my hands on). The whole drive there I thought, I'm going to die!!! I ate two bags of shapes too. They monitored my BSLs, which stayed consistently high, and only gave me half my regular dose of Lantus. I know now to never let injections become so automatic that I don't even think about them. I made the mistake because I carry the pens in the same pouch. I ain't gonna do that any more!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 14 March 2014

So glad to find this article and be able to read many comments. My daughter with Down's syndrome was diagnosed with diabetes 3 weeks ago and I already messed up by giving her 25u of humilog instead of lantus, so scared I was shaking. My husband called the hospital. They were very helpful, and told us to feed her the amount of carbs needed, 250 , over the next 3 hours and checking her blood every 30 mins. At the end of that time her blood was at 112, and she was doing well. She's sleeping now but we're still checking her blood til 3:00 am. I've learned my lesson. Nurse told us that most people it at least once. Once was enough for me. Taking every precaution from here on out. I wish you all the best.


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