Starting Insulin?

Recommended information below

Driving and Informing the DVLA

Anyone using Insulin who drives (or rides a motorcycle) needs to inform the DVLA. Please review the information on this page which includes a method of informing them by submitting an online form.

There are also various rules around testing your blood sugars before driving and what do do in case of low blood sugars. Please read the DVLA leaflet found here. The key point is that your sugar levels should be “5 to drive”.

Hypoglycaemia (Low Blood Sugars)

Anyone using insulin is at risk of their sugar levels going too low. It is important that you know the symptoms/signs to look out for and how to treat a low blood sugar level. You should carry some hypo treatment with you at all times e.g. Dextrose tablets which are available in pharmacies.

Please read the leaflet on Hypoglycaemia from TREND which you can find here.

How to give an insulin injection

Insulin is given under the skin for Type 2 Diabetes using two main types of devices. These are pre-filled pens which are disposable or refillable pens where you keep the device and refill it with an insulin vial when it is empty.

The key points to remember are:

  • Remember to give a 2 unit air shot to prime the needle, a larger dose may be needed when starting a new pen or vial
  • Dial up the correct dose
  • Insert into a fatty area with the needle at 90 degrees to the skin, you can read information on injection sites here
  • Depress the plunger fully to give the full dose
  • Count to ten before withdrawing the needle
  • Rotate your insulin injection sites i.e. do not inject in the same place every time
  • Dispose of your insulin needles after each dose by placing it in a sharps bin
  • You can keep your current insulin pen at room temperature but any pens or vials you are not using need to be kept in the fridge

We would recommend watching the video below which covers the above points:

Monitoring your sugar levels

If you are injecting a long acting insulin once a day then we would recommend checking your blood sugar each morning before breakfast. These readings can then be used to adjust your dose.

If you are also taking a fast acting insulin with meals then we would recommend checking your sugar levels before each dose.

Sick Day Rules

If you are unwell then this can affect your sugar levels. We would recommend reading the relevant leaflet from TREND for your type of Diabetes: