Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

Since the numbers for a sliding scale of Humalog looked liked 20, 40, etc (u was written with hyphen behind the number), I gave my son 40 units were taken instead of 4 units, his blood sugar dropped to 60 mg/dl [3.3 mmol/L] after two hours, and his pulse became very heavy and fast. I gave sugar after this happened. My son takes 40 units in the morning so I did not even start to doubt the numbers.

The overdose happened twice, and then I found out that the "0" was actually a "u" standing for unit. If I would have known the formula for sliding scale I would have been fine or if the "u" would have been before the actual number I would have been fine too. Are there any damages (heart, etc.) to expect?


You bring up a concern that we as health care providers need to be vigilant about -- i.e., writing doses clearly. The biggest danger of overdosing on Humalog insulin is hypoglycemia. Your son seems to have experienced it to a mild degree, and you and treated it appropriately. Had it not been treated appropriately, such a high dose of Humalog might have caused severe hypoglycemia and potentially serious complications. With your appropriate treatment there should be no long term complications. I write "units" on my prescriptions for patients instead of abbreviating with "u" to try to help avoid this problem.


Original posting 16 Jan 2002
Posted to Insulin


  Home Return to Top

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:30
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2015. Comments and Feedback.