In our latest question and also answer, the pharmacist discusses exactly how to convert insulin units to milligrams and also milliliters.

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Peggy asked

How carry out you transform the Humalog insulin between units and also milligrams? What around conversion to milliliters?



It"s incredibly uncommon to check out insulin provided in milligrams (mg). The insulin assets you acquire at the pharmacy will constantly be labeled in units, or as a concentration in terms of units (e.g., U100 means 100 devices of insulin every 1mL of liquid).

The term "units" describes International devices (IU), i beg your pardon is a measure up of the "biological activity" the a specificdrug or substance. International Units are offered over a standard metric measure up (such together milligrams) to make it much easier to compare different forms that the same drug. Essentially, the usage of international Units is a means to standardize.

For example, you might see "Vitamin A" accessible as a range of develops in"over the counter" supplements, including:


Although castle both provide "Vitamin A", lock have various biological activities (i.e., potencies) concerning how lot "Vitamin A" they in reality provide. Therefore, they have been standardized with worldwide Units as follows:

One worldwide Unit (IU) equals:

0.3 mcg of retinol0.6 mcg the beta-carotene

In the same vein, because that Vitamin E, one international Unit (IU) equals:

0.67 mg of d-alpha-tocopherol0.9 mg that dl-alpha-tocopherol

Units come Milligrams Insulin Conversion


The conversion variable for human insulin is: One global Unit (IU) equals 0.0347 mg of insulin.

International Units are far less complicated to understand, particularly when it pertains to dosing, because that insulin. Having a prescription to speak "inject ten units" is less complicated to understand than "inject 0.347 mg".

Similarly, when detailed as a concentration, such as the frequently used U100 (which method 100 systems of insulin every 1mL), systems correspond tidily with a volume (e.g., 20 devices is consisted of in 0.2 mL).

Nevertheless, if you room so inclined come convert between units the insulin and milligrams, you have the right to use this comfortable conversion tool:

Insulin: devices To Mg Tool

Type a value in any of the areas to convert in between Insulin measurements:

international Units (IU)
Milligrams (mg)

*Note: The tool rounds come the "hundredths" ar for milligrams

Converting Insulin Milliliters come Units

While we are on the subject of converting systems of insulin come milligrams, the is important to comment on a common source of confusion concerning insulin dosing, i beg your pardon is the relationship in between milliliters and units.

Insulin products are provided in regards to a concentration, such as U100 or U500.

U40 stands for:

40 units of insulin per 1mL (milliliter)

U100 stand for:

100 units of insulin per 1mL (milliliter)

U500 stands for:

500 systems of insulin per 1mL (milliliter)

So, if you have a U100 insulin product, and also you need to inject 50 units, that would certainly come out to 0.5 mL.

Similarly, if you have a U500 insulin product, and also you must inject 50 units, that would certainly come out to 0.1 mL.

You have the right to convert between units and also mL because that the many common kind of insulin concentration, U100, below.

U100 Insulin come mL Converter

Type in units of U100 insulin to convert to mL:


Milliliters: 0

If you space using syringes to attract up and also inject her insulin, the is vitally crucial to be certain you are using the correct ones to avoid dosing errors.

For example, girlfriend cannot use U100 syringes if you room utilizing a U500 insulin product. Drawing increase half-way, come 0.5 mL, top top a U100 syringe will certainly equal a sheep of 50 systems of a U100 insulin. However, law the same (drawing as much as 0.5mL) through a U500 product would certainly yield 250 units!

Insulin Analogs Vs. Human being Insulin


There is likewise another, really important reason, why insulin products aren"t provided in milligrams and also that has to do through the presence of Insulin analogs.

Insulin analogs and human insulin technically usage the very same conversion (1 Unit = 0.0347 milligrams) and are taken into consideration "equipotent".

Nevertheless, there space significant differences in the pharmacokinetic profiles of every (e.g., how they are took in and metabolized).

Human Insulin

"Human" insulins include:

Regular insulin (example products include Humulin R and Novolin R).NPH insulin (example commodities include Humulin N and Novolin N).

Regular human being insulin products are taken into consideration "fast-acting", through an start of activity around 30 minutes. High concentration continual human insulin (U500), have a slightly faster beginning of action andduration that action.

NPH (Neutral Protamine Hagedorn) insulin is also known together isophane insulin and is intermediate-acting. The is continual human insulin with added zinc and protamine, which reasons a delay in absorption and also prolongs the expression of action.

Insulin Analogs

Insulin analogs are transformed forms of insulin and also are manufactured via genetic engineering. Analogs are developed in such a means to alter their pharmacokinetic characteristics from human insulin.

For example, there are number of "rapid" acting insulin analogs, and also have a faster start of activity than human insulin products. These include:

There are additionally long-acting insulin analogs, through alonger expression of action than NPH insulin. This include:

Conversions between Human and Analog Insulin

Although all insulin commodities are taken into consideration "equipotent" in regard come the truth that 1 unit that each amounts to 0.0347 mg, as explained above, castle have significant differences in your onset of action, time to peak effect, and also duration that action.

Therefore, that doesn"t make much sense to quantify them every in the same method in terms of their milligram toughness as it could easily reason confusion and dosing errors.

Most insulin products, in your prescribing information, discuss how to transform or switch between different types, with plenty of recommending a one-to-one counter (with caveats).

For example, the prescribing details for Levemir (a long-acting insulin) proposal the complying with if you space switching from one NPH insulin:

"For patient with kind 1 or form 2 diabetes top top basal-bolus treatment, transforming the basal insulin come LEVEMIR can be excellent on a unit-to-unit basis. The sheep of LEVEMIR have to then be changed to accomplish glycemic targets. In part patients with kind 2 diabetes, more LEVEMIR may be forced than NPH insulin."Levemir package Insert

Final Words

To pave it every up, there normally is not a should convert in between units and also milligrams of insulin, yet we have listed a device if you great to use it.

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More commonly, that is crucial to convert between units and milliliters, and also we have detailed tools in this write-up to make that basic for you as well.