How to Convert U-100 and U-40 Insulin and Syringes

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Insulin is available in a variety of strengths – commonly referred to as U-100 or U-40. A "U" is a unit. The numbers 40 or 100 refer to how much insulin (the number of units) is in a set volume of fluid – which in this case is one milliliter. For example, U-100 has 100 units per milliliter and U-40 has 40 units per milliliter. So...U-100 insulin is more concentrated. There is essentially 2 ½ times more insulin in a milliliter as compared to U-40.

To go with the different insulin's, there are different insulin syringes that match the insulin. Some syringes are U-40 and others are U-100. It is important to use the right syringe with the right insulin to achieve the correct dosage of insulin. Your veterinarian should prescribe syringes and insulin that match. The bottle and the syringes each should indicate if they are U-100 or U-40. Again, make sure they match.

It is possible to "convert" and mix and match the insulin syringes. Using non-matching equipment is not ideal and should only be done after consulting with your veterinarian and confirming the "dose" and what equipment you have (it is ideal to have someone double check you and your math – this is no place for experiments or errors!).

Although matching insulin and syringes is ideal, on occasion, an owner will find themselves with insulin and syringes that don't match. Below is a conversion chart to help in those situations. You will find the amount you need to use with the conversion next to it.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that you communicate with your veterinarian prior to any changes. It is important that he or she know exactly how much insulin your cat is getting. Because of the "conversion" – you need to be sure to tell them – the type of insulin and strength (U-100 or U-40), the type of insulin syringe (U-40 or U-100) and the amount so they can really determine how much insulin your cat is getting.

If you want to administer this amount of U-40 insulin Draw up this amount in a U-100 syringe
0.2 0.5
0.4 1.0
0.6 1.5
0.8 2.0
1.0 2.5
1.2 3.0
1.4 3.5
1.6 4.0
1.8 4.5
2.0 5.0
2.2 5.5
2.4 6.0
2.6 6.5
2.8 7.0
3.0 7.5
3.2 8.0
3.4 8.5
3.6 9.0
3.8 9.5
4.0 10.0
4.2 10.5
4.4 11.0
4.6 11.5
4.8 12.0
5.0 12.5
5.2 13.0
5.4 13.5
5.6 14.0
5.8 14.5
6.0 15.0
6.2 15.5
6.4 16.0
6.6 16.5
6.8 17.0
7.0 17.5
7.2 18.0
7.4 18.5
7.6 19.0
7.8 19.5
8.0 20.0
8.2 20.5
8.4 21.0
8.6 21.5
8.8 22.0
9.0 22.5
9.2 23.0
9.4 23.5
9.6 24.0
9.8 24.5
10.0 25.0
10.2 25.5
10.4 26.0
10.6 26.5
10.8 27.0
11.0 27.5
11.2 28.0
11.4 28.5
11.6 29.0
11.8 29.5
12.0 30.0

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for PetPlace.com, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.