Step 1: Determine whether the patient will be using insulin VIALS or CARTRIDGES (in an insulin pen)

•   most patients on insulin use pens/cartridges


Step 2: Specify how much will be dispensed

•   insulin cartridges come in a BOX of 5 x 3 mL cartridges, at a concentration of 100 U/mL  (thus 1 box = 1500 U)

•   be sure of what BRAND of insulin the patient is using and if they already have a pen.  Novolin (e.g. Aspart/Novorapid, Toronto, NPH, Detemir/Levemir) will only work in Novolin pens.  Humulin (e.g. Lispro/Humalog, R, N) will only work in Humulin pens.  Glargine/Lantus and Glulisine/Apidra have their own pens. 

•  vials can be dispensed in any amount.  One 10 cc vial will have 1000 U

Step 3: Don’t forget to include test strips, lancets, pen needles/tips


For patients receiving Ontario Drug Benefits, you may need to add a Limited Use code for certain insulins (Humalog, Humalog Mix 25, Novorapid, Novomix 30).  Contact your pharmacist for details.


Sample prescriptions:

Novolin NPH penfills  supply: 1 box of 5 x 3 cc cartridges, Repeat x #

Humalog penfills  supply: 1 box, Repeat x #

Humulin N vial  supply: 1 vial, Repeat x #

Pentips/pen needles  supply: 1 box, Repeat x #

Lancets  supply: 1 box, repeat x #


Alternatively, feel free to print and use the following excellent insulin prescription form from the Ontario College of Family Physicians:


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