Guide: Asking Your Doctor About Using an Insulin Patch
Editor’s Note: Educational content related to insulin patch technology is made possible with support from CeQur Simplicity, an active partner of Beyond Type 1 at the time of publication.. Editorial control rests solely on Beyond Type 1.
When it comes to taking your insulin, you have options! That’s a wonderful thing because we all have different preferences when it comes to diabetes management.
The latest in diabetes technology includes a device that makes taking your insulin even easier: a wearable insulin patch.
The CeQur Simplicity insulin patch is one of the newest and simplest ways to manage your daily mealtime insulin needs. In fact, it’s so new that your doctor may not even know about it. There’s also the V-Go “patch-like” insulin device which offers some of the same benefits with a few key differences.
Here are some things to discuss with your doctor to help you determine if a wearable insulin patch is right for you!
What is an insulin patch?
With two styles of insulin patch technology on the market, here’s a rundown of how each works.
CeQur Simplicity: The CeQur Simplicity insulin patch is as simple as giving an injection but far more convenient and discreet. It’s the thinnest and lightest wearable insulin-delivery device on the market.
With an easy-at-home insertion process that places a small, flexible cannula in your skin to deliver insulin, the patch is worn on your abdomen.
V-Go: The V-Go device is inserted at home similarly to the CeQur Simplicity. The size of the device is a bit larger in size than CeQur, but it offers the same easy discretion when it comes to actually take your insulin—pressing buttons instead of taking an injection.
Who can use an insulin patch?
CeQur Simplicity: The CeQur Simplicity insulin patch is FDA-approved for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in people 21 years of age and older. It can be used with rapid-acting insulin to cover your mealtime doses and corrections for high blood sugars.
If you also take long-acting insulin for your basal (also known as “background”) insulin needs, you would still need to take that injection along with using the CeQur Simplicity patch for your meals and corrections.
V-Go: The V-Go patch-like device is FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes in people 21 years of age and older. It uses rapid-acting insulin like the CeQur Simplicity.
The V-Go device can cover both your mealtime and background insulin needs, but if you use more than 40 units of insulin per day, it may not be a great fit for you.
How does an insulin patch work?
CeQur Simplicity: Dosing your insulin with the CeQur Simplicity patch is easy. With a simple squeeze of the buttons on either side of the device, it delivers insulin in 2-unit increments for dosing insulin at meals and correcting blood sugars.
For example, if you need to take six units of rapid-acting insulin for your meal, you simply squeeze the buttons three times.
V-Go: Similar to the CeQur Simplicity, there are buttons on the side of the V-Go device. Each squeeze of these buttons delivers 2-units of insulin at a time for meals and correcting high blood sugars.
The V-Go can also be programmed to deliver a steady rate of rapid-acting insulin per hour to cover your background “basal” insulin needs.
How much insulin does it hold?
Before inserting the device into a new location on your abdomen, you’ll fill it with a specific amount of insulin. The difference in how much each device holds is important to consider when talking about insulin patch technology with your doctor.
CeQur Simplicity: The patch can hold between 100 to 200 units of rapid-acting insulin and be worn for up to three days. After three days, you simply remove it and place a new patch in a new area on your abdomen. If you use 200 units of insulin in two days, you would simply change the patch every two days instead of every three.
V-Go: It’s only worn for one day and is recommended for people who use 20, 30, or 40 units of basal insulin per day. For some people with higher insulin needs, this may not cover a full 24-hour period making it a less appropriate choice.
Is it covered by most insurance plans?
Yes, both CeQur Simplicity and V-Go are covered by most insurance plans and Medicare.
Without insurance coverage, this technology will likely cost you $300 to $500 per month.
Can an insulin patch help me improve my A1c?
Diabetes technology can never guarantee an improvement in your A1c. With any insulin delivery method, improving your A1c comes down to a variety of factors—including accurate insulin doses, non-insulin medications, nutrition choices and lifestyle habits.
That being said, diabetes technology like an insulin patch can help you take your insulin as prescribed by your healthcare team—which can certainly lead to improvements in your A1c.
If you often forget to take your insulin with injections, having your insulin right there with you in a patch system can make it easier to remember. Taking an injection of insulin in public might be another reason you’ve skipped doses in the past, which also means using an insulin patch helps you take your insulin when you need it.
If your current insulin management regimen makes it difficult for you to take your insulin as prescribed, an insulin patch has the potential to help you improve your A1c because it makes it easier to take your insulin.
How is an insulin patch different than an insulin pump?
Insulin patch devices fall somewhere between the simplicity of injections and the fancy technology of a pump. Far simpler to set up and use on a daily basis, they don’t come with all the additional programming capabilities of an insulin pump. For many people, that’s a good thing.
If you’re looking for a more convenient and discreet way to take your insulin, but you want to keep the technology and programming simple, an insulin patch could be a great fit for you.
I want to try it, how do I get started?
Get started by asking your doctor for a prescription for the CeQur Simplicity or the V-Go. You can also check out the CeQur Simplicity Patient Starter Kit.
Change can be overwhelming! But any change that helps you manage your blood sugars more easily is a good thing.