Q&A: Insulin and PICCs

Q: What kind of IV solutions can be given through a PICC line? Is it safe to give Humolog insulin or should I start another IV line?

A:  PICC is short for peripherally inserted central catheter. It is a central vascular access device (CVAD) inserted into an extremity and advanced in the venous system until the distal tip is positioned in the vena cava. CVAD can be used to administer short-or-long term continuous or intermittent infusion solutions such as antineoplastic medications, vesicants or known irritants, peripheral nutrition, a variety of antibiotics, and any medications with a pH of less than 5 or greater than 9 and osmolarity of greater than 5 or greater than 9 and osmolarity of greater than 600mOsm/L.

Humalog insulin can be administered intravenously through a PICC.  Consideration should be given to what other solution/medication  is infusing through the  line. It is always best to consult your pharmacist for proper concentration, infusion method, admixture, stability and clinical monitoring protocol when administering intravenous insulin.

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One response to “Q&A: Insulin and PICCs

  1. Eva

    Yes, insulin can be given in a central line, PICC. However, using the PICC would not be my first choice because I would anticipate the need for frequent blood specimen collections. I would want to collect the blood from the PICC, so I would rather have a separate peripheral IV for the insulin and use the PICC for maintenance fluids or intermittent IV medications, and blood specimen collections.