Understanding the V-Go: Patch Pump for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

V-Go: Patch Pump for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin is produced in the pancreas, which is used to control and maintain blood sugars in the body. For people with Type 1 diabetes their pancreas does not make any insulin and people with Type 2 diabetes their pancreas doesn’t work as well and makes less insulin. This requires people with Type 1 diabetes to receive multiple doses of insulin daily compared to Type 2 diabetes who may require only one injection daily but over time if diabetes progresses they may need multiple injections per day.

V-Go is not like traditional insulin pumps. It’s a patch pump that allows patients with Type 2 diabetes to receive insulin. You fill the V-Go patch pump with rapid acting insulin (Novolog™ or Humalog™), and then once filled the patch is applied to the body. It can be placed on the abdomen or back of the arms. With the push of a button the needle is inserted into the skin and slow amounts of insulin is delivered throughout 24 hours and when needed with meals without requiring any tubes or batteries.

device_diagram_basicThe V-Go pump does two things; it gives background insulin (basal) and also gives mealtime insulin (bolus.) The V-Go pump comes in three different strengths, V-Go 20, V-Go 30, and V-Go 40. These numbers refer to the amount of background insulin that is released in a 24 hour period. During meals when background insulin is not sufficient, V-Go allows you to give 2 units increments of mealtime insulin (bolus) by the push of two buttons. For example if you require 6 units of mealtime insulin then you would have to push the buttons 3 times each. All three strengths of V-Go can be filled with up to 36 units of mealtime insulin (bolus). The amount of background insulin will be either 20 units, 30 units or 40 units delivered throughout the 24 hours. Depending on how much insulin you need, your healthcare provider will help choose the best strength for you. After 24 hours the patch is removed and should be disposed of in a sharps container and a new one should be attached.

The V-go pump may be a good option for patients with Type 2 diabetes who are using multiple injections per day and want to decrease the number of daily injections. This patch pump allows for 24 hour coverage as well as availability of dosing insulin at meals without needles/insulin pens/syringes or vials.

This article is brought to you by our guest writers:
Sohil Patel, PharmD Candidate 2015 and Nadia Shaikh, PharmD, Fellow and
Jennifer D. Goldman, PharmD, CDE, BC-ADM, FCCP Professor of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy Boston, MCPHS University Clinical Pharmacist, Well Life, Peabody, MA

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