Diabetic patients must take their blood sugar levels and then find the corresponding insulin dosage to that range on the sliding scale chart, as Healthline explains. They should perform this procedure before every meal to administer the correct amount of insulin roughly four times a day.
Sliding scale insulin therapy is a commonly used method of determining the amount of insulin an individual needs, according to Healthline. Blood sugar readings must be taken immediately before meals and bedtime or every six hours for a total of at least four readings each day. The patient's blood sugar reading corresponds with an insulin dosage that must be administered before the next meal. Fast-acting insulin is used in most cases to rapidly correct high or low blood sugar readings.
Sliding scale insulin therapy is different from fixed-dose insulin therapy in that it takes into account blood sugar before meals and the amount of food eaten, as Healthline explains. Sliding scale insulin therapy has come under scrutiny as of 2015 because studies have found it can lead to rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels. In addition, sliding scale insulin therapy does not take weight, diet or insulin history into account. Sliding scale insulin therapy does not prevent fluctuations in blood sugar caused by future meals. Instead, it only corrects fluctuations caused by previous meals.