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All You Need to Know about Using Insulin Pen


All You Need to Know about Using Insulin Pen


Insulin is a chemical messenger which controls the blood sugar level in the human body. When its levels drops, a person must take insulin shots. Earlier, there was only one insulin method, which was through a syringe.


But now there is an advancement through insulin pen. It is a device that makes taking an insulin shot much more effortless. 


An insulin pen makes taking insulin injections easier as you do not need to measure the injected insulin amount. You can take between .5 to 80 units of the hormone in a single shot. The maximum dose amount can vary among the available pens, along with the cartridge amount. 


What are the Types of Insulin Pens?


Several brands are available in the market, and we can divide them into two categories. They are - disposable and reusable insulin pens. 


  • Disposable Pen

This type of insulin-containing pen comes pre-filled after using it once you need to throw the entire pen away. 


  • Reusable Pen

You can replace the insulin cartridge present in pen. When the cartridge empties, you must remove it and install a new one.


In the case of a reusable pen, you have to change the needle after each use. If you take good care of the device, you can use reusable insulin pens for a relatively longer period of time. Based on your requirement and the number of shots you need to take, you can opt for the type of insulin pen that suits your requirement. Besides that, the needle’s length and thickness may also vary depending on your need. You should always consult with your physician before buying the pens or injections.


How to Select the Site of the Injection?


Healthcare providers recommend multiple sites where you can take insulin shots using an insulin pen. Usually recommended sites for insulin shots are the buttocks, abdominal region, front and side thighs, and the final one is the upper arms or outer arms. It would be best if you never took an insulin shot near your groin, navel, any joint of the body, the middle part of the abdomen, or close to any scar tissue. 


It is better to keep on changing the injection sites. Suppose you keep administering insulin to your body through the same area. In that case, the muscle under that region will get hardened over time. The hardened muscular area will prevent the insulin from functioning properly. So, to make the whole process comfortable and safer, you should keep rotating the insulin pen needle insertion sides. A few guidelines will help you pick the ideal site for taking insulin shots through an insulin injection pen.


  • Confer with your healthcare provider to determine the ideal site for insulin injection. 
  • Take two inches of the body surface as the insulin injection administration site. 
  • If you have to take several insulin shots in a week, you should keep moving the injection site every time by one and a half inches. 
  • Try to keep performing the procedure at a particular time of the day, so your body gets used to it. 
  • Whenever you give yourself an insulin injection, note down the date and time and, most importantly, the administration site. 

Another important thing is that depending on the type and dose of insulin, and the body may absorb the insulin differently. 


How Can You Use an Insulin Pen?


Before you use an insulin pen, you need to collect the following things:


  • Any insulin injection pen prescribed by your doctor. 


  • Needles that you need to attach with the device along with alcohol wipes.


  • Every time you use the device, you must follow the process mentioned below.


  • Wash your hands before touching anything.


  • Remove the protective cap of the pen.


  • You need to check whether the insulin gets clumped inside the cartridge. Fast-acting insulin inside the device should be clear and colorless.


  • If the insulin inside the cartridge appears cloudy, roll the pen in your hands quite a few times. After that, keep the injecting pen tilted for 1 minute. Do not shake the insulin pen while it is in a tilted position. 


  • Clean the rubber top with sterile alcohol wipes. 



  • Every pen needle has a paper tab on top. To secure the injecting needle to the device, pull the paper tab, put the new needle onto the pen, and attach it like a screw. After screwing it, remove the outer cap. Please do not throw the outer cap as it is required to take the needle out of the pen after taking inulin in the body with the help of the pen. Finally, remove the inner cap.


  • After choosing the injection site, you can inject the insulin into the body. It would be perfect if you kept the needle at a 90-degree angle which the doctor usually prescribes. 


  • Push and keep pressing the button for 5 to 10 seconds to ensure that the entire amount of insulin gets absorbed in the body. 


  • The next step is priming, where you need to ensure that no air bubbles remain on the insulin pen to ensure that the needle keeps on working. Before every single shot of the injection, you need to perform priming. 


  • Keep the pen pointed in the upward direction and keep the dosage knob at two units. Push the knob after that. It would be best if you kept performing the procedure until no drop of insulin appeared at the top of the needle.


  • Finally, after completing the whole process, remove the needle from the insulin pen and dispose of it properly. 


Final Words

Insulin injection pens are one of the most convenient methods of administering insulin to the human body if blood sugar level alters. Anyone can take insulin by using these pens. All you need to accomplish is selecting the correct dose and knowing how to give an insulin shot. Choose either disposable or reusable insulin pens after consulting with your doctor. So, consistently check your blood sugar level using an insulin pen. 

Medanta Medical Team
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