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Tips For Using Insulin Pens For Diabetics

Tips For Using Insulin Pens For Diabetics

Insulin diabetic pens are a simpler way of delivering insulin to a diabetic than by injecting using a syringe. Although larger than a pen, it is far simpler to carry with you and now widely used across most countries. But what are they and how do they work?

Insulin diabetic pens include a cartridge for the insulin, a disposable needle and a method of controlling the dosage. With the exception of pre-filled pens that will need to be completely replaced, only the cartridge itself in other pens will need to be changed when empty. Cartridge sizes usually have a capacity of 1.5 or 3.0 ml. The pen itself is quite robust and certainly more socially acceptable for the diabetic to use in public rather than syringes.

If you have Type 2 diabetes you may be prescribed a disposable insulin pen. These come pre-filled and with the dosage controlled. The main problem with having a controlled dose is it is not possible to make any adjustments if these are required. For example, if you are unwell, change your diet or when you do any vigorous exercise.

The more advanced diabetic pens (and more expensive) allow you to store details of your dosage and when it was administered, so you have a permanent record which is an advantage. Other benefits include ease of use, convenience, accuracy and that they are less painful to use.

You would prepare your injection site in the same way as if you were using a syringe. Select your site as normal, which is likely to be different depending on how many times a day you inject. Many people find the upper arm the best, but as this is personal choice it may be the thighs, abdomen, legs or buttocks. Common sense should prevail, and you should keep clear of any tender areas and a couple of inches away from recently used sites and any scars. Always make sure the area is swiped with an alcohol pad to clean it.

To use your pen, remove the cover, check the amount of insulin and clean the end of the pen. If necessary, gently roll the pen in your hand to mix the contents. Place the needle in the end and prime the pen to remove any air pockets by holding the pen up and gently depressing the end until a little insulin appears at the end of the needle.

Check your selected dosage is correct, pinch and hold the skin and insert the needle completely. Count to five, remove the insulin pen from the site and gently rub the area. Cover your diabetic pen and deal with the needles properly and off you go on your normal daily routine!