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Health Journey Support | Injecting Insulin Using a Syringe

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you inject insulin using a syringe to help you control your blood sugar level. This brochure will teach you how to inject your insulin using a syringe.

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Injecting Insulin Using a Syringe

Your health care provider may recommend that you inject insulin using a syringe to help you control your blood sugar level. Injecting insulin with a syringe involves: choosing an injection site, preparing the syringe and insulin, and injecting the insulin into your body.

Your health care provider will tell you what type of insulin you need, as well as when and how much you need to inject.

Things you will need:

  • Alcohol wipes
  • Your bottle of insulin
  • A new syringe for each injection
  • A sharps disposal container to throw away the used syringes
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Selecting your injection site

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The areas for insulin injection include: the abdomen or belly, upper arms, the thighs and the buttocks.

When selecting your injection site:

  • Use a different spot each time you give yourself an injection
  • Choose a spot at least one inch away from your last injection site and any scar or mole
  • Inject your insulin at least two inches from your belly button

Preparing your syringe and insulin

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Step 1 Wash your hands with soap and water and then dry them.

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Step 2 If your insulin needs to be mixed, gently roll the bottle between your hands twenty times to mix evenly.

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Do not shake the bottle. It may cause clumps to form in your insulin

Before injecting yourself, make sure your insulin is:

  • The type your doctor prescribed
  • Not past the expiration date
  • Not discolored
  • Free of clumps

Step 3

  • Remove the cap from your insulin bottle
  • Use an alcohol wipe to clean the rubber stopper on the top of the bottle

Be sure to use a new syringe each time you inject insulin.

Step 4 Remove the syringe from its package.

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Step 5 Remove the needle cap from the syringe.

Do not:

  • Touch the needle
  • Allow it to touch any surface
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Step 6 Pull back the plunger to draw in an amount of air that is equal to your insulin dose.

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Step 7

  • Hold your insulin bottle on a flat surface and push the needle through the rubber on the top of the bottle
  • Push the plunger to inject the air into the insulin bottle
  • Leave the needle in the bottle. This helps to keep the right amount of pressure in the bottle and makes it easier to draw insulin into the syringe

Step 8 With the needle still in the bottle, turn it upside down

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Step 9

  • Pull back the plunger to fill the syringe with just a little more than the insulin dose you need
  • If you see bubbles, tap the barrel of the syringe to make them rise to the top
  • Slowly push in the plunger just enough to push out the air and extra insulin

Step 10

  • Carefully check to make sure the amount of insulin in the syringe matches your insulin dose
  • Pull the needle out of the bottle and lay the syringe on a flat, clean surface

Make sure the needle doesn't touch anything

Injecting the insulin

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Step 1

  • Clean your injection site with an alcohol wipe
  • Use a circular motion to clean a spot about two inches wide
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Step 2 Pinch a two-inch fold of skin in the cleaned injection spot.

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Step 3 Hold the syringe like a pencil, and quickly insert the needle straight into your skin at a ninety-degree angle.

Make sure the whole needle enters your skin.

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Step 4

  • Push the plunger all the way down to inject the insulin into the fat tissue beneath your skin
  • Slowly count to five before removing the needle to make sure you have injected all of the insulin
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Step 5 Pull the needle straight out to remove it.

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Step 6 Throw away the syringe into your sharps disposal container.

Never throw your syringes or needles directly into the trash.

Contact your health care provider if:

  • You have questions about injecting your insulin.
  • Your blood sugar level stays above or below your target range