Your healthcare provider may recommend that you inject insulin using an insulin pen to help you control your blood sugar level. This brochure will teach you how to inject your insulin using an insulin pen.
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Using an Insulin Pen
Your health care provider may recommend that you inject insulin using an insulin pen to help control your blood sugar level. Injecting insulin with a pen involves: choosing an injection site, preparing and priming your pen 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:
Types of Insulin Pens
Most pens are disposable with pre-filled insulin. When the insulin runs out, you throw the pen away. Some pens are reusable and have an insulin cartridge that you load into the pen. Follow the instructions that came with your pen.
Selecting Your Injection Site
The areas for insulin injection include: the abdomen or belly, upper arms, the thighs, and the buttocks.
When selecting your injection site:
Preparing Your Insulin Pen
Step 1 Wash your hands with soap and water and then dry them.
Step 2 Remove the cap from your pen.
Step 3 If your insulin needs to be mixed, gently roll the pen between your hands ten times. Then turn your pen up and down ten times.
Do not shake your pen. It may cause clumps to form in your insulin.
Before injecting yourself, make sure the insulin in your pen is:
Step 4 Use an alcohol wipe to clean the end of the pen where the needle attaches.
Be sure to use a new needle each time you inject insulin.
Step 5 Remove the pull-tab from the needle.
Step 6 With the outer and inner needle caps still in place, use the instructions to attach the needle to your pen.
Priming Your Insulin Pen
It is important to prime the pen before injecting your insulin.
Priming the pen:
Step 1 Turn the dosage dial until you see two units displayed in the dosage indicator.
If you need to set your pen down, make sure the needle does not touch anything.
Injecting the Insulin
Step 1 Turn the dosage dial to the number of insulin units you need to inject.
Step 2 Clean your injection site with an alcohol wipe. Use a circular motion to clean a spot about two inches wide.
Step 3 If you replaced your pen's inner needle cap, remove it now.
Step 4 Pinch a two-inch fold of skin in the cleaned injection spot, if the needle is 6mm or longer.
Step 5 Quickly insert the pen's needle straight into your skin at a ninety-degree angle. Make sure the whole needle enters your skin.
Step 7 Pull the needle straight out to remove it.
Step 8 Carefully put the outer cap back onto the needle. Then turn the capped needle to remove it from the pen. Make sure you remove the needle after each injection.
Never store your insulin pen with the needle attached.
Step 9 Throw away the needle into your sharps disposal container.
Never throw your needles directly into the trash.
Contact your health care provider if: