The insulin pen has become a popular replacement for the needle and vial that have regularly been used to inject insulin. It is referred to as an insulin pen due to its striking resemblance to a writing instrument, but instead of ink, this pen holds a self-contained cartridge of insulin. Although it is certainly a convenience for those with diabetes, there are an alarming number of people who are not aware of the risks involved. 

It is critical that those injecting insulin are practicing safe methods, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released several tips to remind insulin pen users of proper practices.

Insulin pens come in disposable and reusable forms, and most problems occur with reusable pens. Many believe that simply changing the needle will prevent transmission of blood borne pathogens, but blood can still find its way into the insulin cartridge. The use of an insulin pen should always be restricted to a single individual.

To prevent the sharing of insulin pens, the CDC recommends several points of advice. First of all, an insulin pen should always be labeled clearly with the patients name or other identifier. Every facility that treats those with diabetes should also be reviewing their policies with employees and educating staff of the importance of insulin pen safety. If the sharing of pens is discovered, all users involved should be immediately examined.

However, sharing is not the only problem associated with insulin pens. There have been a few cases in which the insulin pen has either been ineffective or harmful, due to patients’ unfamiliarity with the proper use of the pen. Even after the needle is injected, the small button on the top of the insulin pen must still be pushed to inject the insulin, and with the small dial, it is all too easy to inject the wrong dose.

Knowing how to use your insulin pen can greatly improve your level of safety. The detrimental effects of low blood sugar make it too dangerous to be uninformed. Once you have been educated on how to use an insulin pen, there are several injection points in which insulin can be administered, such as the arm, thigh and stomach. Avoid scar tissue or varicose veins to ensure the best absorption, and keep injection sites about an inch apart when rotating, to prevent scarring. Regardless of the site, always inject the insulin pen straight and hold for a few seconds to prevent insulin from leaking.

An insulin pen is an easy way to inject insulin, which is handy for those who have diabetes, but only when administered correctly. Your safety is what is most vital, and if you are struggling with the use of your insulin pen, there is no need to worry. At Focus Express Mail Pharmacy, we have years of experience, and we are consistently educating ourselves to better serve our customers. If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call us. We will happily provide advice and recommendations.