An insulin pen is actually a device which is used to inject insulin. This pen has a cartridge of insulin, and it might be disposable or reusable.
You might need a new pen for each kind of insulin you use. As you probably already know, many people that have diabetes need to use insulin in order to keep their blood sugar in good range.
For most people, the first time is very scary. But the truth is that these insulin shots are not painful since the needles are thin and short. Below we will explain how to give a shot of insulin using an insulin pen.
The first thing you need to do it is to take it out of the fridge at least half an hour before you plan to use it.
Remember that insulin always needs to be injected at room temperature. The next thing you must do is wash your hands with water and soap, or use hand rub with alcohol.
Once your hands are clean take out the cap of the pen and with the help of a cotton swab wipe the needle attachment area. After this, next thing you need to do is to put the needle in the pen. You need to remove the tab, but not the outer cap.
Simply push it into the pen and turn it clockwise until you notice that you can turn no more. It is very important for the needle to be straight.
After that, remove the caps of the needle and the outer cap. You need to take out the inner cap, and you can throw it away since you won’t need it anymore.
Make sure to remove all the air from this pen, since the air might lead to pain during the injection. Next, turn the dial to 2 units. You should know that most insulin pens, click for each unit of insulin.
Firmly hold the pen and ensure to point the needle up. Then gently and carefully tap the pen in order to move the air bubbles so they can get to the top of this pen and then press the injection button.
A drop of insulin should appear on the tip, in case of no drop you need to replace the needle with a new one and do this step one more time.
In case of no drop after the third time you try this step, take a new pen. You need to pick the correct dose and turn the dial to the no. of unit necessary to inject. The pointer found on the side of the pen needs to line up with the needed dose.
You can turn the dial in either direction in order to pick the correct dose. Do not pick a bigger dose than the no. of units which are left in the cartridge.
In case you do not have enough insulin, you need to insert another disposable pen or cartridge.Or inject part of the dose with the left insulin. The next thing to do is use a new pen or cartridge to inject the remaining part of the dose.
You should know that you may inject insulin into your side or front of the thigh, abdomen, hip, upper arm and buttocks.
Furthermore, you should know that the insulin works fastest if you inject it into the abdomen. Bear in mind not to inject insulin into places where you have bruising or wound.
Use a different place each time you use insulin. For instance, you can inject it into different places in the abdomen. Insulin injected into the same place might lead to thickened skin, lumps or swelling.
The first thing you need to do is clear the area where you plan to inject the insulin. For that, you might use a cotton swab for alcohol or alcohol pad. Once you do that, make sure that the area is dry before you inject the insulin.
Next thing you need to do is grab a fold of skin. You need to pinch the fat and skin between the first finger and thumb and insert the needle into the skin.
Make sure not to hold the syringe at an angle and that the needle is all the way in the skin. Then let go the pinched tissue and push the button which is on top of the pen. You need to keep the needle in place for around 10 seconds.
After that time passes, you need to pull it out and replace the needle cap simply. Then press onto the injection are from 5 to 10 seconds, but do not rub. Take out the needle and turn the capped needle counter clockwise.
You need to put the needle in a metal coffee can or laundry detergent bottle. No matter what you choose, it is important for the container to have a lid or cap that will fit securely. Replace the cap of the pen and store it.
You should not store the pen with the needle. On the label, there are storage directions which you need to follow.
Unopened pens might be stored in the fridge until you use them. Most insulin pens need to be kept at room temperature, make sure to store yours in dry and cool place.
You need to throw away pens that have been exposed to temperatures above 30° C or 85° F. When you travel make sure to keep it in a cool pack.
On how to use your insulin pen feel free to consult your pharmacist, doctor or nurse.