Instead of fumbling around with syringes and bottles of insulin, you can fumble around with an insulin pen. Just kidding. An insulin pen – sometimes called a pen syringe, injection pen or simply, pen – can be a more accurate and convenient delivery system of insulin into your bloodstream.
Pens are quite popular among diabetics. An insulin pen looks remarkably like a writing pen, only larger. It consist of a cartridge, a teensy-tiny needle and a dosage dial. The insulin cartridge may need to be replaced from time to time, while the pen needles are entirely disposable.
Types of Insulin Pens
You have a variety of options from the several manufacturers of insulin pens. Pre-filled pens are usually recommended for type 2 diabetics. They are disposable and need to be replaced once the insulin cartridge is empty. The drawback is that this type does not readily accommodate adjustments to exercise and diet.
The other main type of pen is the durable pen. It uses replaceable insulin cartridges that are discarded once the insulin is fully used. With a new cartridge in place the pen is ready for use again.
A relatively new addition is the insulin pen with a built-in memory. It keeps track of the time and date as well as the dose. Nice.
How to Use
Insulin pens are very easy to use. As well as their accuracy and obvious portability, pens may be even easier than using a bottle and syringe. Once you get this simple routine down, you'll see how easy it is.
First, find a good injection site. There are several candidates including the abdominal area, thighs, buttocks, the area of the back just above your waist, your leg or upper arm. Try to stay at least an inch away from the previous spot and two inches away from your navel or any scars. Also be careful not to use areas that are swollen, bruised or tender.
Some people first clean the injection site with an alcohol pad or a cotton ball dabbed with alcohol. I do not do this. The alcohol tends to make the injection sting. I have not developed any infections from this omission, but this is up to you – with your doctor's knowledge, of course.
Now remove the cover from the pen. Make sure there's enough insulin for the dose. Also make sure the insulin is not cloudy or otherwise unusable. Insert a disposable needle into its place (see the individual instructions for your pen). Once the needle is properly set, clear out any air bubbles in the pen. Hold the pen up and press the end of the pen until a drop of insulin comes out. You may need to repeat this a couple of times until you see a drop of insulin at the tip of the needle.
Set the dose of insulin you want to inject. Pinch and hold the site where you will inject the insulin. Insert the needle all the way and continue pinching your skin while you deliver the dose. Once you're done, put the insulin pen cover back in its place.
Nice and quick and easy.
To learn more about treating diabetes and controlling your blood sugar click on the link below.