If you are experiencing a medical emergency please dial 911 immediately
Insulin pens are either reusable or disposable. You must put a cartridge of insulin in a reusable pen. Disposable pens come filled with insulin.
After you are sure the pen has insulin, screw on a new needle.
Remove the outer cap from the needle. Keep this outer cap. You will use it later to safely dispose of the needle.
Remove the inner cover from the needle. Be careful not to prick yourself. Prime your insulin pen following the manufacturer's instructions.
If you use alcohol to clean the skin before you give the injection, let it dry.
If you covered the needle with the outer cap, remove it now. Check to make sure that you have the right dose. Then, using the hand not holding the insulin pen, slightly pinch a fold of skin between your fingers and thumb.
Push the needle all the way into the pinched-up area.
Let go of the pinched-up area, and push the plunger of the pen all the way in. Count to 10 (or to the number that the manufacturer recommends) before taking the needle out.
Put only the outer cap back over the needle. The thin, inner cover is harder to put back on and you may stick yourself.
After covering the needle with the outer cap, unscrew the needle and throw it away in a sharps container or other solid plastic container. You can get a sharps container at your pharmacy.
Last Revised: August 13, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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