Insulin Pen

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Insulin pen is like having an old-fashioned cartridge pen in your pocket, instead of a writing point, a needle, and for ink cartridge, an insulin cartridge. You just turn a dial to measure out your dose.

What is an Insulin pen?

An insulin pen looks similar to a fountain pen; however, it is used to inject insulin in the diabetes treatment. The insulin pen has insulin cartridge (to hold insulin, which can bought separately) and a dial ( to measure the dose) to inject the accurate amount of insulin.

Insulin pen

Insulin pen types

While there are a number of different brands and models available, most insulin pens fall into one of two groups:

  1. Reusable insulin pen - Insulin pen with disposable cartridge, needs to be replacing with newer cartridge when empty.
  2. Disposable insulin pens - just throw away the whole thing the pen itself when it is empty.

Reusable Insulin pen

For reusable insulin pen, you must load it with a cartridge of insulin (sold separately in boxes of five cartridges). Cartridges used today hold 150 or 300 units of insulin. Depending on the size of your doses, a cartridge may give you enough insulin to last for several days of injections. When the cartridge is empty, you throw it away and load a new cartridge. With good care, a reusable pen can often be useful for several years.

Disposable insulin pen

Disposable insulin pen comes pre filled with insulin and are thrown away when they are empty. Most disposable pens used today hold 300 units of insulin and are available in boxes of five. Disposable pens are generally more convenient than reusable pens because you do not need to load any cartridges, but they usually cost more than reusable pens.

Choosing an Insulin Pen as per ones needs

  • Number of units of insulin, the pen holds.
  • The largest dose size can be injecting with the pen.
  • How finely the dose can adjust by the pen. For example, one pen may adjust dose in two-unit increments (2, 4, 6, etc.), another in one-unit increments (1, 2, 3, etc.) and yet another in half-unit increments (1/2, 1, 1 1/2).
  • The way the pen indicates whether there is enough insulin left in it for your entire dose.
  • The size of the numbers on the pen dose dials, whether you need a magnifier to see it.
  • How do you correct a mistake if you dial the wrong dose into the pen?

Insulin pen usage procedure

One significant advantage of diabetes pens is their ease of use.

  • Screw on a new needle
  • If necessary, prime the pen to remove any air from the needle
  • Turn the knob on the end of the pen (or "dial") to the number of units needed
  • Insert the needle into the skin
  • Press the button on the end of the pen to deliver the dose
  • Count to five & remove

Insulin pen with pre filled medication

Insulin pens contain regular, NPH, insulin lispro, insulin aspart, insulin glulisine, or 70/30 or 75/25 premixed insulin. It is important to double-check your prescriptions after receiving pre-filled cartridges to make sure you got what you asked for. If you are using a pen with NPH, 70/30, or 75/25, you will need to follow package instructions to ensure the insulin is well mixed.

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