Skip to Content
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
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.
Don't share insulin pens with anyone else who uses insulin. Even when the needle is changed, an insulin pen can carry bacteria or blood that can make another person sick.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerDavid C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Current as ofMay 23, 2016
Current as of:
May 23, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
© Copyright 2017 Rush Copley Medical Center • 2000 Ogden Avenue; Aurora, IL 60504
Main: 630-978-6200 • Physician Referral & Information: 630-978-6700 or 866-4COPLEY (866-426-7539)