For most of us, our insulin pens are a daily part of life. But there are a lot of things that you may not have known about the handy little tool that you use day in and day out. Here are four facts about your insulin pen that may come as a surprise.
1. Leaving the Needle In Can Cause Infection. Keeping needles sterile is incredibly important for insulin pen users, since an unsterile needle can cause injury and can even introduce infection into the body. We always tell Timesulin users that it’s especially important to switch out the needles between injections and always keep the protective covering over the needles.
2. Insulin Pens Don’t Let You Mix Insulins. Occasionally, your doctor might prescribe mixing two types of insulin to help you better manage your blood glucose. While some types of insulin should never be mixed (your doctor will tell you what to mix and how to mix it), insulins that can be mixed together can’t be administered together through an insulin pen. Instead, it requires two injections – an initial dose of one insulin followed immediately by the second type of insulin.
3. It’s Necessary to “Waste” a Small Bit of Insulin. Using an insulin pen requires you to waste a tiny bit of insulin before your dose. This is because it’s important to make sure that insulin is inside the needle, otherwise you risk giving yourself an inaccurate insulin dose or none at all. This is even more more important when you are traveling in an airplane with different pressure.
4. Insulin Pen Needles are Less Painful Than Syringes. While this point might be subjective, the needles in insulin pens do differ from traditional syringes in that the polish and coat on an insulin pen needle stays sharp and isn’t dulled by first being injected into an insulin vial. The dulling that happens with traditional syringes when loading insulin can sometimes make it more painful to administer an injection.
While there are still pros and cons to using insulin pens versus a traditional syringe, there are a huge number of benefits that insulin pens can offer. Dosing is incredibly easy, as you don’t need to manually draw from a vial – just click in the right dose. The variety of pens, including disposable ones, make the possibility of losing a pen a lot less stress inducing. Plus, they are easier to transport, more convenient to use, less conspicuous, and you can use technology like our Timesulin replacement cap to make your insulin injections easier to remember.
What do you like and dislike about your insulin pens? Let us know in the comments!