Insulin Injection Tips From the Pharmacist: Part One

a doctor's prescription pad
Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a rookie when it comes to giving yourself insulin injections, there’s always something new to learn.

Many people are given a prescription by their doctor, especially for insulin and non-insulin injections, but are rarely educated on how to use these medications. Have you had this experience? You’re not alone! We have some tips to make your insulin injections easier.   

Rotate sites

When using an insulin or non-insulin product, it’s important to change the area where you are injecting. Injecting your medication into the same area multiple times can cause lipodystrophy (scarring of the fat) or lipoatrophy (loss of fat).

Also be sure to rotate the sides of your body where you inject. Regardless of where you’re injecting, make sure the skin is free of any scar tissue, moles, swelling, or any other unusual skin.

Know the areas you can inject

Knowing the areas that you can inject your insulin into can help you determine where to rotate. Most insulin and non-insulin products can be injected into the stomach, thighs, back of upper arms, and buttocks. If you inject into the stomach make sure you rotate injection sites around your belly button.

Never reuse needles

When injecting insulin, or even a non-insulin product, make sure you never reuse a needle. For comfort and safety, use your needles only once. Needle reuse can cause bleeding, bruising, or scaring, and can increase the risk of the needle breaking off into the skin.

After using a needle, you should place it into a sharps container to make sure it is properly disposed of. For more information on safe needle disposal, read here.

More to come tomorrow…

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