Insulin Injection Tips From the Pharmacist: Part Two

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Hopefully, you found part one of this series of injection tips helpful! If you haven’t read part one, go back and read those tips here before you read on.

The following are some additional tips and tricks that can help you with your injectible insulin medications.   

See if your medication has injection training

Many manufacturers have clinical educators that can help answer any questions you may have about your insulin. You can meet with these educators over the phone or face to face.

The following manufacturers have a support program. If your insulin is not on the list, be sure to check their website online or call their customer support for more information.

Ask your pharmacist

Your local pharmacist might be more accessible than your doctor, so be sure to check in with them if you have questions regarding your insulin injections. Almost every pharmacist is trained to give injections, and well versed in proper injection practices!

Choose your needle size wisely

There are many choices when it comes to the length and thickness of an insulin needle. There are insulin syringes, pen needles, and more. The choices can be overwhelming. But how do they differ?

First important thing to remember—the bigger the gauge, the less thick it actually is. This means that a 32 gauge needle is less thick than a 28 gauge neede. Counterintuitive, I know.

Length is also an important factor when it comes to choosing a needle for your insulin. A longer needle can accidentally lead to an intramuscular injection, rather than a subcutaneous injection. A shorter, thinner needle also reduces pain.

Hold the needle in place

After injecting your insulin, it’s suggested that you hold the needle in place for about 5-10 seconds, although it does differ based on the insulin you take.

How long should you hold each insulin in place for? See below.

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