Both high and low blood sugar can bring inconvenience to patients. However, nowadays, it’s easier to monitor diabetes and administer insulin with new devices like insulin pens.
But how exactly do we use these pens? How to select a dose? Which advantages do they have over bottled insulin and syringes? Continue reading this article to find the answers to these and some other related questions.
What Is Insulin Pen?
Insulin pens are devices used by people with diabetes mellitus to self-deliver the treatment solution. There are two types of devices that patients can choose between – reusable and disposable ones.
Reusable insulin pens remind regular pens. Even though they’re somewhat bigger, they look more casual than syringes. The only things needed to be disposed of are cartridges.
On the other hand, disposable pens aren’t designed to last long. When there are no more cartridges left in a pen, a patient simply throws it away and buys a new one.
How To Use Insulin Cartridge?
In a reusable pen, new cartridges can be inserted when a patient runs out of the old ones. In a disposable pen, when all the cartridges are used, they don’t need to be replaced, a patient simply throws the device away.
Cartridges that are inside a pen can be stored at ambient temperature in a dark place away from direct sunlight. A bag or a drawer will do.
Spare, unopened insulin cartridges must be stored in a fridge and used before the expiration date. However, they should never be frozen.
Before purchasing new cartridges, it’s crucial to know for sure that they are compatible with your pen.
How Often Should I Replace The Needle?
Pen needles must be replaced after each given insulin injection. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about disposable or reusable pens, a new needle after an injectable is delivered is a must to get your pen ready for the next shot.
The used pen needle can be removed by putting an outer protective pen cap on a device and turning it counterclockwise.
Unused needles are supplied in a cap-like package. Remove the seal from a cap, attach it to the pen so that a needle fits in, and turn it clockwise.
How Can I Set The Insulin Dose?
The correct dose of insulin can be selected using a dial/knob on the side opposite to the pen needle. There is an indicator and a small “window” where you can see the numbers representing an amount of insulin.
There are several measurements that can be selected with a pen. Ask your healthcare provider about which dose do you need.
Insulin Pen vs Vial And Syringe
Giving insulin shots with pens has several advantages over making it with syringes and vials:
- It’s easier for beginners to use an insulin pen rather than inject insulin with a syringe;
- Patients can pre-set and select a more accurate dose;
- Pens are more comfortable to carry around.
To Sum Up
An insulin pen is a device that provides a more advanced way to deliver insulin. Not only do these devices allow to set a more precise dose, but they can also be easily carried around just like a regular pen.
It’s easy to learn how to use the device, and a healthcare provider will gladly help if you’ll experience difficulties with using an insulin pen.
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