Pens and Syringes
The needles on the pen injector or syringe need
to be injected under the skin - not into a muscle
If you are using a pen injector your insulin will be
in a cartridge, you could also have a prefilled
disposable pen which includes a cartridge.
If you are using a syringe to inject, you will draw
up your insulin from a bottle or vial.
Why can't I just keep injecting in the same place?
If you keep injecting in the same place small lumps may build up under your skin. These make injections less effective and could affect blood glucose levels.
Can I inject in my arm?
You might find your arms are a bit thin for injecting. It’s best to talk to your nurse about whether it’s OK for you to inject in your arms and the best needle size to use
Mighty DUK's Top Tips for injecting your insulin
• Try to relax – if you are anxious or tense it will be more uncomfortable, it will get easier
• Ensure hands and injection site are clean.
• Eject a tiny amount of insulin into the air to make sure the tip of the needle is filled with insulin (called an "air shot")
• Choose somewhere on your body that has plenty of fatty tissue, e.g tops of thighs or stomach
• Always insert the needle quickly
• If you still find injections painful, try numbing the area by rubbing a piece of ice on the site for a few seconds before the injection
• Inject the insulin and count to 10 before removing the needle
• Never use a blunt needle (this will really hurt) and if you have a pen injector remember to change the needle with each injection
"It's a pain, but there are
different types of needles and pens, so find one that best suits you!"
Storing your Insulin
The fridge is the best place to store most insulins. Don’t put it in, or too close to the freezer compartment. This is not essential for the open vials and cartridges or prefilled pens you use every day, but these must be discarded after 28 days. Do not store in the freezer.
The insulin that you are currently using doesn’t have to be stored in the fridge. It can be kept at room temperature, this makes it more comfortable to inject.
Mighty DUK's Top Tips for storing your insulin
• Keep spare vials or cartridges of insulin in their boxes in the fridge
• Check the pack for the expiry date and don’t use it if it has expired
• Don’t expose insulin to sunlight or high temperatures - so no leaving it in the car on a hot day or near the cooker
Injecting your Insulin
Where on my body should I inject?
There are three main areas where you can inject insulin - stomach, buttocks and thighs. All these body parts have a wide skin area so this means you can inject in lots of different places within these areas. This is called ‘rotating’ your injection sites and is really important.