How to use an Insulin Pen?
Insulin is an important medication in the treatment of diabetes. Insulin pens allow for an easy and convenient way to accurately give insulin injections to control diabetes. Most diabetic patients prescribed to receive insulin for the first time often ask how to use an insulin pen. With special instructions recommended by most certified diabetes educators and caregivers is the following instructional steps on how to use a diabetic pen.
Prep your pen. First you wash your hands with some soap and water and then remove the pen cover. Take your alcohol swab and clean off the rubber stopper. Depending on your insulin type (could be mixed or clear), if it is cloudy (mixed insulin), you’ll need to roll (not shake) the pen in your hands until it has a consistent appearance. Then you take your pen needle and remove the paper taps, push it onto your pen and twist to secure. Dial to a dose of 2 units to prime any air pockets out that might be in the cartridge. Point the needle in the air, tap the pen on the side, remove the outer and inner covers of the needle and press on the dose knob to see some insulin come out the end.
- Dial the dose your doctor prescribed.
- Find a good spot to take your injection. The belly works best, staying 2 inches away from the belly button. You can also use the upper back part of your arm, the top of your thigh, or your buttocks. Rotate your injection site one inch from the last one you that you used.
- Wipe the injection area with an alcohol swab.
- Curl your fingers around the upper end of your pen keeping your thumb above the dose knob.
- Pinch the area of skin with your free hand.
- Insert the needle in a 90 degree angle with the dose window facing you.
- Release the pinch and then as you press down on the dose knob, once you see it go back to zero, you’re going to count to 10 seconds.
- Pull the needle straight out.
- Use the same alcohol wipe to clean the area.
Needle disposal. Take your outer needle cover, click it on the needle, twist it out and dispose of it in an empty medicine or bleach bottle, something fit plastic with a twist-on lid to secure it. And always cover your pen back up with its outer cap.
It is always important to ask your doctor, pharmacist or certified diabetes educator on how to store and maintain your particular type of insulin and any other questions about the pen.
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