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Giving an Insulin Injection Into the Belly Using an Insulin Pen

Attach needle to insulin pen

Putting a new needle in an insulin pen
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Insulin pens are either reusable or disposable. You must put a cartridge of insulin in a reusable pen. Disposable pens come filled with insulin.

After you are sure the pen has insulin, screw on a new needle.

Get ready

Removing the pen cap
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Remove the outer cap from the needle. Keep this outer cap. You will use it later to safely dispose of the needle.

Remove needle cover

Removing the needle cap
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Remove the inner cover from the needle. Be careful not to prick yourself. Prime your insulin pen following the manufacturer's instructions.

Clean

Cleaning the area around the injection site
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If you use alcohol to clean the skin before you give the injection, let it dry.

Pinch up

Pinching up the skin
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If you covered the needle with the outer cap, remove it now. Check to make sure that you have the right dose. Then, using the hand not holding the insulin pen, slightly pinch a fold of skin between your fingers and thumb.

Stick it

Pushing the needle into the skin
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Push the needle all the way into the pinched-up area.

Inject and wait

Pushing in the plunger
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Let go of the pinched-up area, and push the plunger of the pen all the way in. Count to 10 (or to the number that the manufacturer recommends) before taking the needle out.

Recap

Putting the pen cap back over the needle
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Put only the outer cap back over the needle. The thin, inner cover is harder to put back on and you may stick yourself.

Needle safety

Putting the used needle into a solid plastic container
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After covering the needle with the outer cap, unscrew the needle and throw it away in a sharps container or other solid plastic container. You can get a sharps container at your pharmacy.

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last Revised August 13, 2013

Last Revised: August 13, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology

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