4 Pen "Puzzles"?


Why do the Lilly Humalog Pens still contain a serious amount of insulin after they supposedly reached empty (eg “0” units). I remove the pen top, use a syringe and withdraw often as much as another 20, 25 units of Humalog no problem…

What chucklehead designed these things??? Am I missing something here

“… hello… there’s still massive insulin in the syringe, can I please not require a needle to get at it… helllo…”

Or, ok… anyone else ever had trouble depressing the plunger on their pen with your thumb? I’m decently strong, fairly young, but jiminy christmas I’ve had to use an awful lot of strength just to depress that plunger mechanism to get the last units, micro-units, etc…

And once I pull the pen’s syringe out of my skin I depress the plunger again for grins and giggles to see how much I might have missed (or not) and I typically get a pretty decent-scary amount of insulin that still comes out.

Last but not least, why do pens once used for the first time have (according to the manufacturer instructions) have 28-30 days before they are “no good” somehow? Its a vaccum, there is no air, I can only assume there is some kind of insane chemical breakdown that is supposedly caused. If that’s the case… why can’t they add a benign “preservative” of some type and make certain it’ll last a heck of a lot longer… how hard could that truly be?

Anyone else had these issues with their pen???


Hi Stuart,

I have had the plunger issue with the Lilly pens. I was told one of two things, it was just old and needed to be replaced or it was because I kept it in the refrigerator. Apparently they don’t need to be.

I have switched to the Lilly HumaPen Luxura. It is much better. My doctor gave them to me for free, burgundy for my Humalog and tan for my Humulin N. The pen itself is made so much better (not plastic) and the case is much sturdier. You can also get one that gives .5 increments of insulin.

I haven’t had the other problems and the 28-30 day expiry on the insulin pen is odd, but I usually go thru it before a month is up.

Hello Preta:

Refrigeration is a factor of/for LONG term storage only, not a daily usage issue,

Dont care about the color myself (nothing to accessorize as a guy ; ).
Why is the Luxura better though? The plunger issue got fixed in that line?
Why is plastic bad?
Not sure I understand what you mean by the case being better either… .
They only do the N is half units? Grrrrrrrrrr.

I think most people do go through, using maybe 40-50 units a day tops I gotta believe its a chemistry thing… what else could fill the vaccum of a vial, a pen we’re using aside from air…

Such that 30 days after using it… the insulin breaks down, looses potency…