A question to all insulin pen users!

Just switched back to injections. My question is do you change the needle every time you need to take a shot? Or do you just recap it and keep using the same needle? And if you reuse the needle does it make the insulin go bad quicker? I find myself taking quit a few shots throughout the day and using a lot of needles. So how do you shoot up : P ?

I reuse pen needles as long as they appear clean, no blood or not bent from the injection. I usually change them 1x a day. Using them for 3 shots. I put the cap back on them.

I find the insulin last just as long.

I change mine if I have extra needles in my pocket or my car if not I just make sure the cap is on good and reuse .

i always use a new one. my cde said always use a new one, the nurse i usually see said i could reuse them.

one more thing, adam, can i ask why you switched back to pens? ive only ever used pens but everyone is all gung ho on the pump. did you not like it? (im a bit reticent about having the machinery, kind of scares me).

I have been advised that if you can afford a new needle for each injection, use one. A used "dull" needle causes more scar tissue which over time can play havoc with insulin absorption.

I am at the beach on a little vacation and didn’t want to deal with the pump and sand and infusion set get soggy so I switched to shots for now. But I will also be switching back in about a month when my pump supplies run out bc supplies are expensive with a high insurance deductible

what did you switch back from ? Just me being nosy as I am planning on switching to the Omnipod pump once it is smaller but the rep at the company said they are still awaiting FDA approval. But to answer the question, I always switch out needles. First because I get 500 needles for 3 months which is a bit more than 5 per day. Second because I use pen needles for both lantus and humalog and they are not supposed to be mixed and keeping them distinct would take me too much effort. The nano needles are so small but they do create a lot of litter. I don't know about how quickly insulin will go bad if you reuse needles sorry I'm not really a wealth of information besides my own experience.

When I was on MDI, I'd change the needle with each new pen. I reused needles for several times for years when I was doing injections and never had problems with infections or insulin going bad, or absorption problems.

If it is convenient (i am at home) I change the needle for each shot, but if I am on the go and don’t want to carry a buch of extra stuff with me I will re use a needle a few times and then change it out later. I normally don’t notice any difference, however a few times it has gotten a bit dull and really pinches when it breaks through the skin.

I change pen needles every time. With my insurance, they are cheap. My insurance company used to send me a hundred free with every insulin order, but that stopped. Still, I think it costs me $40 for nine boxes of 100 which lasts me a while changing every time.

Dr. Bernstein actually admits he reuses syringes until they get "dull." At his age, perhaps scarring isn't a concern. With pens, my biggest worry is that if you leave the needle on, you have a path to contaiminate your insulin. I've never seen any studies of the issue, so I think in the end everyone should just make their own call.

hi, I switch the needle usually only 1 times per week (when the 3ml humalog is done). I am diabetic for 21 years now, and my hba1c was always <6.5, and I do a lot of sport/fitness. I have an insulin pump, but most bolus insulin injections I do with the pen.

If you don't mind my asking, if you have a pump, why do you still use a pen for boluses?

Do you do this because you don't have enough needles ? Or you don't have insurance, or are you just a glutton for punishment ? Is it a matter of choice ? I just don't get it.

I have a pump now but, when I had syringes, I'd just use them until the numbers wore off the side. Mostly because taking bunches of shots/ day the amount of garbage that using fresh syringes would generate would have been ridiculous. I didn't have any infection issues and didn't note a lot of trouble with absorbtion, although I wasn't remotely scientific in my approach? That was from 1984-2008...

I use a new needle every time. It's irritating enough to have to take 5-6 shots daily- I want the needle to be perfectly sharp and sterile for each injection.

no insurance problems.
I have a certain level of insulin resistance.
if I give multiple high level (>=6 IE) per day with the pump, the infusion set cannula "is attacked" by my body much more/faster. Small injections are ok. I have changed my cannula twice per day, and i still felt unsure (because of high blood sugar levels).
For each injection with the insulin pen, I am much more sure it is working as it should. and I can keep my cannula longer.

I use one needle a day for Humalog and a separate one for Lantus. And my insurance doesn't give me enough needles or I might change more often.

When I used pens, I never used a needle only once. I changed needles when they began to sting. I always kept a separate needle for Lantus and Apidra.

I am much more controlled with the pump.

Reading these replies make me feel bad about my needle changes. I inject 5-6 times per day, and only change needles when cartridge empties. I even inject through trousers when a work, because cannot be hassled to go the toilet/restroom. Have been type 1 for nearly 30 years, but going on pump soon (am in UK) :-)