Advantage of pen vs. syringe

So I have stopped mixing the insulin. Found out I am not eligible for an InPen because insurance doesn’t cover it. for those of you who take shots via insulin pens, what is the advantage of a pen over a syringe?


I use a Pendiq digital pen (Imported and self pay) as it allows me to dose in 0.1 units and keeps track of what I took, when I took it and has dozens of additional functions. I then order cartridges for the pen from Canada and self pay as the out of pocket price for Humalog, my primary insulin, is cheaper to buy in Canada than my co-pay would be in the US for the identical insulin. Many years ago I used prefilled pens but they only dose in 1.0units except for child pens with cartridges that dose in 0.5 units which is no way near accurate for the tight control I keep.

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  1. You can put a pen in your pocket and easily/quickly take it out to do a dose. Lots of people here cover the pen needle with the little cylindrical cap afterward (for re-use) so if you’re out and about and need another bolus you can readily do that without replacing the needle – fast and easy.

  2. Pen needles are a fraction of the bio-waste volume of a complete syringe, so for multiple injections a day, that adds up over time.

Pens are so easy and quite discreet to use.
Also I never worry about air bubbles with a pen. I love not having to fill them. They are quick and easy.

[quote=“ame_e, post:1, topic:87502”]
what is the advantage of a pen over a syringe?

There are some insulins that only come in a pen due to concentration, such as U200, U300, U500.

Hi, @ame_e I just changed to pens from vial & syringe. Back in January I went on MDI. Before I was using Lantus and bought my syringes out of pocket. My doctor sent in a prescription for syringes to my local pharmacy. I don’t know what the problem was, but both sources dried up and I nearly ran out of syringes. I was given some that had 4mm needles instead of the 8mm I have been using for years.

I started looking a pens, and decided on Lantus Solostar and Humalog Junior Kwikpen. The Jr. Kwikpen allows for .5 units which is good for me. I ordered the pen needles from Amazon because they were 50% cheaper than the co-pay with my insurance.

Pros - Handier not having to deal with a vial and syringe. I carry both pens in a little cool case. This makes it easier to use on bike rides. Oddly the co-pay for the pens is less than it was for the vials.

Cons - people say there are no bubbles. It is suggested before each use to hold the pen vertical, needle up, tap to cause any bubbles to rise and express 2 units. Yes I’ve seen bubbles in both pens.

Some think the pens are more discrete and less of a stigma than syringes. I personally don’t care. The pen is just a vial and syringe combo. It still has a needle that penetrates the skin and a substance that is injected. If others have a problem with it, so what.

I too am not one who cares if people see me inject, but I have run into people throughout the years, who feel faint when they see someone inject. The pens allow me to inject before anyone is aware of what I am doing. I always inject through my clothes, even when I am at home, so it just takes a second.