Do other people have trouble with the throw-away plastic insulin pens?

I know that the cartriges for the Novopens are not made any more but the action of the cheap plastic pens that are preloaded dont work well at all.
Does any one else feel that way or am I just being to picky?

I had similar situations with Levemir and HUmalog pens. it stopped when they remade the Humaog ones. The new pens work fantastic, but the Levemir< up until I got a pump would often just stick and you couldn't use them at all in any way, shape or form.

I have had problems with the pens also. I have had times where the mechanism seems to stick or hang up. I haven't seen that kind of problem lately but I occasionally I have trouble depressing the plunger. I have found this happens when I inject into and area that I have used way to frequently. It seems this area has become tough and hard to inject into.

Gary S

I am a bit confused about your question. Do you really think that the vials for the Novopens are not made anymore? Do you mean the following standard vial?

Yes I do Holger, here in Amnerica they have quit making the Novolog cartriges, available ,they only provide the throw away pens. Which have a poor action. I use a Novopen 4 which I bought from the UK but I have to remove the cartridge and snap on the threade cap as you show in your picture.

Really? Are they mad?

You should consult a lawyer to check if this is enough for a lawsuite against Novo.

a) the throw away pens are much more unreliable.
b) the throw away pens create immense waste.
c) the throw away pens increase the costs for insurance companies and patients. Because of that you should ask your lawyer to contact insurance companies about this. This will increase the money value of the lawsuit by magnitudes. Your lawyer will love it.

You will win. I really mean it!

You may want to check out the NovoPen Jr. It is a metal refillable pen that takes Novolog cartridges. (I use it because it allows half-unit dosing.) Have only been using insulin for a little while, so I can't tell you how it compares to anything else....

But Donald claims that NovoLog has stopped to sell these Cartridges in the USA. I can not image that this is possible but read his remarks.

I'm in the US and am using them. I think the issue is that the cartridges are only for the kids' pen. And also not pushed much by the reps. My doctor didn't even know about the NovoPen Jr until we looked into what could dose in smaller units. The Novo rep was in the office later that day and he verified it. The pharmacy did need to special-order both the cartridges and the pen casing, though, as it's more unusual.

But all NovoPens use the same cartridge. The difference is just in the mechanics to provide 1/2 increments VS 1 unit increments.

I had problems with mine. When I would push down the plunger to inject the insulin, it would seem to "slide" a little, then start clicking as the numbers counted down. I couldn't tell if I was getting insulin at the first part of the injection or not. I called the company and they said they found some small dust like things(?) in it causing the problem. I was told to not carry the pen in my pocket or in a bag because that could cause problems. They kept my pen I had sent in (almost full of insulin) and didn't replace it. I got another brand new one out of a box with a different lot number. It did the same thing. I've since stopped using them. I could never trust for sure I was getting the right amount of insulin, and the company didn't seem very reassuring about it. I figured it must be just cheap parts or something...

I really like my novopen 4, I have 3 of them. The plastic pen cant compare.
The problem is that I take my lantus and that is a different size cartridge so I have to put up with the poor quality plastic pen.

I will have to check on cartriges for the novopen jr, I have seen the pen but just figured they did not make those available either

They do still make the cartridges for the Novopen products. The same cartridge is used for Novopen and Novopen Jr. I recently had someone else say they couldn't get them (cartridges) anymore. I called the pharmacy and the pharmacy manager said their particular pharmacy would not be getting them anymore because there were so few patients that had them prescribed which made the price too much. Like roodgirl I also confirmed with the Novo reps that the cartridges are still available and there is no plan to phase them out that they are aware of.

Whenever I use the pens for large doses, I inject and when I pull it out, it keeps dripping, so I don't really trust the pens and only use them when I have to.

I have had this experience with both pens and syringes. I think the large dose causes higher pressure and if you pull the needle right out, some insulin can drip out. I have found that keeping the needle in for a count of 10 can help equalize the pressure and reduce dripping. Another tactic is to inject in parts, 5-10 units here, another 5-10 units there until you are done.

Novonordisk throw away pens contain the same cartridge of the metal pens. You can open (break) them, take away the cartridge and use it in a reusable metal pen.
The only thing you need is the small plastic cap the usual penfill have, you can take away one of them from one of your (last) penfills and use it a thousand times.

Here is a video as a how to do it:

I'm in Canada and I can get Lantus in vials, throw away pens, and cartridges.

I can also get NovoRapid in cartridges for my pen, so they are still making them and selling them in North America. Maybe you need to phone around to find a pharmacy that carries them or will order them for you.

I don't like the throw away pens for Lantus, but that's what they usually have in stock.

If I want the vials or cartridges for the pen, I have to give them extra time to get them in stock for me.

By the way, you can use the syringes on any pen, its easy. Just insert a syringe into the pen cartridge, and dial up the pen, inject the insulin from the pen into the syringe. Remove the syringe from the pen, and use it to inject. This way, if the pen is dosing the wrong amount, you can adjust it before removing the syringe tip from the pen. The syringe will need to be one with a fairly long needle tip, not the shorter ones, as they can't get to the insulin. Swab the pen tip before inserting the needle, just like you would with a vial of insulin.

I find that most pens underdose, compared to syringes. Syringes seem to be more reliable, as long as there is no operator error.

If you can't get cartridges for the pen, you could use syringes with the cheaper disposable pens, and know that you're getting an accurate dose each time. Since syringes and pen tips cost about the same, it won't be more expensive this way.

So Emmy,
I have solved my novolog pen issue by removing the cartridges from the plastic pen and using them in my nice novopen 4, I dont care to bother with syringes and vials I think we are all past that and they are not any where as convenient as the pens.

However I am curious about what kind of pen you use for the Lantas if I got one of those I could do the same thing as I do with the Novolog, the Lantas pen cartridges are a different size than the Novolog cartridges and it is those Lantus plastic pens that got me started with this whole thing.
Do you know the brand of insulin pen you use for the Lantus?

Thanks Emma,
I googled clikstar insulin pens and they are not available in America for some reason, I will work on that. Maybe I can talk to Holger in Germany and see if I can order one from there.
As for the insulin pen cartriges I score both sides of the plastic cage on the vial with a steak knife and I am able to twist and break the cage.I dont know if that helps you. Be careful if you do use a knife.
Thanks Don

I use the pen for humalog, Luxura HD (it has half units), but any pen for humalog works.
Lantus/apidra have the same diameter of humalog cartridge, they only have the "piston" a little far distant, so when you screw the pen you need to first put a needle on the cartridge to let some insulin spring out.