Injecting 1 unit of insulin

Hello, Just before going to sleep I often need to inject 1 unit (yes just 1 unit) of humalog or novolog (using an insulin pen) in order to lower my blood sugar 50 points. I am unable to inject only 1 unit though. That small of an amount doesn’t come thru the needle. It is never a problem injecting 2 units but not injecting 1 unit.
I am not sure if this is the result of the needles that I use or not. I use the BD Nano Ultra Fine Pen Needles 4mm 32G and the NanoFine Plus Pen Needles 4mm 32G.

If anyone has any advice on this subject I would appreciate it. This really affects my “time in range” overnight.



I have a Humalog pen and I can do one unit with it. If you test it a drop should come out. Unless you have a defective pen? Or maybe I’m not sure what you mean?

Do you prime the needle with a unit or 2 of insulin before dialing up your proper dose? When I was on pens I always made sure some insulin came out of the needle before I dialed up my dose to make sure the needle was functional and there wasn’t an air bubble in the needle.


I suggest you deliver one unit into the air then one unit into your body.

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Thanks for your comment. What pen needles do you use?

Thank you for your comments. What pen needles do you use.

Thank you for your response. What pen needles do you use?

I’m on a pump, but I’ve used many different pens and syringes

I have the Humalog pen needles that it comes with.

I’m on a pump now but I used to use the same needles you are using now.

I agree with the dispensing of one unit to air then inject the unit but make sure you use a thin skin area with no scar tissue. Very important. Maybe a place you don’t usually inject way to the side or something.

I also need to “micro-dose” my insulin. About 15 years+ ago I switched from the standard pre-filled Humalog/Novalog pens to the child pens but that was only allowing me to dose in 0.5 increments. I ordered a Pendiq digital pen by mail from Germany (Made in Korea and not US FDA approved) which allows dose in 0.1 increments and never looked back. The pens are not exactly cheap at $212 including DHL delivery but they are totally awesome including great software and even without software ability to view past 200 injections and time of injection on the pen. My only complaint is that they only last about 2000 shots so I always keep a backup because to get a new one takes about 3 weeks, so for me they last just over 1 year.

If you want more information, send me a PM and I will hook you up with the best source for these pens.


This is definitely of interest to me. When I was still doing MDI I used a child’s pen that delivered .5 units of insulin at a time as 1 U was often more than I needed. I am on a pump now and have a back up humalog pen with .5U delivery, but if I end up having to go off a pump I would want something that could deliver in smaller units and the .1 U increments would be perfect! So, did you need a prescription for it and did you have any problems with getting cartridges for them?

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No prescription needed to order. You just order it, pay with Paypal or credit card and receive it about 3 weeks later. Cartridges for Humalog are easy to get in the US/Canada/Asia/Europe. Cartridges for Lantus are not available in the US, so when I was using Lantus I ordered my cartridges from Canada or picked them up in Canada. I have, however, not used Lantus for the past 3+ years. Here is information on the pen.

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Thank you! I would actually only want to use humalog for the micro-dosing. I have long acting pens available as a backup and can manage those in whole units (2 x a day, though, not once), but for bolusing for meals or corrections, this sounds like the perfect solution!

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The source I trust and have used for more than 1 1/2+ decades is
Michael Sattler (Apotheker)
Order number (PZN): 13231706
Manufacturer item number: 602013
EAN number: 4260284930318
That is for orange color pen - They don’t always have the color pen you want in stock, but they advise you and you can choose a different color.

One forum member wrote to Michael Sattler asking for more information and Michael replied to just order directly online so here is the link for ordering pens:

For more information on the pen go to the Pendiq website and read all about it. You may need to change your language to English. I posted links on Mar 20,2021 so hesitate to post again

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Thank you!!
Does he speak English or do I need to need to brush up my German? Do the different colours mean something different or is that just a preference? Or does the colour indicate the length of syringe tip? I see they come in 4 different lengths.

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Michael is fluent in English so no problem there. I don’t buy my needles there, just the digital pen and over the years have ended up with the full color range. In the old days when I used both Lantus for Basal and Humalog for Bolus, I had 2 different color pens so I would not mix up what I was using at any time. Now that I only use fast acting Humalog before meals and then a few extra min shots in the evening, I don’t care what color they send me. They are very thorough, however, so if you order green and they don’t have it, you can’t tell them to just pick a color and send it to you. They will tell you what colors they have in stock and then it is up to you to choose.

I use the BD Ultra-Fine Mini 5mm (3/16") 31G (gauge) needles which are the same I used to use for the prefilled pens bought in the US.

I would just get the pen as you can easily buy a box of 100 Pen needles at any pharmacy or get your doctor to prescribe.

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I’ve been pumping for decades but there used to be a Junionr pen - for kids, that was able to dose in half units. Don’t know if it is still available. I know for sure there was one for Novolog. Reusable pen, with cartridges you put in

Thank you! This is awesome information and I really appreciate it :blush:.

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