Insulin Pens/Proper Usage

I am asking for advice for a member on TU. Can somebody please explain the proper procedure for using a Insulin Pen? From the time it is opened…the proper steps. Priming and what to look for and do to make sure the insulin is being dispensed.
I do not use pens, but would like to help this person. They need education on this matter and I hope that some of you may be able to help.
Thank You

You don’t say which kind of insulin & it might not matter much, but step by step instructions for the Lantus Solostar are at…. There is also a PDF step by step guide that can be downloaded in either English or Spanish.

Hope this is helpful.


  1. Attach needle
  2. Prime pen with 2u, and watch for a STREAM of insulin, not just drips. Repeat until a stream is seen.
  3. Dial dose, double check amount
  4. Inject, making sure to leave the needle under the skin for a count of 10
  5. Re-cap, remove needle, and DISCARD appropriately

Thank you for the help…I hope the person will get my message and read all the advice.

You are all so wonderful!!


Very good Sarah.

She hit it on the head Robyn. The only thing I can add is that if it is a new pen, (self contained with insulin), your friend might have to do it a couple of times to get the stream going. After that, 2 units…a stream should appear until they are out of insulin.

I never do the dial up one or 2 units and push out…So far this has not been an issue yet…so the question is…should I?

I’ll add on, make sure you grabbed the correct pen. Twice I have almost OD’d by giving myself 18 units of Humolog instead of Levemir. First time I didn’t know what to do, so I went to the ER with bad results. I called my endo the next day and he said I could eat myself out of the mistake. The second time I did it, I made a run to Dunkin Donuts and got some “bad” stuff. lol

Now I am pumping (OmniPod), so I can’t take the wrong insulin.