Is my wife a good candidate for the insulin pen?

We will not make any medical decisions based on any advice received on this Forum but we are very curious about how this Forum feels about this question. My wife takes exactly five (5) units of Humulin (N) (NPH human insulin (recombinant DNA origin) isophane suspension (manufactured and exported to Saudi Arabia by Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN 46285, USA)) every morning. This summer, she will be in Canada for two weeks while I am Saudi Arabia. For personal reasons, she would rather not inject herself the “standard” way (i.e., fill the syringe manually until the proper units is reached). The pen might not be for her but she would like to know if she has this option.
We will be contact her doctor in the near future, before we go to Canada, but we like some input from this Forum now. Any advice given is greatly appreciated.

I use the pen needle. It is very discrete - and most people think it’s a fancy fountain pen (I don’t use Humulin like your wife does - but Novolin insulin - the pens differ from insulin company to insulin company - but they all do the same thing - inject that magic juice into us to keep us alive and healthy!).

Also, the pen needles that I use are very fine with the pen needle (I use the short ones which are 32g). These can be used on the Humapen as well. If your wife injects with a syringe - she will be in heaven with using this type of injecting device.

You can view the different pens available here in Canada for Humulin N here (scroll to the bottom of the page to view the different pens they offer).

Hope this helps you Marad and your wife in your research. I’m sure others will come along with even better advise then I can give.

You mentioned in a previous thread, Marad, that your wife is visually impaired. One of the advantages to the pens, besides the fact that you don’t need to fill a syringe) is that you can actually hear the clicks when you set the dosage and again when you inject.

For ease of use, discretion, convenient dosing and transportation, only the insulin pump beats the insulin pen, IMHO.


I use the pens for both of my insulin (humalog and lantus) they work great. I was out to dinner with friends last night and was able to inject right at the table it was fast and easy.

Dear Anna Kiff (FatCatAnna) & everyone:
Thank you for the postings. It is much appreciated. My wife’s doctor has advised us that my wife can use the insulin pen. He wants us to come to his office in a few days so that he can show my wife how to use the pen. In order to do so, we have to buy the pen. Does anyone have any idea what a Humulin (N) pen would cost in Canada? If I knew this, this would give me a rough idea what I might pay in Saudi Arabia. Any information you can give me is greatly appreciated.

Marad - I will ask tomorrow when I go the the pharmacy. I know for myself - because I am a resident/citizen here in Canada - that the pen is paid for when you purchase the vials of insulin that accompany it. Okay? If you wish me to email you personally with the details - just let me know please.

Dear Marad.

NPH insulin is considered obsolete in Canada. Unless there are financial rasons to use it you should have it replaced with a basal insulin like lantus or levemir these provided the required insulin for a much longer period that NPH. the news ones with last up to 24 hours where as the NPH last for 6 to 8 hours. Pens are good.

I use the Lantus Solostar pen and love it. Don’t have to worry about bending the needle when drawing up the insulin. It is easy and discrete to use. I work nights so I take my pen to work. Don’t have to worry about refrigeration. The pen in use stays at room temp. Only the unused are frigerated. Pens {beside pumps for those who have them} are the way to go.

Anthony …I think I need to correct : NPH PEAK time is 6-8 hours ; duration( equals lasting ) 10-16 hours …that is why lots of us bolussed on top of what we had on board ( BOB ) and had terrible results .
Marad, I have an e-mail buddy , independent , who is sight impaired and he does NOT use the pen : quote : " strain quite hard to inject " …he uses another gadget : " Count -A-Dose unit " …I am off for my eve. walk and get back to this asap …stay tuned please , N.

I never find my NPH to last much more than 8 hours and had to inject it every 6 hours to maintain control.

Marad - I spoke to my pharmacist here in Montreal today. Humulin N is still available here in Canada. I explained to her your story - and she said that there would be no charge for the pen needle (probably the same will apply for you back in your country). She said if you came to her pharmacy (not sure if this applies to where you may be going to in Canada) - she would order up the pen needle for you (usually is delivered the next day). No prescription would be needed - as long as your wife is using that particular vial of insulin that fits into the pen. Hope this helps you. She was even willing to order one up for me - incase I was flying to المملكة العربية السعودية to see you (isn’t that sweet of her?). I told her - one day - have seen many travel shows on your beautiful country!