Keeping Novolog Pen Needles on Pen?

I know, they tell you not to, but I have heard from people who say you can.

I really hate having to struggle to find the needle and stick it on the pen in a restaurant. So I wonder, do any of you just keep it capped and use it that way? It makes NO sense to me that they don’t include something ON the pen to hold the needle. In fact, it completely defeats the convenience factor the pen is supposed to provide!

Anyway, I’m going on a little vacation and I like to use Novolog when I eat out since I never know when or what I’m going to be served and I can dose Novolog at the time of eating. I’d really like to just leave the needle on after use, capped.

Any one tried that?

I’ve always kept the needle on my pen, have been usign pens for about 10 years.
I use one needle cap a day.
Hasn’t ever been a problem (hope it stays that way)!

Sounds good. Thanks!

After some thought, I remembered that the reason you shouldn’t reuse syringes is that the insulin can polymerize inside the used syringe and then ,if you draw insulin into the syringe and squirt it back in the vial the dried up hardened stuff can forms a seed for the rest of the insulin to harden around, which causes it to lose it’s potency.

With the pens, you don’t draw it back into the vial, though I suppose it could dry up and cause a problem. I have heard of people using the same tip for Byetta for the whole month without problems, though. So I think I’ll put a new needle on in the morning while on my vacation, and leave it at that.

Having used a NovoPen 1.5 and many different variations (NovoPen III, NovoPen Junior, etc.) for many years, I seldom (meaning never, unless I removed the cartridge) removed the pen needles, and most people I know who travel with pens didn’t either. Keep in mind, however, that the needles are fine and can bend and the lubrication wears off, so for comfort sake, you may want to change them daily and keep a backup or two with you just in case. The companies tell you that to cover themselves (and to sell more needles), but I see no logical reason why you cannot keep the needle attached when you cap it … if they didn’t expect people to do that, why would the cover fit perfectly over a pen with a needle already attached!!!

in the past (before i started on the pump) i’d always used a new needle on my insulin pen, for no reason other than it used to hurt if i had to use it more than once.

what i used to find helpful was after using a needle, i’d bend the inner needle (the one that goes into the cartridge inwards, so that i wouldn’t stick myself later, and i’d just drop it into my purse. of course, fishing for a new needle would mean just feeling around until i found one with a paper on the back.

as for leaking, i’d only worry if it was a suspension insulin… (like NPH or a mix) you wouldn’t want it to leak while separated… it’s change the potency.

I was told not to leave the needle on the pen, because air can get in the cartridge and can crystalize the insulin and possibly block the needle, as well as affect the potency. It sure would be a lot easier. I hate having to carry used pen needles around in the case til I get home and can dispose them.

I don’t put the needle on the pen until just before I take the shot. I carry around something to keep the spent needles until they can be disposed of.

Except for pens containing slower acting insulin (NPH and Lantus), where I would remove the needle right after giving the shot, I have always kept the needle on my pens (Actrapid [Regular], and NovoRapid [NovoLog]), changing them once a day (using them much longer made them go dull and hurt, when I injected), or once every two/three days for pens that stayed in my school bag and wasn’t used more than once a day. I have never had problems with that. I don’t know if keeping the needle on will introduce more air into the pen cartridge than otherwise, but bubbles was seldom a problem for me. However, I did notice that occasionally if I had hit a capillary, leaving a bit of blood on/in the needle, it would seep into the cartridge, especially if the pen was carried with the needle upwards, and with time this seemed to lower the potency of the insulin.

I have been using insulin pens ever since my diagnosis 17+ years ago, and though I’m now on the pump, I still carry a pen - usually with the needle on - just in case :slight_smile:

I ended up leaving the needle on the pen for a day or less, though they gave me the ultra thin needles this time and I found I kept bumping them into things and bending them!

I think I ended up cooking the pen due to the high temperatures as it was in my purse. I shot a unit this morning when I woke up a bit high and saw zero drop in blood sugar, so on to the next.

I also decided that I REALLY prefer R insulin. Novolog just seems to poop out before my food does, so I get nice numbers at 2 hours but not so nice numbers at 4.

Hello Jenny:

Keep the hard grey plastic cover OVER the “ready pen” which has a cover on the needle at well.
I change the syringe tip once a week (or more) if the lubricant on the syringe tip is not holding up, then I change it out

The NOVOLOG pens any different than the Humalog ones?.


I use the Novolog and Lantus pens. In each case I just leave the needle on there pretty much for the life of the pen. Don’t change it unless it really gets dull and painful or I bend it. Still on the same order of needles I received when I switched to pens over a year and a half ago :slight_smile: