Reusable vs disposable pens

Hi All,

When I was diagnosed, I left hospital with a bag of supplies for mu first 5 months of insulin.

It was Lantus and Novolog/Novorapid, both on disposable pen form (SoloStar and Flexpens respectively).

I have now been given a Novopen (Novolin pen) but have not used it yet. I was wondering what are peoples opinions regarding using reusable vs disposable pens ?

Any comments welcomed.



Hi Henry. Just this week my endo changed my regemin to take Novolog before meals with lunch and dinner. You have to eat right away and learn to estimate your carb intake very well. Last night I overdid it and the 3 units of Novolog I took just didn’t cut it. I was at 298 before bed. Very bad. I just ate too much-crap that it. I ate crap. I’ve been so good lately, that the ice cream and candy kisses were just a great big treat.

Do you count carbs or do you have any books to learn to count carbs? That is so crucial.

I also take Levimir, which is a long acting Insulin, twice per day. I have horrible dawn phenonmenon. I haven’t worked out all of the kinks in my new regemin yet, but this is an on-going process that I guess will always be changing.

Good luck to you. R

Hi Rebecca.

Yes, I’m carb counting since a couple of month ago. I have a portable database on my pocket PC, and a website that also helps. Try if you are in the US, or if you are here in Australia.

I heard about Levemir too, but not sure I want to change 1 shot of lantus for 2 of levemir.

Good luck with your new regimen.



Morning Henry. I have the Calorie King’s carb couting book- bought it last year. Great book. I use as my food diary. It’s free and I know how to use it now to keep my logs. This means that I don’t alwsy trust their numbers so I compare the package to what’s online all the time.

Keep in touch Henry. Good luck! Rebecca

The Novolin Pen4 is a good product. Easy to use, magnifying screen, tough, and it lets you easlily decrease your dose if you set it too high. If only it remembered the last dose given…

If you are on a low dose and want to fine tune things, try to get a Junior Pen. It allows 1/2 unit increments.

I don’t know what a “small dose” means. What would a “big dose” be? I am up to 9 or 10 units at bedtime. My Endo has my FBG goal as 80-120. She tried to split and lower my dosage but it just didn’t work for me. I do take it twice a day, but my bedtime dosage is right back were it was before my last dr’s appointment last week when she suggested I reduce my dosage. I take 4 units Levimir with my 1st meal of the day.

Big is rather open ended. Some people take more than 100 units at a time.

The regular pens adjust in 1 unit increments. Disposable pens used to adjust in 2 unit increments, I believe, but I don’t know if that’s still true. The Junior Pen adjusts in 1/2 unit increments. So, if you are taking a small dose, say 4 units, with a regular pen, you can only adjust it by 25%, but by half that witha Junior Pen. I’m happy using a regular pen for doses of around 10 units, but it’s nice to use a Junior for doses below 5 units. It’s also nice to have different styles of injectors for different types of insulin to help prevent mistakes.

Of course, the Junior Pen is a Novolin product, so you won’t be able to get all insulins for it. I don’t know that any other pen manufacturers make a kid’s injector.

Hi Henry,

I’m also on the Lantus Solostar (100 units am & 100 units pm) and the Novorapid (36 unit bb, 36 units bl, 40 units bd).

Before the Solostar came out on the PBS I was taking the Lantus cartridges that you load into the reusable pen.
I hated it!
If I made a mistake by just 1 unit I had to throw out all that I had dialed up because I couldn’t dial it back to the right amount whereas with the Solostar if I go too far I can dial it back to the right amount. Also with the solostar there is more insulin and in my case works out much better because I am on a high dosage.

Give me the disposable pens anytime!!

Oh and another thing, if you are using the reusable pen and have only the one and for some reason it breaks (which they are pretty well known to do), unless you have a spare what do you do then?

Definitely a disposable pen fan here! :slight_smile:

Well, I’m fairly new to this whole insulin world so I’m still learning the lingo…however, after 2 weeks on the Solostar and one week on the Novolog flexpen…I prefer the Solostar. I didn’t have any bruising, bleeding or difficulty with the Solostar. Can’t say I’m that impressed with the Novolog. Yes, it is helping my bg levels, however, the button on the pen makes it tricky to use, it is not a smooth shot and I’ve had bruising, bleeding and general discomfort at the injection site with the Novolog.

I’m hoping that it is just this one pen that is giving me grief. Any one else have struggles with the button not wanting to depress? I’m so spoilt by the Solostar being a whambamthankyouma’m device!