Insulin pens, usually similar in size as well as shape of a big marker, have a cartridge containing insulin. Because of the ease of use, they are becoming popular.
Some diabetics do every injection with insulin pens. Others take them along when move around and depend upon cheaper syringes which can be used for any type of insulin whenever they:
- are at home.
- need the type of insulin which is not found in their pen.
- mix different types of insulin.
Insulin pens need to have pen needles screwed to them for usage. These needles do not come with the pens but are bought separately. You should use a new pen needle for each injection.
Types of Insulin Pens
Although there are various brands as well as models in the market, many pens can be classified as disposable or reusable pens.
- When you buy a disposable insulin pens, they are prefilled with insulin and the pens are discarded when they are empty. You buy five disposable pens in a box with insulin in each pen amounted to 300 units. Although disposable insulin pens are more expensive than both reusable pens and their cartridges, they are easier to use because there is no necessary to replace cartridges.
- Prior to using reusable insulin pen, you have to put in a cartridge of insulin; the cartridges sold in a box of five as an item. In the U.S. each cartridge contains insulin amounting to either 150 – 300 units. How long that amount of insulin lasts depends, of course, on your insulin dosage. You load the pen with a new cartridge when the cartridge you have been using is empty and discarded. With proper care, a reusable pen ought to last you some years.
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Pens Brand and Models
Since there are a number of brands as well as models which are so different, you should consult your healthcare professionals in choosing a pen. Below are factors you ought to take into consideration.
- Insulin brands as well as the types suitable for whichever pen you have in mind.
- The maximum amount of insulin the pen can hold.
- The largest amount which can be injected at one time, using the pen.
- Can the dose be adjusted by the chosen pen? What dosage increments can be done with the pen?
- For instance, can the pen do 2-unit increments, 1-unit increments and 1/2-unit increments; only one type of dosage increments or all of them?
- How does the pen indicate there is still sufficient insulin for a full dose?
- The design, appearance and the material used for the pen.
- How well you can read the numbers on the dose dial.
- Consider the strength as well as the ease with which the pen can be used.
- How a mistake with the dial can be corrected.
- The method used to convey whether there is still sufficient insulin in the pen for a full dose.
Insulin Pens – Advantages as well as Disadvantages
Let us look at some of the reasons insulin pens are popular with diabetics.
- They allow you to dial a dose accurately and this certainly is of assistance to people with poor vision and sluggish movements.
- Insulin can be quickly be injected straight from the pen. There is no necessity to draw our insulin from a bottle into a syringe.
- They are easy to carry around, small enough not to be noticed easily, easy to use outside the home.
However, insulin pens are not suitable for every diabetic and below are the reasons.
- There is wastage of insulin when insulin pens are used. The wastage occurs during the priming of the pen before each use and when the insulin left in the pen or cartridge is insufficient for a full dose.
- Not every insulin type is available for insulin pen cartridges usage.
- Use insulin pens only on yourself. Since the pen needle have to be detached from the pen after an injection, the needle can inadvertently prick the person giving you the injection as the person is detaching it from the pen.
- You cannot mix two types of insulin in an insulin pen. Since there is no pre-mix of the two insulin types, you may have to do two injections, each containing a different type of insulin and that is inconvenient.
- It is more costly when compared with the usage of insulin in bottles and syringes.
BD(Becton-Dickinson) pen needles can be bought in boxes, each box containing a hundred, and are suitable for the replacing of needles for every insulin pen sold in the United Stated. Other available brands are:
- SymlinPen® 60 & 120
- NovoPen 3® / NovoPen Junior®
- NovoLog® Mix FlexPen®
- Levemir® FlexPen®
- Lantus® Solostar®
- Humulin® Pen
- HumaPen® LUXURA HD
- Humalog® KwikPen™
- Apidra® SoloStar®
Other Medication Pens
Forteo (treating osteoporosis)