BD Insulin Syringe FAQ

Q: What size syringes are available?

A: BD manufactures U-100 insulin syringes with BD Ultra-Fine™ Needles in 1 mL (100 unit), 1/2 mL (50 unit) and 3/10 mL (30 unit) sizes. We also offer a 3/10 mL unit size with half unit markings.


Q: What does U-100 mean?

A: U-100 indicates the concentration of your insulin.  U-100 means there are 100 units of insulin in every 1 mL.


Q: What is the difference between the U-100 1 mL, the 1/2 mL, and the 3/10 mL sizes?

A: The 3/10 mL insulin syringes are to be used for doses of 30 units or less; the 1/2 mL insulin syringes are for 50 units or less; the 1 mL insulin syringes are for 100 units or less.


Q: What syringe needle lengths are available?

A: 6mm, 8mm and 12.7mm needle lengths.  However, it is important to note that the latest clinical evidence and injection guidelines advocate shorter needles. The latest injection technique recommendations published in Diabetes and Metabolism (2010) mentions the following.

“Shorter needles are safer and are often better tolerated…Initial therapies should begin with shorter needles. Shorter needles reduce the risk of injecting into the muscle. 4,5 and 6mm needles may be used by any adult patient including obese ones.”

Therefore, BD recommends that syringe patients upgrade to the NEW BD Ultra-Fine 6mm syringe needle. Patients prefer the BD Ultra-Fine 6mm needle!  Click here to learn more


Q:Which patients can use the new BD syringe with 6mm needle?

A: All patients who inject with an insulin syringe can use the BD syringe with the 6mm needle. This also includes both obese and thin patients.


Q: Why is the needle length important?

A: Clinical studies have proven that short needles like the BD syringe with the 6mm needle reduce the risk of injecting into the muscle. Avoiding injection into the muscle is important for consistent absorption of insulin and contributes to management of blood glucose levels.


Q: What is the difference between 28 gauge, 30 gauge and 31gauge needles?

A: The higher the number the thinner the needle.  So, the 31 gauge needle is the thinnest needle available on an insulin syringe.  The 30G is thinner than the 28G.  BD offers 31 gauge in 6mm and 8mm needles.

Q: Can the syringes be reused?

A: BD™ Insulin Syringes are designed for single use only, and are clearly labeled as such. Today's insulin needle is thinner and more delicate for greater comfort, so needle reuse can damage the tip and cause injury. Use only once. 

Q: How do I properly dispose of syringes?

A: In many cases, local communities establish disposal rules. So first, check with your town or trash removal company about safe disposal of used syringes and lancets. A good place to call may be your local health department. The following are some guidelines that may be helpful:

  • Never throw loose syringes or lancets into the trash. If you are disposing your own syringe, clip the needle with a needle-clipping device such as the BD Safe-Clip™ Insulin Syringe Needle Clipper, which can be ordered through your pharmacy. 
  • Never handle someone else's syringe unless a healthcare professional trains you in proper injection technique and disposal. If you inject someone else or dispose of their syringe, use extreme caution to avoid needlesticks which can transmit serious, even grave infections.
  • Never recap or destroy a needle that has been used by someone else. Immediately after the injection, place the used syringe, still intact, in a safe container as described below.                                               
  • Put the used syringe or lancet into a BD™ Home Sharps Container or check with your local sanitation or health department regarding rules about proper disposal of used syringes and sharps containers.  Keep this container away from children. When the container is full, seal the lid securely and dispose of properly. 
  • Never dispose of used syringes or other medical waste in recyclable trash. Syringes and lancets are not recyclable. 

Q: Can the syringes be prefilled?

A: BD does not recommend that any of our syringes be prefilled more than a few minutes in advance of the injection. There are no conclusive studies to determine the safety or risks associated with this practice. 

Q: Do the syringes have an expiration date?

A: There is no expiration date for insulin syringes. Syringes should be stored in a temperate, dry area. 

Q: Can BD™ Insulin Syringes be used for other types of medications?

A: Your doctor or pharmacist should prescribe the proper type of syringe to be used for your medication. 

Q: How are the syringes sterilized?

A: The sterilization process used is cobalt irradiation. The sterilization is the last process before shipping. The syringes are already packed in their poly bags and boxes. 

Q: Does Medicare cover the cost of Insulin Syringes?

A: Please check your local Social Security Office for this information. 

Q: Where can I purchase BD™ Insulin Syringes and what is the cost?

A: All our products are available at stores/pharmacies. If a particular item isn't available it can be ordered by the Pharmacist. Prices are set at the retail level and vary from store to store.


The BD Diabetes Learning Center describes the causes of diabetes, its symptoms, and diabetes complications such as retinopathy and neuropathy. This site contains detailed information about blood glucose monitoring, insulin injection and safe sharps disposal. Interactive quizzes, educational literature downloads and animated demonstrations help to teach diabetes care skills.

Important Note: The content of this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Do not disregard your doctor's advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this website.

Unless otherwise noted, BD, BD logo and all other trademarks are property of Becton Dickinson and Company. © 2017 BD