The Do's and Don't's of injecting your diabetes medication

Aug 25, 2017

Follow these simple steps to develop healthy injection habits and ensure your injectable diabetes medication is administered effectively.1

STEP 1: Mix your medication (for NPH and insulin mix)1

Roll the pen between the palms of the hands and gently tip it over at least 20 times. Visually check if there are any crystals left at the bottom of the cartridge.

STEP 2: Set up a new needle on your pen*

This is one of the first steps you'll do when you receive your medication pen.

It's important to screw the needle on straight. Remove the outer cap and the coloured inner cap.

STEP 3. Prime the pen and dial up your dose1*

Before each injection, dial a minimum of two units and prime the pen with the needle pointing upwards. Repeat this step until a drop of medication appears on the tip of the needle to ensure the pen is working properly and is free of air bubbles.

After priming the pen, dial up your required dose.

STEP 4: Insert the needle, inject the dose and hold1*

Insert the needle into the injection site and push the plunger all the way to zero to administer the medication dose. To ensure the full dose is delivered, it is important to hold the needle under the skin for at least 10 seconds.

STEP 5: Dispose of your pen needle1

After each injection, the needle should be removed and disposed of in a sharps collector. Remember to use a new pen needle for every injection.

* These are general recommendations. Always follow the instructions for use provided by the manufacturer of your diabetes medication.

  1. Frid AH, Kreugel G, Grassi G et al. Mayo Clin Proc. September 2016:91(9):1231-1255.