Pen needle FAQ

Insulin pen questions

What is an insulin pen?

Insulin pens are the size and shape of a large marker. They carry insulin in a self-contained cartridge. Insulin pens are easy to use and growing in popularity.

Some people use insulin pens for all of their injections, while others carry them when they are on the go and rely on less expensive and more versatile insulin syringes when they need to do the following:

  • Mix different insulins.
  • Take an insulin that is not available in a pen.
  • Inject at home.

Insulin pens are used with pen needles that are sold separately. A new pen needle should be used for each injection.

Insulin pens are not sold or distributed by BD. They are manufactured and sold by three major insulin companies in the United States: Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk. As a company, we manufacture and sell pen needles that are compatible with leading diabetes medication pens.

Why are hospitals now using insulin pens?

In recent years, pens have become popular for people living with diabetes. To provide continuity of care, some hospitals are now considering the use of insulin pens.

Insulin pens may contribute to cost savings. Pens contain 300 units of insulin, which is a good quantity for patients who are admitted for a two- to three-day hospital stay. By contrast, insulin vials contain 1,000 units of insulin; any excess insulin must be discarded after the patient is discharged.

In the United States, hospitals could not make this transition due to the lack of a safety-engineered pen needle. BD now offers a safety-engineered pen needle, the BD AutoShield Duo pen needle.

Pen needle questions

Which pens can be used with a BD pen needle?

BD pen needles can be used with leading diabetes medication pens sold in the United States. They are tested in accordance with ISO standards for compatibility.

Can BD pen needles be used on Novo Nordisk insulin delivery devices?

Yes. BD pen needles can be used with leading diabetes medication pens sold in the United States. They are tested in accordance with ISO standards for compatibility.

Which BD pen needle sizes are available?

BD currently offers 4-mm x 32-G, 5-mm x 31-G, 8-mm x 31-G, and 12.7-mm x 29-G pen needles. Recommendations on insulin delivery published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings state the following:

"The shortest needles (currently, the 4-mm pen and 6-mm syringe needles)* are safe, effective and less painful and should be the first-line choice in all patient categories."1

Therefore, BD recommends that pen needle patients upgrade to the BD Nano 4mm pen needle.

Where can I buy BD Ultra-Fine pen needles?

All of our products are available at national retailers. If a particular item is not available, a pharmacist can order it.

What do BD pen needles cost?

The cost for BD Ultra-Fine pen needles is set at the retail level, so it varies from store to store.

How do I properly dispose of BD pen needles?

In many cases, local communities establish disposal rules. So first, check with your town or trash removal company on what they recommend for the safe disposal of used insulin syringes. A good place to call may be your local health department. The following guidelines may be helpful:

  • Never throw loose pen needles into the trash. If you are disposing of your own pen needle, clip the needle with a needle-clipping device such as the BD Safe-Clip needle storage device, which you can order at your pharmacy.
  • Never handle someone else's pen needle unless a healthcare professional trains you in proper injection technique and disposal. If you inject someone else or dispose of their pen needle, use extreme caution to avoid needlesticks, which can transmit serious and even grave infections.
  • Never recap or destroy a needle that has been used by someone else. Immediately after the injection, place the used pen needle in a safe container.
  • Put the used pen needle into a BD home sharps container, or check with your local sanitation or health department regarding rules on properly disposing of used pen needles and sharps containers. Keep this container away from children. When the container is full, seal the lid securely and dispose of it properly.
  • Never dispose of used pen needles or other medical waste in recyclable trash.

What is PentaPoint Comfort, and what benefits does it provide?

BD pen needles with PentaPoint Comfort is a BD pen needle innovation that has a five-bevel needle tip. While other brands only provide three bevels, PentaPoint Comfort delivers five bevels that create a flatter, thinner surface designed to penetrate the skin with significantly greater ease and enable a more comfortable and easier injection.2

Why did BD decide to introduce BD pen needles with BD PentaPoint Comfort?

BD is always looking for ways to better address its customer's unmet needs. Since minimizing pain during injection is an area of great concern for patients, BD developed BD PentaPoint Comfort to provide a less painful and more comfortable injection experience. In a clinical trial, the five-bevel needle tip was perceived as less painful and preferred by patients following home use with their usual injections.2

What are bevels on pen needles?

Bevels are angled edges at the needle tip that create a sharp point and facilitate penetration into the skin. With an increased number of bevels, a pen needle can more easily enter the skin and thereby, increase comfort as well as reduce pain for patients. Standard pen needles have only three bevels.2 BD pen needles with PentaPoint Comfort technology are the first and only pen needles with five bevels for a more comfortable injection experience.

Is PentaPoint Comfort on pen needles and syringes?

Currently, PentaPoint Comfort is only available on BD pen needles, not on BD insulin syringes.

What BD pen needle sizes feature PentaPoint Comfort?

BD offers PentaPoint Comfort only on 31-G and 32-G BD pen needles in 4-mm, 5-mm and 8-mm lengths.

How does the penetration of PentaPoint Comfort compare to other pen needles, and how does this penetration improve the patient injection experience?

BD pen needles with PentaPoint Comfort require 23% less force to be inserted. Because it requires less penetration force, the pen needle is designed to enter the body more easily and smoothly, and therefore, it provides a more comfortable and less painful injection experience.2

What is the BD AutoShield Duo pen needle?

The BD AutoShield Duo pen needle is a safety-engineered pen needle incorporating BD needle technology, providing the following features:

Dual red bands visually confirm that the safety feature has been activated.

The pen needle is available in a 5-mm length for one-handed, no pinch-up technique injections.

The pen needle is compatible with leading diabetes medication pens in the United States.

What makes the BD AutoShield Duo pen needle a safety needle?

The BD AutoShield Duo pen needle has been designed to help prevent accidental needlesticks. If handled properly, the BD AutoShield Duo pen needle helps minimize the risk of an accidental needlestick compared to conventional pen needles.

Is touching the back end of a used pen needle safe?

With proper handling, the back end of the needle would not normally be touched.

What safety pen needle sizes does BD offer?

The BD AutoShield Duo pen needle covers both ends of the needle, so needlephobia is reduced. The BD AutoShield Duo pen needle is the only dual-ended safety-engineered pen needle available in the 5-mm length.

Why should our hospital use BD insulin pen needles?

Your facility can use BD products with confidence because BD is the leader in healthcare worker safety for the following reasons:

  • Pioneered safety products: BD introduced the world's first safety-engineered syringe.
  • Track record in multiple technologies: BD offers the most extensive array of safety-engineered injection products available.
  • Hospital leadership: More hospitals in the United States use BD insulin syringes than any other brand.

What is the catalog number for the BD AutoShield Duo pen needle?



* Excluding safety insulin syringes

† Children from 2 to 6 years old, extremely lean adults or patients with loose skin may need to use a pinch-up technique.

  1. Frid AH, Kreugel G, Grassi G, et al. New insulin delivery recommendations. Mayo Clin Proc. 2016;91(9):1231-1255.
  2. Hirsch L, Gibney M, Berube J, Manocchio J. Impact of a modified needle tip geometry on penetration force as well as acceptability, preference, and perceived pain in subjects with diabetes. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2012;6(2):328-335.

This site uses cookies. If you click accept cookies then all cookies will be written. Please review our cookies policy and configure your cookies for your experience.