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Injection equipment for insulin

Selecting the proper injection equipment helps make the insulin injection as easy as possible. You can ask your nurse for guidance regarding the choice of equipment.

To inject insulin, you need an injection device containing insulin and needles. The insulin comes either in a pre-filled pen or replaceable insulin cartridge of a reusable insulin pen. The insulin is dosed out from the pen in half-units, units or, in the case of larger doses, double units. You can set the dose at the end of the pen by turning, and the dose is displayed on the dose screen.

In exceptional cases, such as when a reusable pen breaks, can 100 units/ml insulin also be injected using a unit syringe meant solely for injecting insulin, which comes ready with a needle.

Insulin injection equipment are free care equipment. You can obtain the injection equipment from the care supplies distribution of your wellbeing county against a referral issued by your care provider.

Insulin is bought from a pharmacy subject to an electronic prescription from a doctor. Applying for Kela’s special reimbursability for insulin therapy requires a B referral issued by a doctor.

The insulin pen needles required for injecting insulin are available in different lengths. For most people, the recommended length is 4–6 mm. It is recommended to change the needle for each injection.

The recommendation for hospitals and home care is to use safety pen needles, which include a safety mechanism that prevents accidents when injecting. Safety pen needles can only be used once.

Like any care equipment, the procurement of insulin pen needles is subject to competitive tendering. Usually, the wellbeing county's care supplies distribution provides one needle brand. In principle, the needles are designed to fit all insulin pens.

If you have problems with using the needle, contact your care provider.

A pre-filled insulin pen comes ready with insulin. When the pre-filled pen runs out of insulin or expires, you can start using the next pen. You can buy the pens in packages of five or ten at a pharmacy.

A reusable pen uses a replaceable insulin cartridge. Reusable pens are for a specific insulin, in other words, a specific insulin product must be used with the manufacturer’s own pen. You can buy cartridges at a pharmacy in packs of five.

Some reusable pens include a memory function. In this case, the pen indicates the time of the last insulin dose.

Referral is needed to get a reusable pen from the care supplies distribution. Alternatively, reusable pen can be bought from the importer. Your nurse will advise you on the use of a reusable insulin pen.

Unit syringes are part of the treatment supplies distributed to people with diabetes. Insulin should be drawn into the syringe slowly and calmly.

Drawing insulin from a pen cartridge of a reusable pen: Do not introduce air into the cartridge as adding air can break it. Directly draw the desired amount of insulin into the syringe.

Drawing insulin from a bottle: Inject a slightly larger amount of insulin into the bottle with the syringe than the required insulin dose. After that, draw precisely the desired amount of insulin into the syringe.

Air bubbles: Remove any air bubbles that may form in the syringe by holding the syringe with the needle pointing upwards and tapping the syringe with your finger so that the air bubbles gather at the base of the needle, from where you can push them out of the syringe. Air bubbles are not harmful, but if there are many, the injected insulin dose will be insufficient.

Note that only insulin with a strength of 100 units/ml should be drawn into the unit syringe. Insulin should also never be administered with a regular syringe.

Needles are disposed in accordance with the municipal waste management regulations. If the municipality has not issued any instructions regarding the disposal of needles, you can place them in a jar with a lid and dispose of it with mixed waste. It is a good idea to bend the needles or clip them off using a specified needle clipper. Some pharmacies have a container for used needles.

Updated 11.10.2023