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Reuse of needles w insulin pens
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #1
Question Reuse of needles w insulin pens
My doc gave me some professional samples of Novolog insulin pens. Each pen holds 300 ml of rapid insulin. But, they only come with 7 needles.

I reuse needles with my vials; I'm not sure about the pens.

Can I put a needle on at the beginning of the day and just use it for the approx 3 injections per day?

S.O.P. for pens is to fire 2 units with the needle up to clear any air before dialing in the dose. This should clear the needle channel.

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06-17-2015 06:20 PM
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Mosquitobait Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Reuse of needles w insulin pens
If you do some googling "reusing pen needles insulin", it's a common practice but has some risks which increase the more times you do that. The UK health site including links to some studies. I'm not an insulin user, so really am not in the position to suggest one way or the other.
06-17-2015 06:41 PM
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Starrbelie Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Reuse of needles w insulin pens
As long as you protect the needle and don't let it get contaminated, I don't see any problem with it.

Starr
06-17-2015 08:01 PM
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PollCat Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Reuse of needles w insulin pens
The problem with reusing the needles is that they seem to get dull and/or more flexible. I've done this several times when I've had to switch pens to get a full dose of insulin. Most of the time every thing is fine, but every once in awhile I've had needles bend on the second injection. Or, the second injection seems to hurt more (which might be psychological on my part).


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA.
INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
06-17-2015 10:10 PM
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Starrbelie Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Reuse of needles w insulin pens
Must just be you PollCat because the NCBI actually did a study on that very thing. And we all know that those studies are the final word on all things! Their conclusion is that you can use insulin pen needles up to five time without an increase in pain. Maybe you just have some tough skin...haha! Wink
06-17-2015 10:33 PM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Reuse of needles w insulin pens
We don't recommend reusing needles, as the risk of the needle degrading or becoming infected increases with each injecting, as well as the risk of the tube clogging, however, you are of course free to do what you wish, and yes, I have heard that the needles on the pen can be used in extremis up to five times, but on the whole it is better to limit the number of uses to single dose. We commonly have patients come in with infections at injection points from reusing needles of insulin injections, so be warned on that scale, too - if you do reuse your needle, do not leave it attached to the pen, and store it in a clean, cool place, preferably wrapped in tin foil or some other method of maintaining a relatively clean environment around it. However, I would suggest rather to not reuse needles if you can. I realise they are not cheap, but there are firms you can bulk buy that drop the price considerably, and again, it is a question of your health. Always swab the needle with an alcohol wipe before use and after use is you do reuse it, but again, I really don't think it is a great idea - the only place where needle reuse is more or less tolerable and unimportant is your personal lancet used to to prick your finger to get a blood reading, as the lancet is shielded when retracted, barely penetrates the skin at all and does not come into contact with bodily fluids of any sort. There you can use it until it starts to hurt going in, which tells you it is blunted. But injectables is another question all together. Never share needles, and never share lancets, either.
(This post was last modified: 06-18-2015 07:50 AM by DocWils.)
06-18-2015 05:32 AM
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GrammaBear Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Reuse of needles w insulin pens
When I used insulin pens I was told not to reuse them or to leave them attached to the pen between uses. I have to admit that I did reuse them - only for one day, but I did not leave the needles attached to the pen between jabs. The reason for detaching the needles, I was told, is that leaving it attached can contribute to leakage. Plus I could not put the cap on the pen with the needle attached. Be careful with reusing pen needles.
06-18-2015 07:22 AM
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PsychoMike Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Reuse of needles w insulin pens
Needles dull very quickly...microscopically, it is a fender-bender (well, tip bender) after one and a train wreck after 2. I'm not on insulin, but I know several folks who are and who use pen needles. For most of them, 2x is the absolute limit they will use a needle.

From a former first responder perspective, new every time is the best practice....keeps things sterile and avoids other issues.
06-18-2015 04:40 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Reuse of needles w insulin pens
I'm using Victoza now and that itty bitty needle is so freakin' thin, no way I would use it twice. Too easy to dull it or bend it. I'll reuse my finger poker sticker thing more than once of course (I'm lazy) but it is bigger.

I had a needle the other day that looked a little bent but I used it anyway, figuring it was an optical illusion. It was fresh out of the package! I bled like mad when I pulled it out.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
06-19-2015 05:46 PM
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me50 Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Reuse of needles w insulin pens
just curious what size lancets that you all use. I think it depends on the glucose meter as to what they require and I don't know if they are interchangeable or not. can you use a 28 when it comes with 33's? what do you that are diabetic use as far as the gauge? I have a young teenager coming for a while this summer and I need to be prepared and learn about this stuff at least a little bit.
(This post was last modified: 06-19-2015 08:58 PM by me50.)
06-19-2015 07:20 PM
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