How should I use diabetic needles and syringes?


Diabetic needles and syringes allow you to administer injectable liquid insulin to yourself. If your doctor has prescribed insulin injections, a nurse or other healthcare professional will explain how to use diabetic needles and syringes properly.

Before each insulin injection, gather together your insulin, needle and syringe, and alcohol pads. After washing your hands, rub the insulin bottle between your palms to warm it. After removing the cap, clean the rubber stopper with an alcohol pad.

Next, uncap your needle, pull back the plunger to draw in an amount of air equal to the dosage of insulin your doctor prescribed and insert the syringe into the bottle. Slowly push the plunger down, then hold the bottle of insulin upside down as you draw the plunger on the syringe. Continue pulling the plunger until the correct dosage of insulin has been drawn into the syringe.

Remove the needle from the bottle and lay the entire syringe down making sure the tip does not touch anything. Be sure to recap your bottle of insulin.

The best areas to inject are your abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, or upper outer arms. Make sure to choose an area that is at least a half of inch away from your last injection. You will need to take another alcohol pad and clean this area.

Insulin needs to be injected into the layer of fat directly under your skin. Insulin will enter your blood stream too quickly if you inject it into muscle instead of fat. Pinching your skin between your thumb and index finger will help you inject insulin.

Using your other hand, position the filled-syringe at a 90 degree angle and insert it into your skin. Children or thin people may hold their needle at a 40 degree angle. Slowly push the plunger all the way in and remove the needle. Don’t rub the injection site to avoid irritation.

Finally, be sure to dispose of or store your used needles and syringes properly. For disposable needles, immediately recap them and put them in a container that cannot be punctured, such as an old laundry detergent bottle. Label the container so that no one accidently comes into contact with your used needles.

Continue Learning about Insulin Injections

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.