How do I prepare my insulin injection?


When preparing your insulin injection, start by ensuring you have all of the necessary equipment: syringe, insulin pen, and needle, andinsulin bottle. Then proceed using the following steps:

  • Wash your hands.
  • Choose an injection site. Do not inject insulin into a callusedor hard, lumpy site. Rotate site as instructed byyour health care professional.
  • Check the bottle of insulin to make sure you are usingthe right kind. For an insulin pen, screw on the needle.Use a new needle every time with an insulin pen.
  • For cloudy insulin, gently roll the bottle of insulinbetween your palms or rotate the pen slowly from endto end to mix. Make sure it is mixed thoroughly. Shakingthe bottle can cause air bubbles. Do not use if it hasclumps or particles in it.
  • For an insulin syringe, hold the syringe with the needle pointing up and draw air into it by pulling down on theplunger to the amount that matches the dose to be given.For an insulin pen, perform an “air shot” by pushing1–2 drops of insulin through the needle. Set the insulindose according to manufacturer’s directions. Proceed toinstructions on injecting insulin.
  •  Remove the cap from the needle. Hold the insulin bottlesteady on a tabletop and push the needle straight downinto the rubber top on the bottle. Push down on theplunger to inject the air into the insulin bottle.
  •  Keep the needle in and turn the bottle and syringe upsidedown so that the insulin is on top. Pull the correct amountof insulin into the syringe by pulling back on the plunger.
  • Check for air bubbles on the inside of the syringe. If yousee air bubbles, keep the bottle upside down and pushthe plunger up so the insulin goes back into the bottle.
  •  Pull down on the plunger to refill the syringe. If necessary,empty and refill until all air bubbles in the syringeare gone.
  • Remove the needle from the bottle after checking againthat you have the correct dose.
  • If you need to set the syringe down before giving yourinjection, recap and lay it on its   side. Make sure theneedle doesn’t touch anything.

Continue Learning about Insulin

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.