Re-using lancets

By herigoagain1 Latest Reply 2012-07-31 23:33:03 -0500
Started 2012-06-13 20:08:56 -0500

I work in a hospital and today someone told me something that I just wasn't sure about. They asked me if I reused my lancets to save money. They told me that at discharge they tell people that if they want to reuse them it's alright since they are the only person using them. I would think that they would get dull and hurt more but I am curious what all of you think since I am so new to this, I have ony been checking my BS for 6 weeks now so I am fairly new to this. My question to you is would you reuse yours or use a new one every time? Thanks for your help with this.

50 replies

jesus reigns
jesus reigns 2012-06-21 19:05:11 -0500 Report

hi my name is lisa, and i am newly diagnosed with type 2. Lancets seem to be so inexpensive, i wouldn't take the chance on using them repeatedly. i use a new one each time i test. ( i wish we could use test strips over and over. they are what is the most expensive)

CJ55 2012-06-21 05:06:18 -0500 Report

I re-use my lancets, however, i never re-use my needles, especially the the small pen needles. I don't know why, I just don't. While in a diabetes class years ago i was told to never re-use any needles including lancets. i test 6 -8 times a day and yes, i do re-use my lancets. Have a wonderful day!!

2012-06-19 23:57:50 -0500 Report

I've been reusing my lancets since I was diagnosed. (17 years ago.) Every time I was giving a new meter, I was given 200 more lancets. So I now have a storage (sip lock bag size) so stuffed w/lancets that I cannot possibly get 1 more in. I change my lancets whenever they get dull. (which is approximately twice a month. If even that) {I test twice daily}

Tweatypie 2012-06-18 14:59:10 -0500 Report

I have been testing since 1984- diabetic since 1965. I test 10-15 times a day. I change the lancet when I can no longer get any blood, even alot of times, taking the guard off and doing a direct hit on my fingers. I have to sand my finger tips often but I only change it as needed. I have never ever had a problem with infections. Most of the time I don't even wash my hands because I have to do it so often and if you don't dry completely, you will end up with a incorrect reading. I prefer a accurate reading rather than take the chance of something else. I am extremely brittle so I do not have room for any errors. That is my 2 cents worth for today! :)

Stephen H
Stephen H 2012-06-17 23:52:44 -0500 Report

I am a CNA and in my training we talked about this exact subject and we found that it is not worth the the chance of getting one of the hundred's of bactiria that live on your skin, in your blood system. For me it cheaper to just use them ine time and get new ones, then take the chance of getting ill from a used one. But I know people that do.

Type1Lou 2012-06-16 16:50:44 -0500 Report

I test an average of 7 times a day and I re-use my lancet for days at a time. If I change it monthly, I'm doing good! I'm on the pump now but when I was on MDI (Multiple Daily Injections) of insulin, I would also reuse my needles for my Novolog boluses. Never had any adverse effects in re-using in the 36 years I've lived with diabetes.

Debbie9099 2012-06-16 14:57:50 -0500 Report

I too reuse my lancets. I've been a type 1 diabetic for 41 years now. I now take 5 shots a day, which is plenty enough sticks for me. So, if I can save money and time by reusing lancets, I do.

Winks61 2012-06-16 14:35:00 -0500 Report

I am the only one using them so yes I feel I save money by not changing them all the time. They don't get dull and the reading is just fine.

techguy87114 2012-06-15 23:06:50 -0500 Report

As lancets are inexpensive, for me I use 1 lancet per test. I don't take the risk but that is just me.

Thanks for the post!


herigoagain1 2012-06-18 10:24:38 -0500 Report

I agree. I had MRSA 5 times two years ago due to my surgery. I would rather not take a chance. Thanks for the response.

Lakeland 2012-06-15 07:48:41 -0500 Report

I've had diabetes for a few years & I think I've only used 8 in that whole time. I never change. & 2 of those changes were because my insurance company changed & I had to change equipment.

Pharmacist George
Pharmacist George 2012-06-15 00:15:52 -0500 Report

As a matter of fact you can re-use lancets a couple times to save money. But i may not use them more than 2 times because they become dull and hurt more. Try it and see what works 2 or 3 times. Make sure you prick the side of the tip of your fingers and not in the middle because the edges of the tip of your fingers hurt less than the middle. By the way don't swipe your fingers with alcohol swabs because you may get a false reading. Hope this helps. Take care.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-06-16 15:27:29 -0500 Report

When I used alcohol pads (like they did in the hospital) seemed to make it sting a lot more.

Pharmacist George
Pharmacist George 2012-06-21 12:15:59 -0500 Report

Yes it will sting but not only that but you may get a false reading if you use alcohol on your skin when you're testing. Also the same goes for injecting insulin only use the alcohol swab to cleanse the tip of the vial but not the injection site. I am glad this was helpful. Let me know of any questions you might have.

Winks61 2012-06-16 14:36:39 -0500 Report

The alcohol pad side note is very helpful!!

Pharmacist George
Pharmacist George 2012-06-21 12:21:50 -0500 Report

i am glad this was a helpful tip to you. If you have any further inquiries do not hesitate to let me know. Also, I hope you're reading all the articles I am posting on Living with Diabetes where I am addressing a variety of diabetes related issues. Take care

JSJB 2012-06-15 14:46:03 -0500 Report

When I was told to check my sugar, I was told to steralize the side with alcohol swabs. This helps, I will just wash with hot water and soap, but I use a new lancet every time I test which is once a day. I can see using them twice but they should be cleaned after using them.

jamieanne 2012-06-14 16:41:17 -0500 Report

I am pretty new to doing my BS still, but I re-use mine every other day. I also have an auto immune deficiency and get infections easily so I really rather not deal with that.

Nana_anna 2012-06-14 15:29:15 -0500 Report

I am bad about reusing mine. I keep one in longer then I should. I just got in the habit of changing them each time now. The pain is the same, either way for me.

irishbear 2012-06-14 11:58:38 -0500 Report

I use a new one each time as I was directed to do, have thought about reusing them but as of yet have not done so. I agree with Graylin Bee, the cost of the lancets is a small price to pay considering you could end up spending much more if you get a nasty infection. I think you should do what makes you comfortable, everyone's body is different, what's right for one might not be right for another.

old biker
old biker 2012-06-14 06:02:36 -0500 Report

I use mine over and over ..Guess my finger tips are tough, it doesn't bother me..I been doing it like that for 11 years with no problem..Old habits are hard to break I went on medicare last year and they pickup the cost

nzingha 2012-06-15 16:04:05 -0500 Report

i reuse mine for as long as they dont give me a problem to prick my finger…i also reuse my needle and i have had no problems with either…

irishbear 2012-06-14 12:01:13 -0500 Report

You are lucky, I still have a problem pricking my fingers and it hurts most of the time. It's been two years, so maybe I have to wait nine more years!! LOL

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-06-14 05:50:28 -0500 Report

New one every time. Reasoning behind this is I survived MRSA, don't trust the air and surfaces around me enough to want to face that battle again. A box of stabby things costs less than fighting MRSA.

MAYS 2012-06-15 09:23:34 -0500 Report

A very good point!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-06-15 11:07:01 -0500 Report

Yeah, my infectious diseases drs told me we all have biofilms crawling all over us that are looking for the opportunity to colonise and cause havoc (cause havoc is my translation of dr speak). Kinda like itty bitty boogie men that really can get you!

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-13 21:54:49 -0500 Report

I have been known to reuse them, I just clean it with alcohol, don't want to take the chance of old blood messing with new results since I use insulin only. You get so many in a box and with my insurance they are so inexpensive.

nanaellen 2012-06-14 00:38:03 -0500 Report

I use mine over a few days also but I was told that you should NEVER use alcohol to wipe the needle because it takes off some of the coating which can actually MAKE the needle dull!! I will even use my syringe for my Novalog all day long before it gets dull but NEVER wipe them I just put the cover back on the needle and put it back in the kit! I'm just careful not to use that needle for my Lantus insulin at night cause you definitely can't do that! :)

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-14 00:52:41 -0500 Report

I didn't have any issues wiping with alcohol, but then I usually don't reuse and if so, not more then twice. You are correct in not mixing the two insulins. Having been doing this since a kid, that is one thing you learn, don't mix the insulins.

Kirla 2012-06-13 21:36:07 -0500 Report

I test about 8 times a day. Change lancet about 2-3 times a year. Will change when I notice I am pricking my finger several times to get a drop of blood. They do get dull after several months of daily use.

Caroltoo 2012-06-13 21:30:03 -0500 Report

My pattern is more like Nick's. I was Dx in 2003 and am still on my first box. I've tested from 2x-6x per day all that time. I change them before and after helping someone else test and/or whenever I feel they are getting dull. Have had no concerns because of this.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-06-13 20:19:41 -0500 Report

As long as your hands are clean and you are the only one using it, you can reuse them. I change mine once every three or four days.

jayabee52 2012-06-13 20:18:35 -0500 Report

I test about 3 x/day and I change mine when it starts hurting. I have no set amount of time or number of uses.

Controlled 2012-06-13 20:14:39 -0500 Report

I don't even change mine that often. I wash and dry my hands each time. I recently got the One Touch Delica lancets and they're great. Formerly, I had a hard time touching hot things because my fingers were always healing. You can't even feel this lancing device.

I have no doubt some will tell you to change them each time. I don't believe that it's necessary and experienced no effects using them repeatedly.