By Roxdel Latest Reply 2012-07-22 04:00:10 -0500
Started 2012-07-08 07:19:22 -0500

I am type 2 on the Lantus pen insulin, I give myself a shot every morning somewhere on my stomach. Sometimes it really stings and bruises and sometimes it does not hurt at all. Every morning I wonder is this going to hurt or not. Is there somewhere else I can give myself a shot that won't hurt at all?

48 replies

MillyJo 2012-07-15 21:56:59 -0500 Report

I am a type 2 diabetic diagnosed 24 years ago. I have been using injections for 18 years. I was given some very good advice by the nurse that first told me how to use the lancet with the least pain. This advice has helped with injections also.

(1) your skin has discrete nerve endings scattered randomly (supposedly) on the skin. If the lancet or needle hits one of these nerve endings YOU WILL FEEL PAIN! However, you can avoid these nerve endings very simply: gently touch the tip of the lancet or needle to the surface of the sterilized skin(just touch, don't poke). If you touch a place where there is a nerve ending, you will feel a gentle 'tingle' (not pain). Simple move the tip over a fraction of an inch (1/8) and touch again. When you do not feel the 'tingle' you are in a place without a nerve ending and you may inset the lancet/needle at that point with no pain. And, yes, rotate where you inject. I work on one area for a week, then change for the next week ( front of left thigh 1 week, front of right thigh, second week, etc).

(2) When you get a bruise, it is because the tip of the needle has penetrated a small blood vessel and it has leaked a small amount of blood into the surrounding tissues. You can prevent this by pulling out the needle and immediately pressing on the site with sterile cotton and your finger and holding it for about 2 or 3 minutes. Of course, you can also prevent it if you do not puncture a vessel! (LOL) Actually, I have a theory about the relationship between the location of the pain sensors in the skin and the location of small blood vessels below: I believe that the pain sensors are placed directly above blood arterioles and capillaries. I have noticed that if I inject the insulin and feel pain when inserting the needle, I am more likely to get a bruise if I do not apply pressure long enough for a clot to form. If I do not feel pain when the needle enters the skin, I never bruise whether or not I apply pressure after withdrawing the needle.

Hope this helps someone.

tootsma 2012-07-12 20:55:34 -0500 Report

I wanted to use that lantus pen but my doctor said my ins dont cover it. I have kaiser is it very expensive?

Roxdel 2012-07-11 19:08:00 -0500 Report

Thanks everyone, it's good to know that this happens to alot of others, not just me. I learned alot, everyone here is so helpful.

Setzer 2012-07-10 22:32:50 -0500 Report

I've always done it in my thighs and never had a real problem with pain. Wow, reading how much Lantus some of you take is blowing my mind. I only take 10.

Armourer 2012-07-09 00:36:15 -0500 Report

I do 55 units Lantus twice a day with the pen. I switch sides of my waist each time. To minimize the sting try slowly injecting. To help with the bruising try rubbing the area after injection.

CJ55 2012-07-08 22:37:24 -0500 Report

Oh also, after opening the refridgeratored pen, you can leave it unrefridgeratored for 30 days. Less painful I think. I currently use U-500 insulin (vial) and for the first time, i have seen, after opening it, you can keep at room temp as well. Much easier for traveling. No more ice chest to keep insulin cool. :-)

dubyadd 2012-07-10 13:12:49 -0500 Report

you are correct, insulin is stable at room temps for 30 days or so and should never be injected cold, right out of the refrig. If you keep your A/C on a lot you can just hold the pen in your hand or put it in a pocket until it warms to near body temp. Injection of cold insulin will be painful in most cases.
By the way if you can read the microscopic type on the info sheet that comes with the insulin and have a few extra days to read it, a lot of the info about injections procedure will be in there.

Roxdel 2012-07-09 06:32:36 -0500 Report

I do leave my pen out but I'm wondering if it is still too cool from the air conditioning, this morning I warmed it up more before I gave me my shot and it did not sting.

CJ55 2012-07-08 22:33:13 -0500 Report

I have used several different med pens. I usually inject into my tummy. Sometimes it burns like crazy sometimes no pain at all. Same with deep dark purple bruises. Off and on. I inject and press down onto pen. I never pinch the skin. That seemed to always hurt. When I am in the hospital the nurses will inject my arm, that hurts. So for me, it is the tummy!

Harlen 2012-07-08 14:35:41 -0500 Report

For me I would give the shot slowly in my belly or thigh
I even let the pen come to room temp and that too seamed to help
Best wishes

dubyadd 2012-07-10 13:00:47 -0500 Report

I'll have to ask my Doc if I can split my dose of 120U of Lantus. I was told to inject 1X/day at approx the same time each day. And NOT to rub the injection site, so when It starts to sting, I remove the needle and move the injection site a few inches away. The info I got about rubbing was that if you rub it will speed up the release of the Lantus and could cause a lower blood sugar. However sometimes it stings so bad the only way I can get any relief is to rub the area, so I rub it anyway.
Glad to know I am not the only one that is experiencing this type of pain, and that it seems to be random in nature. But wish there was some answer to eliminate it. ( FYI all my insulin is injected at room temps)

Harlen 2012-07-10 15:49:25 -0500 Report

Try giving it in your thigh in the fleshy part
Best wishes

dubyadd 2012-07-10 21:40:12 -0500 Report

I use my thigh for the humalog, my belly for the lantus, both burn randomly sometimes extremely intense, other times no pain at all. The lantus does burn more often and more intense than the humalog but since I take 10X as much and it gells up once inside you I guess it would be expected, yes?

CJ55 2012-07-10 22:07:02 -0500 Report

I have used Humalog, Lantus, Byetta, and now I take U-500 concentrated Humilin R. All burned except u-500 . It didnt matter where I injected it. However, i did notice a difference when using a vial and the pen. The cold vial always burned as wher the pen was room temp. It didnt hardly ever burn.

dubyadd 2012-07-10 22:26:44 -0500 Report

if you injected cold insulin, it would burn. All insulin should be injected a room temp or body temp. They will last 30 days outside the refrig.. Years ago my sister refrigerated all her insulin , then took out the vial an hour before injecting, or filled the syringe, and let it set out for an hour so she could get the vial back in the refrig. Thank goodness we don't have to go through that mess anymore. But I inject only room temp insulin and it still burns sometimes. Sometimes 0 pain sometimes alot, a real lot. I guess it could be how close the needle is to a pain nerve? I have asked many w/o a real answer. I just posed the question to the ask the experts section of this site and await a reply.

dubyadd 2012-07-22 04:00:10 -0500 Report

I got a reply from the RN at Joslin Diabetic Center. Nothing really new that has not be discussed here. Don't take cold insulin, maybe use a different length needle, don't inject into muscle (yikes that must hurt) and Lantus seems to cause more injection pain than others-{great- that's what I take}. Guess I'll just charlie mike then!

dietcherry 2012-07-08 12:19:29 -0500 Report

Ive been taking shots over 30 years and I find my belly to be the most insensitive to pain. We are taught to pinch the skin up but I also take shots by pushing down on my skin with my thumb and forefinger, stretching the skin apart, and inject in between. I also use my behind and the backs of my arms. I havent used my upper legs since I was a teen—that was the most painful place for me.

IronOre 2012-07-09 22:04:24 -0500 Report

Yes, I find that the more the pinch hurts the less you feel the injection.
The good thing about pinching the stomach is you are reminded everytime you do it that there is too much pinchable mass there and something needs to be done about it.

dietcherry 2012-07-09 23:56:09 -0500 Report

I like a little cushion for the needle pushin—otherwise it REALLY hurts lol

dubyadd 2012-07-10 04:06:04 -0500 Report

try a little glycerin on the tip of your needle, the extra lubrication will help the needle penetrate the skin, and if it does help, you can always use it as skin lotion.

MillyJo 2012-07-15 21:32:24 -0500 Report

suggestion: make sure the glycerin
is sterile or you could be injecting bacteria and causing an infection!

dubyadd 2012-07-22 03:49:16 -0500 Report

that would be nice if it was sterile, but once opened, no more sterile. I do watch for redness, and have none, after 45 days of use. I wipe the needle before and after each use, and dip the tip in a drop of glycerin just before injection, so it is only on the outside of the needle.This system works for me as it saves me buying syringe's. And as I have no insurance, everything is out of pocket. I have gotten as many as 120 injections from 1 syringe this way. Yahoo!

dubyadd 2012-07-10 03:46:42 -0500 Report

i use my legs for my humolog, just to keep separation from the lantus which i use my belly for. with 120 units of lantus i need lots of room for it, sometimes doing 6+injection sites because of the burning that occurs sometimes. I use a 31 gauge needle so it should not occur, and I have talked with Doc and pharmacist and they have no explanation for the humolog burning since I am only taking 10-18 at a time. Any ideas? The burning only occurrs sometimes, other times I don't feel a thing, go figure.

dietcherry 2012-07-10 12:43:32 -0500 Report

When I was on Lantus, my Endo said it was the base that caused the burning and there wasnt really anything that could be done about it, except to only inject it at room temperature to cut down on the burning. I went back to Humulin N cause I do better on it (Humulin doesnt burn at all).

dubyadd 2012-07-10 21:50:09 -0500 Report

that's right, since Lantus has a different pH than the human body, it forms into a gell when injected. This gell slowly dissolves over 18- 28 hours. That why it should not be rubbed, as it breaks up the gell and it dissolves faster. But when one is in extreme pain, you forget about glucose levels I find. I will check with my Doc about the Humulin N. I am on a patient assist with the Lantus so I get it free, as I have no insurance. Maybe I can get the same thing with the Humulin.

dietcherry 2012-07-10 22:30:06 -0500 Report

Cool—thanks for sharing that! The Humulin N is a bit different from Lantus as it peaks where Lantus doesnt. My body prefers Humulin N and R over the newer insulins—if it aint broke, dont fix it!!

old biker
old biker 2012-07-08 08:10:55 -0500 Report

I also am on Lantus pen insulin and like you inject in my stomach. I tried my thigh and the back of my arm felt to awkward. So I stick with my stomach and yes sometimes it stings and other times it don't

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