Using the insulin pen needles more than once.

By EJMac Latest Reply 2015-09-11 14:20:10 -0500
Started 2012-11-25 12:58:59 -0600

I am recently on disability and now on medicare too. Having trouble getting the supplies that I need for each month, IE I ordered my insulin pens and they gave me one pen for $45.00 which only had enough for 18days (actually with the wasted amounts to clear the needles, it was only 16 days worth. I did finally get what I needed because she put some special vacation status so I could get my usual box of 5 pens. I unfortunately need to give shots 5 times a day so i need 150 needles a month. Ordered a month friom the pharmacy and they gave me a box (sold me) a box with 100. I use 150 for a month.
They say they cannppt give me more than one month at a time and can't break a box. I was using the BD pen needles. I decided to try a box of 50
of the Walmart brand (Rely On) so I could use the needles one time each. OUch the Walmart brand pen needles hurt alot. I don't even feel the BD brand and I do it 5 times a day. MY QUESTION IS have any of you used the BD pen needles more than once. I',m afraid that it might contaminate the insulin. I was wondering if I put the used pen needle in a baggie in the am, if I could use it again at the night time dose of the same insulin. I won't be using the Rely On brand-it really does hurt too much for 5 a times a day. Please let me know if you have used yours more than once (same insulin) without any problems.

30 replies

Bob2830 2015-09-11 14:20:10 -0500 Report

This is what I use almost no pain and sometimes no pain at all
Lancets OneTouch Ultra Soft
NovoFine Pen Needles 32Gx4mm

Bob2830 2015-09-11 14:13:25 -0500 Report

This is what I use, almost no pain
Strips OneTouch UltraSoft
PenNeedles NovoFine Plus 32G or Nano 32Gx4mm

hilarious 2014-12-16 19:20:40 -0600 Report

Oh my God! why did i do that, Oh please be patient with me and hear my screen play. I have been using the same pen needle for more than 40 days now. Several times it was bent but somehow i managed to straighten it up and used again, not because i did not have money to buy but only because i was lazy enough to enter the pharmacy although i was walking by the 4 drug stores on my way home every day. Today it was raining and i wanted a shelter so i entered into the pharmacy and asked him about the needles and bought the whole pack. "hooray". My question to all of you folks! is there any damage done to my still functioning belly where i inject the needle or somewhere else?

manapua72 2012-12-03 22:37:00 -0600 Report

Always changed my needle … For every shot . Was using Novolog pen & Lantus pen … 5-8 shots daily … #'s were still out of control … My stomach felt like a pin cushion . I've been on an insulin pump for a little over 2 weeks now . I love not taking all those shots now … U can't even feel the needle when u do an infusion set change and best of all my #'s r so much better …,..

KG66 2012-12-12 23:42:51 -0600 Report

I love the pump! Sadly the pump does not like me! :(

Caroltoo 2012-12-13 01:02:05 -0600 Report

Those pictures look like it is really painful. What does your doctor say about this?

KG66 2012-12-13 08:30:43 -0600 Report

She says I'm alergic to the adhesive so we're trying different things to see if they work but so far no luck!

Caroltoo 2012-12-13 13:30:08 -0600 Report

Could you use a Ace bandage(s) in place of the tape? I use a gauze patch when I get a shot, but I don't have to wear it long so that's very different.

Jake Levinthal
Jake Levinthal 2012-11-30 13:51:17 -0600 Report

I'm not sure about the new method you suggested but I'm glad you asked here to see what other people might say. Do you use any other advice/forum sites besides DC? I came across this article about another site I use too . I hope you have gotten some great, useful advice!

liquorish 2012-11-30 13:15:57 -0600 Report

Hey, again. I just scrolled down the discussion page and MAYS has a link for those who need help with supplies. Liquorish

liquorish 2012-11-30 13:11:43 -0600 Report

Hello EJMac. Yes. I use my pens over again. If you think about it, in the "old days", all medical equipment was reused. It was sterilized first. My husband is in the medical profession, and puts his equipment in some kind of solution to soak after each use. This equipment costs 10's of 1,000's of dollars, so can't be thrown away after each use. It is used for years this way. What I do is to put the needle in alcohol. Straight rubbing alcohol. Let it soak for a few hours, then take it out of the alcohol and use immediately. I have found, though, that I can only do this for one or two days, and then the alcohol seems to weaken the needle and it bends. But I can use the same needle all day if I need to. I don't let it sit around on the pen, though. Use it, then straight to the alcohol. Then straight to the pen and use. Also, go to google and google for diabetic supplies, and you can find places to get them cheaper. Also Amazon. I was paying $60.00 for 50 test strips, but now pay $20.00 for 50 strips. I also bought needles for the first time a few weeks ago. Give it a try. I was going to ask my doctor about that Reli-on meter since the strips are only $9.00 for 50. Is it any good? I don't know if you can get insulin over the "net". Probably not. Good luck. Liquorish

Type1Lou 2012-11-29 12:57:15 -0600 Report

Prior to going on an insulin pump in Fall 2011, I was taking 4 shots of insulin per day using an insulin pen (3 of Novolog and 1 of Lantus). I used the BD Ultra-fine (31 gauge) Pen Needles, short 8mm length and would re-use my Novolog needle for up to one week (3 shots x 7 days= 21 total shots.) I would keep the needle screwed onto the pen for this entire time, only unscrewing it when I was discarding and replacing it. I know the doctors/medical establishment frown upon this but I never developed any problem as a result of this practice.

s l k
s l k 2012-11-28 13:10:13 -0600 Report

I was shown a microscope picture of a new needle versus one after injected once…it was enough to discourage me…BUT last night, I was unexpectedly treated to dinner by my husband and had left my syringes at home…I had insulin so I was able to pull the insulin up but what I didn't do was equalize with air (that is, I didn't pump the equal amount of air in while pulling up the insullin).

It seemed fine. I use the Reli-on brand from Walmart. Between my husband and I we use 6-7 needles a day and it's an economic thing. I do get the 31 gauge.

(I also RARELY swab with alcohol…in fact I use one lancet a day in my machine (4 tests)…a bad habit I'm trying very hard to break.)

Set apart
Set apart 2012-11-28 05:51:52 -0600 Report

I will reuse my needles more than once my diabetic educator told me not to do this so my insurance approved the needles I needed, but I still think it's not an issue as long as you're careful and your the only one injecting yourself,

MAYS 2012-11-27 21:21:03 -0600 Report

Let's weigh the pro's aad con's of using pen needles more than once:

My advice is that you weigh your options carefully, talk to your doctor(s) and do what is best for you concerning this matter, try contacting Becton Dickinson below concerning their patient assistance program:

BD Medical – Diabetes Care offers a patient assistance program for people who use BD Ultra-Fine™ Insulin Syringes.

You may qualify if you cannot pay for insulin syringes because your income is low and you do not have health insurance. You must meet financial and other program-specific criteria to be eligible for assistance.

People who receive Medicare or Medicaid benefits do not qualify for this program.
If you qualify, you can receive BD Ultra-Fine™ Insulin Syringes for a small co-pay.

PLEASE CALL TOLL FREE: 1-866-818-6906

HeidiLynne 2012-11-27 16:39:33 -0600 Report

very interesting topic!! I have no insurance and do not qualify for medicare yet.
I find it expensive to buy syringes and pen needles. I am glad to hear from
those who use their needles more than once without problems. Thanks!

MoeGig 2012-11-26 20:51:38 -0600 Report

I use the same syringe until it gets dull…never had a problem..over 40 years. Take 3-4 shots per day…a syringe will last a week approximately.

KG66 2012-11-26 11:03:05 -0600 Report

When I was on the pen I used the BD brand and my doctor advised me to NEVER use the same needle twice. She sent me home with all the information and a diagram of what happens to needles the more often they are used. The metal of the needle tends to peel and shed which is not good and can cause pain. I do hear of a lot of people who use the same needle I just don't really recommend it…I myself wouldn't take the chance. I figure I'd rather be safe with my diabetes than have ever more risks! :P

Langerm 2012-11-26 00:00:20 -0600 Report

I was wondering this, too, so I looked it up. If you leave the needle on the pen, and recap the pen, there is no reason not to reuse. The needle will get a little duller, and the injection a little more painful. I try to use each needle 3 times for my pens. The one thing I did notice was on my basal insulin, one needle got clogged or something and I couldn't inject. So I changed it.

IronOre 2012-11-25 21:43:03 -0600 Report

I reuse my insulin syringes (not pens) at least three times.
There have been discussions in here on the syringes and it seems to me like most people use them more than once.
Btw, the main objective of the needle manufacturers to make thinner needles is not for your comfort but to prevent multiple usage of the needle.

s l k
s l k 2012-11-28 13:20:41 -0600 Report

I'd still rather have the 31 guage rather than a 29 which was what had 19 years ago. LOL!

Armourer 2012-11-25 14:22:52 -0600 Report

I use three pen type insulins. I use the same needle until the pen runs out of insulin. One shouldn't do this but I too can't afford a fresh one every time.

EJMac 2012-11-25 17:12:48 -0600 Report

Thanks for your reply. Guess it doesn't contaminate the needle. You don't keep the pen needle attached to the pen do you?
The insulin seems to continue t come out slowly until I take the pen needle off.

old biker
old biker 2012-11-25 20:10:57 -0600 Report

Before you remove the needle from your injection site, slowly count to 10 then remove it. If you remove it right after injection you will notice some insulin dripping from the needle. I use the same needle for the life of my pen (8 days) and i leave it attached. Mine comes with a small white cap, I put that back on and then the pen top. This is what my doctor who is diabetic and uses a insulin pen told me to do

GungadinIII333gg 2015-02-01 09:19:07 -0600 Report

Hi, I also use my pen needles 6 to 12 times a week after which I replace it with another used needle. Before every use I flush the needle with a little Nova Log solution next I used a alcohol swab to wipe down the needle with a twirling motion. By the way I leave the needle on until I see it starts to bend easily. Then I replace it.

jimLE 2012-11-25 14:00:36 -0600 Report

my mom uses sphygmaoper pen.or somptin like that,and she says it dont hurt..she has medicare n all which pays for a fair amount..pluse i work for her through a pineywood health which mom got onto the cba program through them.and they (PAY) for all her diabetes you might want to look into that..