Is it safe to re-use diabetic syringes?

Randy The Dead Head
By Randy The Dead Head Latest Reply 2012-12-30 18:11:07 -0600
Started 2012-12-24 07:18:56 -0600

Anyone??? I keep getting conflicting reports on this. Even from doctors. Maybe there's no definitive answer but they are costly (for me & my type of insurance). Does anyone out there re-use them and have had no complications? Thanks for all replies and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

22 replies

Nana_anna 2012-12-28 13:11:31 -0600 Report

I have a whole jar full of them! I have used them when I need to. If I use them a third time I usually throw it out.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-12-27 22:51:59 -0600 Report

Yes, I have reused my syringes without any problems. The needle gets dull each time you use it though and I make sure the same medicine is used and don't mix up the insulins.

Randy The Dead Head
Randy The Dead Head 2012-12-28 11:23:05 -0600 Report

Thx for the reply Red Flower! Thx 4 the grate advice & help too. Yup, I'm keeping my Levemir & Humalog syringes seperate. How many times do you use each syringe Red? I'm still up in the air on that one. Thx again & HAPPY HOLIDAYS!~~~

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-12-30 18:11:07 -0600 Report

You know, it depends on how quickly it gets dull. It will hurt some or be hard to penetrate when it gets there and you'll know to replace. I have to do alot of injections a day, so I'm sure my reuse is different then yours:) My husband just shakes his head and tells me to buy more, but I tell him that isn't the reason I have reused.

Happy Holidays to you and here is a New Year's hug early:)

IronOre 2012-12-26 21:19:14 -0600 Report

I reuse mine, probably 4-5 times, more if I can get the thicker needle.
I do not mix the type of insulin it's used for. If I initially used the syringe for Lantus that is what I will always use it for.
T1 for almost 38 years with no isssues.

Randy The Dead Head
Randy The Dead Head 2012-12-27 07:19:21 -0600 Report

Thx for the input Iron. I think that's what I'll do. Use em 4 or 5 times then discard it. I actually started last night re-using them but was undecided as far as how many times I would re-use them. Thx again and Happy Holidays!

great dane
great dane 2012-12-25 17:37:56 -0600 Report

I reuse syringes until they get dull or bent.I've been doing it for 25 plus years with no problems. Art

Randy The Dead Head
Randy The Dead Head 2012-12-27 07:23:18 -0600 Report

Thx Art. It seems many do re-use em with no ill effects. I'm sure obviously using them once only is the safest way 2 go but I have no choice. I only wish that I decided to re-use them when I bought may last new box of syringes last month cause I would have so many left still. I should be able to afford a new box next month. But they'll last me for months if I re-use them 4 or 5 times. Thx again & HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Type1Lou 2012-12-25 09:20:07 -0600 Report

The health profession will advise you not to re-use your syringes (for insulin injections.) That said, when I was on MDI, prior to going on a pump last August, I would use my Novolog pen needle for up to a week (3 shots per day X 7 days= 21 shots). I never experienced any problems. Prior to using an insulin pen, I would do the same with my insulin syringes. If you take more than one kind of insulin (I also took Lantus), it was important not to mix these insulins/syringes. So, you'll continue to get conflicting responses. Happy Holidays!

Randy The Dead Head
Randy The Dead Head 2012-12-27 07:32:55 -0600 Report

Thx Lou! Yeah, I'm using Levemir (it used to be Lantus. I think they're about the same??) and only Levemir. I've been around people in my old "follow the Grateful Dead" dazzzze and saw many people re-using, sharing needles etc… to shoot dope which always made me sick and scared me. I would fear aids, infections etc. But none every got sick (as far as I know) from the actual syringe. Most have died from other effects like overdosing, but not from the syringe. I may be comparing apples 2 oranges (not sure) but if I'm re-using them and make every effort to keep them sterile, use alcohol pads to wipe the needle and Levemir (that's OK 2 do right???,,, Anyone??) and whatever else I can do like keeping the syringe in an ice box, from what I read it should B OK. HAPPY HOLIDAYS LOU!

Type1Lou 2012-12-27 08:14:21 -0600 Report

I always capped my needles but never did wipe them off with alcohol after each injection. I've heard that alcohol will wipe away the lubricant that they put on the needles which may make re-use more painful… I did scrupulously wipe down the area where I injected, though, to make sure that the skin was clean and germ-free. I never did inject through my clothing which I know others have done…but, if I had, I wouldn't recommend re-using that syringe/needle for fear of contamination. Hope your New Year is a happy healthy one!

Randy The Dead Head
Randy The Dead Head 2012-12-27 17:05:51 -0600 Report

Yeah Lou. The part about wiping off the lubricant on the needle when wiping with an alcohol pad is for sure true. I never really feel the injection from a new needle which I pop in the stomach. But the first time I re-used one 2 days ago I felt it for sure. It wasn't unbearable or anything but there was a sting…

.Absolutley never through clothing either Lou…

I do recap the needle and I make sure the needle touches nothing but the insulin bottle top & my skin so with taking all these precautions I'm praying everything will go smoothly…

Thx Sooooo much for mentioning the fact that u scrupulously wipe down the area where u injected. Maybe I'm just old or burnt but I ALWAYS FORGET TO DO THAT!!!??? LOL. I won't tonight thanks 2 U Lou. OK, Thx for all the help bro and have a Happy & Healthy New Year Too!

jayabee52 2012-12-24 18:01:40 -0600 Report

Excuse me Randy, I gotta ask, "reuse them for what?"

Randy The Dead Head
Randy The Dead Head 2012-12-24 18:22:45 -0600 Report

Ha Ha. Is that cause I'm a Dead Head???? : - ) It's levemir Jay. Thx for the reply bro~~~

jayabee52 2012-12-24 18:33:58 -0600 Report

yep that is what went through my head. I like specificity. Don't want to give you the OK for other more destructive Stuff.

Yes I did it on occasion when injecting NPH insulin when our needle supply was running low. I also injected my late wife "Jem" but would never reuse on her.
She was totally blind, had a weakened immune system and didn't dare reuse on her because I didn't want anything to happen to her. She was so precious to me I didn't want to chance shortening her life for anything. Unfortunately we only had one another for about 2.5 yrs as it turned out. But she was a blessing to me when we were together.


Randy The Dead Head
Randy The Dead Head 2012-12-24 18:47:42 -0600 Report

LOL! Thx for the input on this James. It seems many have re-used them without complications if extreme caution (like keeping them sterile) is used. Hopefully I'll be allright. Thx 4 sharing bout Jem. I'm so sorry 4 ur loss. I'm sure you will always cherish those 2.5 years. I do know how u feel. (sorta) I watched my ex pass from liver failure (alchoholism) 2 years ago. The last 2 weeks were just awful to watch but I'll always remember the grateful times we had. Especially tomorrow. OK, thx again and Merry Christmas James!

MAYS 2012-12-24 09:15:43 -0600 Report

There are "pros" and "cons" to everything in life, the choice to reuse syringes is up to you, here is something that may interest you on this subject:

Syringe Reuse

Reusing syringes may help you cut costs, avoid buying large supplies of syringes, and reduce waste. However, talk with your doctor or nurse before you begin reusing. They can help you decide whether it would be a safe choice for you. If you are ill, have open wounds on your hands, or have poor resistance to infection, you should not risk insulin syringe reuse. Syringe makers will not guarantee the sterility of syringes that are reused.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when reusing syringes:
•Keep the needle clean by keeping it capped when you're not using it.
•Never let the needle touch anything but clean skin and the top of the insulin bottle.
•Never let anyone use a syringe you've already used, and don't use anyone else's syringe.
•Cleaning it with alcohol removes the coating that helps the needle slide into the skin easily.

Click on the link below for the full article:


Harlen 2012-12-24 09:07:51 -0600 Report

No it is a bad thing to do
That being sed I use them 4 to 6 times before I throw them out lol
I keep the one I am using in the ice box
Sill its not a good thing to do I may get an infection fome doing this but havent in the last 6 years ???
Best wishes

Randy The Dead Head
Randy The Dead Head 2012-12-24 18:25:21 -0600 Report

Best wishes back atchya Harlen. I think that's what I'll be forced to do. I like the ice box idea. I'll also do that. I figure a few times re-using hopefully won't hurt. Still not sure but thx a mill…Have a Grateful x-mas!