can someone tell me how to use the insulin pen?

By Lakeland Latest Reply 2014-07-06 09:28:22 -0500
Started 2014-07-04 19:50:40 -0500

for surgery, they gave my mom an insulin pen to use, she keeps telling me she didn't count to 5, so I don't even know if she's getting any insulin. The markings on the pen look like it's still full, but my mom says she's only giving a small amount, but I still think it shouldn't be on the top line by now.


8 replies

Type1Lou 2014-07-05 08:27:12 -0500 Report

To use an insulin pen, screw on a new needle, dial in the dose, Stick the needle in, press the button to administer the dose, then count to 5 to allow the dose to be absorbed before withdrawing the needle from the skin. You don't say what kind of insulin pen. If it's fast-acting insulin (Novolog or Humalog), not much insulin may be required but the dosage should be calculated based upon the carbs your Mom is eating…more carbs require more insulin. It sounds to me like your Mom may not have been paying attention to the carbs which may have caused her high BG's. When I was using pens, one pen would last me one month. (I'm now on an insulin pump and no longer use the pens.) My meal-time dose would range between 1 and 3 units; I have been following a low-carb diet of 120 grams of carb per day and am considered highly sensitive to insulin. For my longer-acting insulin pen (Lantus), I would take 15 units once a day. Seeking information/reassurance from the pharmacist (or her doctor) on the proper use of the pen may help you and your Mom.

neverlowbg 2014-07-05 21:26:44 -0500 Report

Hey type1Lou a pen lasted you a month wow I blazed a pen a day at first then went to drawing insulin was cheaper and finally now I'm on the pump I used 400-500 units a day now with pump I use 200 every 3 days what a difference countiuous insulin made on my numbers

Type1Lou 2014-07-06 09:28:22 -0500 Report

Pumping will generally require less insulin overall. I have a high sensitivity to insulin and while on MDI, I was averaging 21 total insulin units per day (Novolog and Lantus). With the pump, I now average around 17 units per day (It actually ranges between 15 u and 19 u depending upon carbs eaten and whether I need to treat lows or highs) My initial insulin sensitivity factor set into my pump was 120; it is now between 100 and 110 depending upon time of day. I'm a 5'3", 123 pound 65 year old female who is moderately active and follow a low-carb diet eating 120 grams of carb per day. My needs would vary greatly from a 6 ft, younger and more active male. We all have to find what works for us to achieve good blood glucose control. I resisted pumping for years and am so sorry I waited so long to try one. Happy to hear that pumping has enabled you to gain better control. I love my pump!

GabbyPA 2014-07-05 06:14:22 -0500 Report

I agree with neverlowbg. The pharmacist will know how to use it. Also, she will have to set the amount and if she's only getting a unit or two, its very little. Until that gets figured out, make sure she's testing to keep an eye on where her levels are.

neverlowbg 2014-07-04 23:41:35 -0500 Report

Probably not the easiest way like I said goto pharmacy in am talk to them cause dosing alittle is not a number and with no testing you don't know how much to take if on sliding scale and if it's a set number at Certain times of day you don't even know what that is but above is how to use it the box it came in also has directions but see the pharmacy in am

neverlowbg 2014-07-04 20:20:16 -0500 Report

How much did they tell her to give at certain times or a sliding scale at meals and or amount to give to certain bg readings on her meter the pen should have a liquid insulin in it and plunger at bottom of liquid then you screw the needle into pen and twist the bottom of pen till it reads the amount if insulin you want to inject then stick needle in fatty tissue belly is best but outside back of arm works too or fatty part of leg them push on button on bottom of pen till it goes all the way in and numbers should read zero after it's all the way in count five and remove needle from skin and pending leave it on pen didn't dr or nurse or pharmacist show you guys how to use it just sounds to me as dr not very informative towards patients and your not asking correct questions people will help you but you need to be very inquisitive about insulin shots as too little won't help too much is dangerous. And or deadly if bg goes to low Diane tomorrow you need to goto pharmacy and talk to pharmacist about this they will help you out I can't believe they just handed you insulin and showed you to the door are you checking her bg with her meter couple 4 times a day with limited info you gave us sounds like it's just a free for all with an insulin pen not good darling that can be bad especially with elderly if you need more info just ask but do go to rx in am and talk to them or the clinic don't go the weekend playing roulet with the insulin please

Lakeland 2014-07-04 20:56:06 -0500 Report

mom needed surgery & her sugars were too high, so they gave her a pen & told her to dial it, & count to 5, but I think she was so nervous about this rotator cuff surgery that she was just overwhelmed & didn't have complete understanding. So now I'm trying to learn quick so I can help her. I told her to test & see where she is because she 's on pain meds, sleeping most of the day & she's just taking this insulin, she says— they say it isn't much, but I hate medicine without testing. it's just I look at the numbers on the pen & even though she's done it 4 timee the pen is still full to the top line, so I just don't think she's doing it right.