Reusing Syringes for Insulin Injections

Uncle Lew
By Uncle Lew Latest Reply 2010-09-27 08:11:13 -0500
Started 2010-09-20 11:11:50 -0500

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1996. It was under control using oral medication. In November of 2009 it was found that the oral medications were frying my kidneys. I had to switch to insulin.
I religiously followed the instruction of my RN, CDE but I felt it was a waste to inject one dose and destroy the syringe. In my case, that’s 4 syringes a day (3 Novolog-1 Lantus). A box of 100 syringes lasted only 25 days. I did some research and decided to use one syringe for multiple injections. There could be some complications but I decide to try anyway. My endocrinologist wasn't happy but she did not tell me not to. She warned me to be careful.
Now I use one syringe for up to 6 days, that‘s up to 24 injections. One box of syringes can last me almost 2 years. That sounds good to me but probably has B D crying.
How many of you reuse your syringes? Did you have any complications from reuse? Why did you decide to reuse your syringes?
I am very interested in your feedback.

7 replies

Phebeleighh 2010-09-27 06:37:51 -0500 Report

Im nervous, cause I reuse my syringes and keep them cool constantly and dont clean them just keep using them over & over again, and worried about my blood getting infected, or the vial being contaminated? At first I did clean them before using and after but got where time was not on my side and decided to use them without cleaning. Nor is money on my side either my husband has me on his insurance but it still dont cover syringes or strips. so alot of times I just have to guess that my blood sugar is high and take the higher dose. Can someone help with suggestions and am I safe about reusing when they are not clean? I dont have any dieases no one else uses my syringes. Let me know please ! :)

kdroberts 2010-09-27 08:11:13 -0500 Report

What state are you in? Most require that diabetic supplies like needles, syringes and test strips be covered under insurance plans.

Harlen 2010-09-20 18:50:33 -0500 Report

It is unsafe to reuse them but if your willing to take the risk ?????
I had a frend that ended up with a staph infection and almost died from it.
I would not reuse, the risk is just to high.
but its your life.
Best wishes

Crashnot 2010-09-20 14:22:06 -0500 Report

When I was a teen, my diabetes nurse and doctor told me to go ahead and reuse my syringes for up to 24 hours. In the 30 years I did that (up to 8 injections a day while I was pregnant), I never had an infection. I might add I never use alcohol wipes as they dry my skin so much it cracks. So I was hardly injecting on sterile sites!

Greg is right though, be sure to use a separate syringe for the Lantus. Contact with other insulin causes it to crystalize. Not a good thing.

The only problem I ever had was the needle getting dull after about four injections. Doctors today have been swayed quite a bit by the syringe companies campaign about the dangers of reusing syringes. I've never found their statements to hold any weight in my experience.


mo91108 2010-09-20 12:16:05 -0500 Report

I have heard that you can reuse your syringes for novolog, but you do not want to mix your lantus with anything at all. If you are going to reuse them, I'd suggest one for Lantus and one for Novolog. And to clean the injection site with an alcohol wipe very well first. But only use them while they are still sharp. I wouldn't use a dull needle.

gregsteele 2010-09-20 12:08:24 -0500 Report

I asked this question before and got a lot of replies from our wonderful DC community most saying it was o.k. except mixing lantus creates some problems good luck love to all GREG

kdroberts 2010-09-20 11:19:59 -0500 Report

I reuse, I mainly do it because if I didn't I would spend about 40% of the insulin in my pens as priming shots which I think is a complete waste. The only thing to be careful of with Lantus is when it gets mixed with other insulins it can work differently to how it's supposed to work. Haven't had any problems other than some bruising when the needle gets dull.