Randy The Dead Head


Is it safe to re-use diabetic syringes? They're extremely costly (for me). Thanks for any help.

Patty Bonsignore


The sterility and integrity of syringes cannot be guaranteed after the first puncture, so manufacturers do not recommend reusing needles. On occasion, however, people do find themselves having to reuse syringes, and this can be done safely as long as certain steps are followed. The syringe in use should be recapped and stored at room temperature in a clean, dry place. It’s important not to wipe the needle tip with alcohol, as this can remove the silicone coating, making injection more painful. If the needle is bent or dull it should not be reused. If the syringe tip touches anything other than the skin or the top of the insulin bottle, it should not be reused. After the first use, flush the needle with air to prevent clogging. Observe injection sites for any signs of increased redness, swelling or drainage (all signs of infection); the risk for infection is low, but still possible. If you are using a brand name syringe, ask the pharmacist to replace it with a generic brand; generic syringes will be cheaper than the brand name equivalents. Shop around to see which pharmacy or big-box store has the cheapest prices. The reuse of insulin pen needles is not recommended due to the potential for the needle to clog and because of the risk of contaminating the insulin when the pen needle is left attached to the insulin pen. Also, pen needles have much smaller gauges and a shorter needle, making them more prone to bending with reuse.

2 replies

spoildee 2014-08-12 12:07:21 -0500 Report

I have been a Type I diabetic since I was 11 years old…I am now 60 years old, and I have always reused my syringes (now since they are disposable), and I have never had a problem. I do follow the safety steps to insure that I do not get an infection, but I have reused one syringe for weeks, and I take 4 shots a day, but I just change it when it starts to feel dull, etc. So, since I have been diabetic for 49 years with no problems, I feel it is ok!! Thanks!

IamBubbely 2014-07-30 11:16:59 -0500 Report

I myself am on a fixed income. Please contact the companies that make the syringes and ask them if they can help. They sent me a discount card for test strips and a free meter. Hope this helps. Blessings!