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My pens don't seem to eject all of the insulin.

I’ve recently come back from a holiday- it was the first holiday I’ve had since I was diagnosed (7 months ago) and we went somewhere we wouldn’t usually go and on a plane so everything was a bit haywire.

Anyway my blood has been high for the whole three weeks and with just getting back I’m doing my best to try to regulate it but I’ve recently discovered that even though I hold down my novorapid pen for over 10 seconds it seems that not all of the insulin ever comes out.

Is it normal for some residue to be left? or is it the pen? Because it’s worrying me a bit that I’m not getting my proper dosage..

  • #112381
  • I don’t have any experience with the novorapid pens, but I’ve been using the refillable Novolog Junior pen for a little over two years now. About six months ago, a similar thing happened to me, my sugars were high for two weeks straight and nothing I seemed to do could get them to go down( I changed vials of insulin, changed out my Lantus, ect.). My mom brought out the backup pen to make sure nothing was wrong with the current one (which I had been using for about a year) and I used that for the next few days, keeping the same ratio and correction scale. My sugars came back into range and stayed there. We figured that the pen had somehow gone out of calibration and wasn’t injecting the right amount of insulin, if any at all. My endocrinologist agreed that that was the most plausible scenario. I don’t know if your pen is refillable or has this problem but it could be a possibility.

    Currently, I’m using the Novolog Flexpen because the pharmacy screwed up my prescription. I have also noticed that the disposible pens tend to have a little pearl of insulin at the tip of the needle when I remove it. ( I have also been counting up to 15 to make sure everything gets injected)

    Also, did you travel with your insulin in a Frio pack or similar item? In the past, my experience with planes is that they tend to make my insulin go funny and not work as well when it’s not kept cool. I even refrigerate my current pens when I travel. Just a few thoughts! I hope this helps 🙂

  • #112390
  • Okay, thank you so much for your advice!

    I’ll get my prescription renewed and hopefully that’ll bring my sugars back down. Yeah I did use a frio pack but I’m not 100% sure I did it correctly..oops

    Thanks again! 🙂

  • #112392
  • No problem 🙂 hope it works!

  • #112407
  • Thanks 4 the heads up. 8 weeks in new DX son and noticed some potential issues in administering. Wondering about calibration and margin of error with humapen Luxura HD: bead on pen, bead on skin. Experiences? Ok?

  • #112420
  • I think the hole “pen” thing is not the best way to get your insulin. I have been using a U100 syringe for years and I know that it does the job very accurately. I keep a log of my blood sugar,time and dosage on a little spiral note pad with a pen stuck in the wire (its cheep and it never fails) I don’t share needles and I don’t mix my lantus or humulin, I use the same syringe until it gets dull and I keep the syringe and the bottle in the same ziplock bag so I don’t mix them up.

    I have never had a infection due to a shot and I got the idea from a old diabetic I met years ago. I used to keep my syringe in a alcohol bottle and use those little wipes they like to sell you until then. He was the oldest diabetic I ever met (he was sixty five at the time) and he road his bike for years.

  • #114519
  • I have often found that because the gauge of some of the needles for the insulin pens is so small it takes time to get out all the drops. I had seen several places say to hold it in for 10 seconds but for me that never seemed to work. I would always see more drops coming out after I removed it after 10 seconds. I started increasing the time I held it in and 30-40 sec and it seems to work pretty well. I don’t necessarily like to do it that long but unless I stuck it in a bad spot that hurt pretty bad, I don’t usually see any extra drops. So anyway if the other suggestions didn’t work, you could give that a try.

  • #120592
  • Same thing here, however I’m not sure if it’s a problem or not. I can’t really say as I’m so new to it all.
    I use Lantus Solostar & Novorapid (I think you guys in the US call it novolog..). Both disposable.

    I’ve tried holding the pen in for longer, tried pushing down on the button at the end of the pen a few times after it reaches the bottom/0 clicks.
    Always get a little bit on the end of the needle, sometimes get a little bit on the skin after removing.

    I do have a theory – and that is this:
    When you ‘prime’ the pen to remove any possible air, you point it upwards… because obviously otherwise any air wouldn’t be able to escape.
    Anyway, there is always a bit of a dribble on the end of the needle, if you get a “squirt” at all. Also you will notice at the plastic base of the needle there is a little indent.
    My guess is that a little bit of the primed solution is getting stuck in that indentation. Then when you inject, the surface tension of the skin is touching that bit. That little bit then gets stuck on the skin, as you remove the needle from yourself, and sometimes it sticks to the needle tip as it comes out of the hole.

    Anyone got thoughts? The only way to test would be to not prime it or completely dry the needle (including in the indent) before inserting. I’ve heard that air bubbles aren’t really that much of a big deal unless someone puts a large bubble right into a vein, but I’m not gonna try – bet it wouldn’t feel nice!

    That said, I’m sure there is some flex in the system, since the disposable pens seem to be entirely plastic. If you push that button really hard, a little more would come out.

  • #122565
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