Insulin Pen: Preparation, Administration and Storage
Nurses from the Department of Specialty Nursing, Singapore General Hospital, a member of the SingHealth group, explain how to prepare and administer insulin using an insulin pen, as well as share some storage tips.
The needle of the insulin pen
must remain under the skin for at least 6 seconds.
How to prepare an insulin pen for injection
Step 1: Roll the pen and attach the needle.
Step 2: Prime 2 units to ensure a drop of insulin appears at the tip of the needle. This confirms the needle is patent.
Step 3: Select the dose of insulin you need.
How to administer insulin with an insulin pen
- Wash both hands with soap and water.
- Dry hands with a tissue paper or a hand towel.
- Select the injection site at the abdominal area.
- Cleanse the injection site with an alcohol swab.
- Wait for the alcohol to dry.
- Lift the skinfold using a thumb and the index finger.
- Inject the insulin at 90 degrees perpendicular to the injection site.
- Inject the dose by pressing the push-button all the way in until '0'.
- Keep the push-button fully depressed after the injection until the needle has been withdrawn from the skin. The needle must remain under the skin for at least 6 seconds to ensure that the full dose has been injected.
- Place the outer needle cap on the table. Without holding on to the outer needle cap, direct the needle tip into the bigger outer needle cap. This is to prevent finger stick injury. When the needle is covered, unscrew the needle for disposal.
- Discard the used pen.
How to store your insulin pen
Insulin in-use||At room temperature (max. approximately 25-30°C for 4 weeks.|
Once the pen is in use, it need not be kept in a fridge.
Label each vial with a date on the sticker.
Brand new insulin|
In the fridge at 2-8°C.
Do not store insulin in the freezer!
Insulin should be removed from the fridge at least 30 minutes before injecting.
Always check the expiry date before using the insulin.
Note: Each insulin pen is for single person use only.