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Administration of insulin via pen device

Action Rationale
1 Unscrew pen and insert the insulin cartridge. Screw the pen tight. Plunger inside pen device may need to be twisted back down to base to insert cartridge correctly.
2 Screw needle onto end of pen/cartridge, depending on pen type. Remove any plastic caps on the needle end. To enable insulin delivery
3 Dial up 2 units on pen device.

Hold pen with needle uppermost, flick with you finger, to enable any air bubbles to rise to the top of the pen device so that they may be dispelled ( this is known as ‘priming’).

Holding the pen upright ‘fire’ pen by pressing plunger.

Continue to dial up units in this manner until a stream of insulin is expelled from the pen device.

N.B With new pen/cartridge change, use an 10 unit air shot.

If necessary repeat the procedure until a stream of insulin is dispelled.


To ensure the full prescribed dose of insulin is administered.


4 Dial up prescribed dose of insulin and inject using injection technique guidelines:

•     Choose appropriate injection site

•Ensure the injection site is not ‘lumpy’

•Inject at an angle of 90 degrees into the skin

•Press plunger on end of insulin pen to deliver insulin

•Hold the needle under the skin for a count of 10 seconds following the delivery of the insulin

To ensure safe delivery of the insulin.
5 Remove needle from pen device.

Place needle in sharps bin.

To ensure a sharp needle is used on each occasion.

To remove a portal entry for air into pen device.

To prevent leakage of short acting insulin.

6 Insulin and pen device may be stored at room temperature for up to one month. Easier to mix and inject.

Less uncomfortable.

More practical