Diabetes Treatment - Insulin Pens

Describe how you use pre-filled insulin pens and the environment in which they are most convenient for you.

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Pre-filled insulin pens

In the past, insulin was available only in an injectable form that involved carrying syringes (which a few decades ago were made of glass and required sterilization), needles, vials of insulin, and alcohol swabs. Needless to say, patients often found it difficult to take multiple shots each day, and, as a result, good blood sugar control was often compromised. Many pharmaceutical companies are now offering discreet and convenient methods of delivering insulin.

Some manufacturers offer an insulin pen delivery system. This system is similar to an ink cartridge in a fountain pen. A small pen-sized device holds an insulin cartridge (usually containing 300 units). Cartridges are available in the most widely used insulin formulations, such as those listed in the table above. The amount of insulin to be injected is dialed in by turning the bottom of the pen until the required number of units is seen in the dose-viewing window. The tip of the pen consists of a needle that is replaced with each injection. A release mechanism allows the needle to penetrate just under the skin and deliver the required amount of insulin. The cartridges and needles are disposed of when finished and new ones simply are inserted. In many cases, the entire pen is disposed of. These insulin delivery devices are less cumbersome than traditional methods.

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