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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Injecting insulin

Me pēhea e wero i te taiaki huka


Make sure you change the needle every day and put each injection in a different part of your stomach. Your nurse or doctor will show you how to do this.

Before you start, always wash your hands.

If the insulin is cloudy, turn the pen up and down 20 times to mix it.

Prime the pen

Prepare the pen before every injection to make sure you're getting the insulin.

Check that the dose window reads 0 then turn the dose selector knob to 2 units.

Hold the pen with the needle pointing upwards.

Tap the cartridge holder so any air bubbles float to the top of the insulin cartridge.

Push the dose selector knob in as far as it will go until the dose window reads 0.

If a stream of insulin doesn't appear, repeat the above three steps.

Inject the insulin

insulin injectDial the number of units you're going to inject by turning the dose selector knob clockwise.

Hold the pen in your hand with your thumb or finger on the dose selector knob (as the photo shows).

If you're using an 8 mm or longer needle, pinch up skin on your stomach then slide the needle into the skin fold at a 90-degree angle (the photo shows the angle). If your needle is less than 8 mm long, do not pinch up your skin.

Push the dose selector knob in as far as it will go until the dose window reads 0.

Leave the needle in for six seconds.

Keep pushing in the dose selector knob while you remove the needle.

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On the next page: Insulin pumps

Written by Christchurch Diabetes Centre. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2022.


See also:

Safe sharps disposal

Page reference: 178602

Review key: HIDIA-21832