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HealthInfo Canterbury

How to inject insulin

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 that 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 are 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 are 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, don't 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 6 seconds.

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


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.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Storing and handling insulin

Written by Christchurch Diabetes Centre. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed July 2019.


See also:

Safe sharps disposal

Page reference: 178602

Review key: HIDIA-21832