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Question regarding insulin pen needle vs syringes

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by debbrooke, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. debbrooke

    debbrooke New Member

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    My daughter has been on 8mm syringes for four years now and I want to switch her to the insulin pen... I am thinking that the pen needles are not as painful as the syringes... My endo had told me that the nano and the mini pen needles are not as effective in delivering insulin as the 8 mm size..
    Also- the reliability of the pens..I would like to have her use the nano or mini needles..
    Also - I read that sometimes the pens can easily get clogged and don't prime well..
     
  2. Andy'sMom

    Andy'sMom Approved members

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    I don't have any advice/input but am very interested in hearing opinions on this from those that deal with pens. My husband and I have never used the pen, but Andy's school wants to use it exclusively. Not sure what advise to give them and/or if I should expect insulin ratio to be slightly different with the pen versus syringe. I look forward to seeing what others can offer by way of insight!
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

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    She tried using a pen for awhile but we found that the pain was not that much different with the pen and also that there was considerable "leakback" after removing the needle from the skin. So she was never getting the full dose of insulin.

    As far as wanting the shots to hurt less, do you do any type of numbing before hand? An icecube placed on the injection site for a minute prior works well for her.
     
  4. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

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    I guess you won't know until you try it. It can't hurt to try the pens for a while. You can always switch back if you need to. You might end up really liking the pens.

    One advantage of the pens is you don't have to carry around a whole vial of insulin.

    One Advantage of syringes is more accurate dosing (1/4 units are impossible with pens).

    But just because you heard of some people having a problem once in a while with pens doesn't mean you will, or that a problem once in a while will make it okay to use them. You're more likely to read about problems, because people aren't just going to start a new thread just to say, "it's been five weeks since I had a problem with my insulin pens." KWIM? So it makes problems seem more common than they are.

    Good luck! :)
     
  5. virgo39

    virgo39 Approved members

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    We started using the Novolog Jr. pen and were happy with it. That said, we had nothing to compare it to and did experience a bit of leak back.

    I actually prefer syringes and was considering getting some of the new(er) BD smaller ones (6mm needle/31G) as backup--ee would fill it from a penfill cartridge.
     
  6. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

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    I use nano needles. They deliver my insulin just fine.
    There is some leak back on pens, but I don't see an issue as compared to, say, the little well on syringes.
    I have done thousands of shots with insulin pens. I had exactly one jam, due to a needle that bent, and it was very easily fixed. I have also had one high blood sugar due to not priming a pen with a new cartridge (oops).

    I use Lantus pens right now. I think using pens is valuable for two reasons:
    1. If you have two insulins, and you take one by pen and one by vial, it's way harder to mix them up.
    2. If you get a pen, each cartridge holds 300 units instead of the 1000 units in a vial. If you use less than 1000 units of that type of insulin per month, it's very nice to be throwing away less insulin or no insulin per month.

    However, I do like the smaller needles. I just don't think they make a huge difference.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

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    Just a reminder, people using syringes can also do what I do and order the pen cartridges and use them for syringes. As you said, you waste less insulin.
     
  8. mmgirls

    mmgirls Approved members

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    yes I only get Lantus in pens and draw the insulin out with a syringe. And Apidra we use a vial at home but also get pens to take and draw from for vacations and camping trips.

    I have been meaning to get my hands on the new 6mm BD syringes.
     
  9. nebby3

    nebby3 Approved members

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    We have used pens for years with no problems. The only time we had an issue was when I dropped a pen and the cartridge cracked. I've never had them get jammed. There is some leak back you see but it seems to dose my dd consistently. If one needs a little more insulin with the pen that is not a problem; inconsistency would be a problem.

    I wouldn't say syringes are more accurate. You can do in between doses with them but they are less accurate because there is more room for user error. I would say pens are a great choice, esp for school when other people are giving insulin.
     
  10. megk23

    megk23 Approved members

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    We just used a pen for the first time tonight.. I really like it! The needle is smaller, but the change still freaked DS out. I did notice a small leak back, but thought it might have been my 'technique'. I admit it was kind of confusing at first on how to put the needle on :p But now I get it and it won't be as bad. However, I really liked not having to draw up the insulin and worry about air bubbles and getting the exact amount.. but like someone else said, you can't do half or .25 units on them.
     
  11. nebby3

    nebby3 Approved members

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    We've novo pen jr (novolog) which does half units and I know there is a humalog pen that does half units too.
     
  12. hdm42

    hdm42 Approved members

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    We've always used pens. We use the mini needles. You can do half units with either Novolog or humalog pens, but you can't with the lantus pens.
     
  13. Darryl

    Darryl Approved members

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    My dd always uses pens when she needs shots. I can't say for sure about leakback, but I can say for sure that they are easy to use and they DO work!
     
  14. Deal

    Deal Approved members

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    If you can get the novolog echo pen from canada or europe it solves the leakback issues of previous generation of pens.

    I'm also pretty sure studies have shown that those that think they are more accurate with syringes may be wrong. Syringes give that feeling of better accuracy because of the greater control. But in actuality the pen is extremely consistent regardless of lighting, syringe bubble factor, and person administrating the dose.
     
  15. susanlindstrom16

    susanlindstrom16 Approved members

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    We haven't used syringes (except in the hospital), so I can't really compare the two, but the pens have always worked fine for us, no clogging issues or anything.
     
  16. pianoplayer4

    pianoplayer4 Approved members

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    Before going on the pump I used the pens exclusivly and I loved them! They are much easier to carry around because the "cap" protects the cartridge from breaking, I would just throw it in my purse with some pen caps and be good to go:) it also looks much less medical to me, so when I pulled it out to shoot up most people didn't even know what I was doing... Several people did try to write with it though! I never had trouble with leak back, I would just press my finger at the site for a moment after giving the shot, and I never had a problem with priming/the pen working
     
  17. ChristineJ

    ChristineJ Approved members

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    Some people have mentioned that an advantage of syringes over pens is that you can dose with 1/4 units with a syringe but not with a pen. My son has the Novopen Jr., and I will sometimes dose to the 1/4 unit with it. I dial up the dose to the next 1/2 unit, then depress the plunger just slightly so that the line goes half way between the 1/2 and full unit measure. When I tested it by squirting the insulin onto a paper towel, it dosed a slightly different amount than either the 1/2 unit above or below. It's not exact, of course, but neither is guesstimating 1/4 unit on a syringe. :)

    Christine
     
  18. ashtensmom

    ashtensmom Approved members

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    Some insulins come in 3 ml vials now in Canada, but I can't remember which ones (except I know Novorapid is NOT one of them :()
     
  19. ViragoTwins

    ViragoTwins Approved members

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    Funny that you can't get the NovoRapid in a 3ml vial, that's the one we use in our pens here in Manitoba!

    My DS loves his pens! We use the Novo pens with 4mm needles. There is a drop of insulin upon removal at the injection site, but if you wait the recommended 10 seconds before removing the needle, you see only a very small drop.

    The nice thing about the pens we are using (http://novonordisk.ca/PDF_Files/our_products/NovoPenEcho_Guide_ENG.pdf) is that they have a memory of the last dose given.
     

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