The pen is much more accurate, portable, and faster than needles. The only downside I found with pen usage was when I was taking large doses of Lantus - Often I'd end up with a pen that had like 25u left in it, when I needed 42 - and then I'd have to stick myself twice. Not a big deal, but other than that I can't think of any reason the needle & syringe was superior.
Pens are useful but for me not worth the downsides. I'd waste insulin priming for each pen injection, can't take 1/2 unit doses unless I dial at least 1-1/2, and have a whole other copay for pen needles for my long-acting because each company sells proprietary pen needles. .
I use Lantus and NovoLog pens and like them a lot. They are very convenient and easy to use. You prime the needle, dial up the amount of insulin you want, and then you inject. Even a kid can do it without help. It's just that simple. Using a pen saves a lot of prep time, and my needle is injected only into me when delivering my dose, not into an insulin bottle first.
You can use any one of several manufacturers of needles for these pens. I prefer BD brand 8mm 31G short needles, but I have also used Wal-Mart's ReliOn brand of pen needles, and they work just fine too.
I've tried pens several times, but haven't wanted to make the switch. What I don't like about pens: 1. They are much fatter than a syringe and harder to manipulate; 2. they are also longer and don't fit in the small pocket-size case I always carry with me that holds meter, strips, glucose, syringes, a couple dollars, and two types of insulin; 3. I resuse my syringes and found it harder to re-use the pen needles (no reusable needle cover provided with the ones I tried).
All legitimate concerns, but two thoughts: 1) I had the same frustration about keeping pens in a case until I realized that I could easily keep them in my pocket, along with my real pens; 2) The pen lids (at least for Humalog Quikpen and Lantus SoloStar) are designed such that you can re-cap the pen with the needle on. It actually took me months to realize that you could do that.
Mmmm; that is a good idea - popping a few coins in to the testing kit - good for an emergency fund for extra snacks or sweet foods! Thanks. I will go and do that now! Bless you for that.
I am on income support (unemployment benefit) and as the prices of food and every other commoditiy rising, I have often been left with insufficient funds even for a bottle of milk at the end of the fortnight!
I agree that the pens are way too long for the little phials that go into them! Manufacturers sit up and take note please!
Mmmm. A very good idea.
On the thing about the pen needles - I have on occassion HAD to reuse needles and found it just as easy for me to put a used needle onto a pen, though it is not to be recommended and is certainly only to be done as an emergency!
Hi from the UK! I have only used the old fashioned syringes once when the hospital ran out of the insulin pens that I was using at the time - we drew what was left in the pen out into a syringe (very innovative on the nurse's part!) and injected it that way, but having had to use syringes for horses, I agree that the pen is much quicker and easier. I found the syringe less comfortable (if injecting is ever comfortable!) and it is less discreet. I would never want to pull a syringe out, put it all together and then inject in public!)
It would be nice if one could get a nicer looking syringe (looking like a fountain pen) and different colours so that there is no danger of injecting two of the same insulins which I am prone to doing!
Although I've only been on insulin since Dec, I've been injecting for three years. In my opinion, for convenience, pens are the way to go. For dose accuracy, consistency, insulin conservation, cost and pain, I really like syringes. I can't get useful half unit pens, not a problem with syringes. I often have dosing inconsistencies with pens, there is just something about the mechanism which makes the injection rate and result more variable. Pens have to be primed, no way around it. However, syringes with a vial enable you to fill in a way that doesn't require priming and you save 1-2 units for each dose. And then there is cost, when I looked at it, pen tips and syringes are basically the same price, but vial insulin is cheaper than pens. And finally, although it seems odd, I find syringes enable me to do a quick stab injection much easier than a pen, with less pain.
So after all that, there is still convenience, which for now trumps the other issues, so right now I use pens.
Just a personal preference thing, but I like syringes. I found pens bulky & annoying. Easier to put a vial & a couple of syringes in my meter case. I had bruising & leakage from pens & they're wasteful. I use syringes with half unit markings.
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