Using a reusable insulin pen (1589)

Key points below

What is an insulin pen? 

An insulin pen is the most common way of giving an insulin shot (injection). They are easier to use and more convenient than syringes and insulin bottles.  There are different kinds of pens. Some pens are pre-filled with insulin and can be thrown away when empty. Some pens are reusable and can be loaded with new cartridges of insulin when they are empty. 

How do I use a reusable pen?

insulin pen

1. Take off the pen cap.
2. If a new cartridge is needed, check to be sure the type of insulin listed on the cartridge is 
what you need to give. 
3. Unscrew the cartridge holder from the pen body. Carefully load a new cartridge. Put the small end (cartridge seal) into the cartridge holder.
4. Do not manually push down the plunger. Screw the cartridge holder onto the pen body. 
5. Screw on the pen needle.  
6. To prime the needle.
a. Point the needle up into the air. 
b. Dial up 2 units of insulin and push on the dose knob. You should see a stream of insulin come out of the needle.  
c. If no insulin stream is seen, repeat steps a and b. 
7. Dial up the dose as you were told by the doctor or nurse. 
8. Make sure the area that will be used is clean. If need be, use soap and water to clean the area.inserting epipen
9. With one hand, grasp and hold the area around where you plan to poke. 
10. Use your other hand to insert the needle straight into the skin. Do not poke at an angle.
11. Push down the dose knob to deliver the insulin. Check to make sure that the dial reads “0”. This means that the whole dose has been delivered.
12. Hold the pen and needle in place under the skin for 10 full seconds. 
13. Gently pull out the needle. 
14. Remove the needle from the pen. Dispose of the needle in a sharps container. 
15. Leave the cartridge in the pen until the next dose.  
16. Put the pen cap back on.



Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.