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Redz72

Needle Usage Question

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Redz72

I us BD Pen Needles for Lantus and NovoLog. 31G x 3/16" to be exact. I know they say to only use them once and throw them out. Does anyone use them multiple times, as in the same one for breakfast/lunch/dinner? I take about 5 shots of Novo per day and one shot of Lantus at night. Thanks in advance.

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Subby

Sure. I used to reuse the same needles quite a bit at times. These days I generally change my sharps once a day.

 

I do use 30g, haven't bothered to get around to trying 31g. I personally find that a needle has as much (small) chance hurting if fresh compared to if used a few times. I have also never had an infection from injecting whatever ways I've done it, in many many shots.

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liz32

I use my novo needles until they dull (a day or two) but I find that my levemir gums up and I can't use them more than one time, simply because they're clogged.

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Redz72

Thanks for the responses! Do you leave the needle in the top of the pen or do you recap it, unscrew it off and place it aside for later?

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NoraWI

I'm on a pump now but was on MDI before. I left the needle atop the fast insulin pen and reused it. That's because insulin only came out and nothing was drawn into the insulin to contaminate it. I used Lantus from a vial and discarded the syringe every time I used it. That was because there is a chance for contaminating the vial insulin with the stale insulin residues within the syringe. I have read that eventually the vial insulin can cloud up with particulates and become ineffective. I used the needle in the "poker" until it no longer poked ;o).

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Subby

For most years I have used a syringe, so that question has not applied. I looked into the issue of contamination and decided it was irrelevant for me: I didn't ever see my insulin go cloudy, nor was there a lowering of action as time went on. This was also informed by the fact I have high use and always used 3ml penfills as vials, so would generally be through a given vial within a few days anyway.

 

For when I do use pens, as I have for the past month, I leave it screwed on and recap with the small cover. Tends to be a bit more leakage around but not significant (a small bead when you come back to it). I usually give the pen a little tap to dislodge it if it is significant, so it doesn't end up joining the insulin that leaks when I inject, on my body!

 

Some time ago the small cover was a terrible trial to get back on. They redesigned them to be quite a bit easier to replace. (They are officially not meant to be replaced of course, because you are officially meant to use only once, use the big cap, and dispose).

 

If I was taking it off, I may as well just use a new one as far as I am concerned.

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PlantCityRose

I use the same syringe all day with bolus then pitch it after my basal. Never had a problem, so far. Don't even feel most shots.

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aiah23

I reuse my pen needles (novolog 4 ish times, levemir 3) and just leave them on the pen until I'm ready to discard them.

 

Fawn

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jenb

I use one syringe a day for Novolog (about 6-9 times) and one for Levemir (3 times). No problems to date.

 

Jen

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Bountyman

I use a BD 5mmx31G each morning with my Solostar pen. I pay a $3.30 co-pay for those needles each month. I can't see anyone using a needle more than once unless either the cost comes into question...or they're just lazy about changing the needle.

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Subby
I use a BD 5mmx31G each morning with my Solostar pen. I pay a $3.30 co-pay for those needles each month. I can't see anyone using a needle more than once unless either the cost comes into question...or they're just lazy about changing the needle.

 

And you'd know the difference between being 'lazy' and avoiding inconvenience for no particular good reason, being an insulin user that needs to take multiple shots through the day in all sorts of situations. Oh, hang on...

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jenb
I use a BD 5mmx31G each morning with my Solostar pen. I pay a $3.30 co-pay for those needles each month. I can't see anyone using a needle more than once unless either the cost comes into question...or they're just lazy about changing the needle.

 

For me it's a matter of the vast amounts of waste I'm leaving in my wake. I kept every syringe and pen I used over a six month period before switching to refillable pens with cartridges and using syringes multiple times. At 9 to 12 shots a day, the plastic waste piled up at an alarming rate. I can financially afford to buy single-use devices until I've collected enough to fill an aquarium at Sea World, but why do that? I'd rather leave a slightly smaller footprint on this beautiful planet if it's possible. Just a matter of personal choice...and I'd never criticize anyone who made a different choice regarding injection devices or pens.

 

Jen

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Bountyman

No, in fact I don't have the "inconvenience" of using needles throughout the day. But that's neither here nor there. Needles are a one-time-use item. Nowhere, from any accredited source, from any doctor, from any research...does anyone, with any Phd or higher school of thought recommend using a needle more than once, aside from your flippant response. Your opinion...my opinion.

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Subby
No, in fact I don't have the "inconvenience" of using needles throughout the day. But that's neither here nor there. Needles are a one-time-use item. Nowhere, from any accredited source, from any doctor, from any research...does anyone, with any Phd or higher school of thought recommend using a needle more than once, aside from your flippant response. Your opinion...my opinion.

 

 

My point is you don't bear any practical experience to the situation, which can be taken or left but is well worth (in my opinion) considering in your perception of the situation. For either yourself, or anyone ready to agree that anyone who reuses is 'just being lazy'.

 

Just more opinion to consider, and rather mildly stated. It's your choice to be so thin skinned in your reaction.

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Bountyman
For me it's a matter of the vast amounts of waste I'm leaving in my wake. I kept every syringe and pen I used over a six month period before switching to refillable pens with cartridges and using syringes multiple times. At 9 to 12 shots a day, the plastic waste piled up at an alarming rate. I can financially afford to buy single-use devices until I've collected enough to fill an aquarium at Sea World, but why do that? I'd rather leave a slightly smaller footprint on this beautiful planet if it's possible. Just a matter of personal choice...and I'd never criticize anyone who made a different choice regarding injection devices or pens.

 

Jen

 

Each to their own. I laud you your "green" choice of "less waste is better", but I pay taxes to the state, the county, and to the solid waste center in my town, that I deliver my sharps to, to take care of any "medical" refuse I make. Huge footprint, or not, my concerns lay within the confines of my condition. When that's taken care of...I'll concern myself with the waste.

 

With respects...

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liz32

I always just leave the needle on the pen.

 

Thanks for the responses! Do you leave the needle in the top of the pen or do you recap it, unscrew it off and place it aside for later?

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Subby
For me it's a matter of the vast amounts of waste I'm leaving in my wake. I kept every syringe and pen I used over a six month period before switching to refillable pens with cartridges and using syringes multiple times. At 9 to 12 shots a day, the plastic waste piled up at an alarming rate. I can financially afford to buy single-use devices until I've collected enough to fill an aquarium at Sea World, but why do that? I'd rather leave a slightly smaller footprint on this beautiful planet if it's possible. Just a matter of personal choice...and I'd never criticize anyone who made a different choice regarding injection devices or pens.

 

Jen

 

I agree - I find the crush of sharps and waste that accrue before your eyes as a high user of insulin disconcerting. I'm not about to just wash my hands of that, either, in a blanket "I've got a condition to manage" reaction which is something I think we are conditioned to do.

 

I partly recently made a move to the reusable pen now largely because the sharps it creates is the smallest of any possible option. Needing upward of 15 individual shots a day for the past 6 months or so due to my body's '3 units maximum' rule, means even if I reuse a few times I still go through a decent handful of syringes. It is good to see that waste get significantly less when the main thing I am discarding is pen tips. Reusuable pens, as you and I agree Jen, are another matter...

 

In almost 20 years I haven't found that reusing a few times affects me, personally, at all. (Using over and over I think is a different story). If it negatively impacted me, I wouldn't do it. If anyone else tried it and found it negatively impacted them, I would expect and encourage them to be guided by that, too.

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Mussakka

Back when I was using the pen needles, I used one a day on my Byetta and one a day for Lantus (I was doing two injections a day of each drug). I would recap the needle and unscrew it from the pen to avoid contaminating the entire batch of medicine and/or prevent leaking. Never had any infection trouble.

 

I would say that if you're prone to infections, particularly skin infections, you'd be safer using needles once. I actually see the points each of Bountyman and Subby and Jenb. Essentially, it boils down to your comfort level: financially, medically, and ecologically. Any of those can impact your decision. For me the needles weren't exactly cheap, plus my pharmacy kept having trouble keeping them in stock.

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Redz72

Thank you again for all the responses. Unfortunatly, here in the United States, my co-pay is much higher than yours. I am not as financially well off you may be. With the unemployment rate above 10% here, finances play a big part in my T1 life. Not only are we here with a disability, but it comes with major finacial choices to make.

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AvalancherMatt

I would strongly suggest switching to a new needle after every injection. The needle wears, causing increased tissue damage (eventually absorption problems from scars) and more pain. Flakes of metal can also come off a needle after use. See, for example, the diabetic dog blog for a picture of a needle after a few uses. You don't want your body dealing with any more of those metal flakes than is necessary.

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TommyC1

Well I AM lazy. Plus I hate dealing with sharps. So I rarely remove the needle from either my Lantus pen or my Novalog pen unless it starts to hurt or I bend it. It goes when the pen is empty.

I've been doing that for a few years now with no ill effects.

YMMV

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jenb
... but I pay taxes to the state, the county, and to the solid waste center in my town, that I deliver my sharps to, to take care of any "medical" refuse I make....

 

You're a California boy, so you and I share that big bunch of tax burden. In fact, if you're up for it, I'll give you my share :shakehand.

 

Jen

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notme

I am also guilty of re-using needles in the past. When it comes to lancets devices, well lets just say I think I have changed mine once or twice. I have been at this for 23 years without an infection and little pain with any injection or finger stick. There was a study posted awhile back about infection and it seems that their is really little chance. It probably isn't the best practice in the world, but I doubt there is little risk.

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CMurdock

I'm raising this to the top because I'm thinking of reusing my needles. I am using 8mm 31-gauge one-use needles three times a day. I'm wondering if there would be any harm in using one needle for all three injections each day. My main concern is that some skin cells may end up in the insulin, and I'm wondering if that could somehow ruin the insulin. The Novolin 70/30 that I'm using can be used for up to three months or so, so if I got some skin cells in the insulin, they would be in there for a long time. I did find an official-looking site on the internet that said that it was okay to reuse needles. What do you all think?

 

Oh, I also found a site that said that insulin could be stored at room temperature. I didn't know that. I've been refrigerating it.

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Subby

With this potential issues, you are at a disadvantage with the mix with this issue in one way, as cloudiness of a clear insulin is cited as a sign of contamination. The mix is already cloudy, right?

 

I'm interested in the three month expiry you mention for your insulin. Where did you find that out?

 

I'd recommend you first go by the pharmaceutical notes your doctor and respected authors/books in terms of insulin use questions, if they are clear. Your drug notes should outline expiry time for vial/pen in use for that insulin, and whether it should be refrigerated or not (most recommendations are to leave it out when in use).

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