An insulin pen is a device that is used to deliver insulin for the treatment of diabetes. Insulin pens are fast, easy to use, and portable. The first insulin pen was approved by the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in 2001.
Today there are 4 major producers of insulin pens: Novo Nordisk (NovoPen), Lilly (see below), Becton Dickinson (AccuPen), and Unomedical (Apen). While most people probably use syringes to inject insulin, many patients choose an insulin pen over a syringe because it is easier to carry around with them. It also presents less risk for error than filling up a syringe or cartridge with expensive 10 ml vials.
Even though patients might prefer an insulin pen, it is still up to the physician to prescribe them as the injection device for their patient.
Some golden rules when using an insulin pen are:
- Check the insulin expiration date before use.
- Keep the pen in its case, or away from dirt and moisture when not in use.
- Do not recap pen with a needle on it.
- Never share pens with others, even if you believe they are relatives.
- Regularly rotate your injection places.
- Use a needle only once.