Getting the most from your insulin treatment
1. When you collect your insulin check the insulin name is correct and it is within the expiry date.
2. To keep your insulin in good condition:
- Store your spare insulin supplies in the fridge, near the front or in the salad compartment, to avoid freezing.
- The insulin you are currently using can be left out of the fridge at room temperature for up to a month. Avoid leaving in extremes of heat or cold, for example on a window sill, near a radiator or in a cold car.
3. Remember to use a new needle for each injection. Remove the needle from the pen when you have completed your injection and discard in a suitable sharps disposal container.
4. Remember to wash your hands and make sure your injection site is clean.
5. Remember to:
- Perform a safety check (air shot) before every injection to ensure that the needle and pen are working correctly.
- Dial up your dose accurately.
- Inject your insulin into the subcutaneous fat layer using the injection sites recommended by your diabetes health care professional. Avoid any sore, swollen or lumpy areas.
- Insert the needle at an angle of 90 degrees trying to avoid indenting the skin. Your healthcare professional will advise you whether you need to lift your skin prior to your injection.
- Press the injection button until the dial returns to ‘0’.
- Count to 10 before removing the needle from your skin.
6. Some types of insulin need to be mixed before use. Check your insulin guidance, but if in doubt mix. To mix, roll your pen between your hands 10 times and invert 10 times. Do not shake.
7. It is important to time your insulin correctly to ensure that the medication works well for you. Some types of insulin need to be taken with food, some at the same time each day. The type of insulin you use will depend on your individual requirements.
8. Do not inject through clothing to make sure the insulin is injected correctly and to minimise infection risk.
9. Remember to move your injections around the different injection areas to help keep your injection sites healthy and to allow your insulin to absorb correctly.
10. If you experience any problems with giving your insulin seek help from your diabetes health care professional.