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Insulin injection - troubles

What do I do if?

During your injection routines, you might come across some difficulties or troubles. If this happens, don’t worry. A look at the list below may help to solve your problems with self-injection.

Problem: painful injection

An injection should never cause severe pain.


Possible reasons Solutions
You have used the pen needle multiple times. The tip is damaged, the silicone finish has worn off. Furthermore, the pen needle is no longer sterile. Always use a new pen needle for each injection.
The needle does not suit you and/or the injection site. Long needles increase the likelihood of intramuscular injections. That does hurt and also causes erratic absorption. Pinch up your skin if you use a 6 millimeter or longer pen needle. You might want to consider using a shorter needle. Your physician will help you to decide on the correct length.

Problem: insulin leakage

After injection, insulin flows back to the skin surface. 


Possible reasons Solutions
The pen needle was removed too quickly after injecting, stopping the insulin delivery too early. No matter what kind of needle you use: Wait 10 seconds before you pull it out again.
The pen needle was not fully inserted into the skin.  The needle needs to be fully inserted without putting any pressure on it. The hub should be in contact with the skin throughout the entire injection.

Problem: insulin does not have the desired effect

Your blood glucose level is rising, even though you have done everything correctly.


Possible reasons Solutions
The insulin was injected into an existing lipohypertrophy, into scar tissue or similar hardened skin and was not absorbed correctly. Always check the injection site for possible hardenings before injecting. Never inject insulin into such areas.
The pen needle was removed too quickly after injection – which leads to incomplete insulin delivery. Wait 10 seconds before you remove the pen needle from your skin.
The pen needle was blocked with crystallized insulin or tissue residues. Use a new pen needle every time.
A temperature change caused air to enter the cartridge because the pen needle was not removed from the pen after injection. After injection, discard the needle straight away to prevent air from entering the cartridge. However, if this has already happened, you need to remove the air during the functionality test prior to injecting yourself.