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From Canada:

My 14 year old daughter was diagnosed at 12 years old. Can she go on the pen? How does one go about this? Our family doctor says not yet. There is no endocrinologist for children in our area. We have to wait for one to come from Toronto to northern Ontario.

Any literature would help.


This question was referred to several members of the Diabetes Team, who have each given an answer:

Answer from Stephanie Schwartz:

Fourteen-year-olds should be perfect for the pens, such as the NovoPen® 1.5 [now NovoPen Junior, ed]. Besides what is available on the internet, you can contact Novo-Nordisk or Eli Lilly (ask your pharmacist for phone numbers or addresses for local representatives) and they can send you more information.


Answer from Dr. Lebinger:

There is no reason anyone can't use a "pen" if it suits their needs. It's just a way to carry around insulin in a "pen-like" device which contains a cartridge of insulin instead of using a bottle of insulin and a conventional syringe. A needle can be attached to the "pen, and you can "dial up" the dose of insulin and inject it. The only drawback is you can't custom mix insulins and carry around a mixture in the pen. Cartridges are presently available only for regular, NPH, and pre-mixed 30/70 (regular/NPH). Soon cartridges will be available for lispro insulin (Humalog). I find the pens are most convenient for people who take regular before meals (or, soon, lispro before meals). If you take a mixture of regular and NPH, you need to take 2 separate injections if you use a pen. If you take regular and lente or ultralente, you must inject the lente or ultralente using a conventional syringe as no cartridge is available. For now you must use a conventional syringe to give lispro (Humalog). You cannot use the pen to inject diluted insulin.


Original posting 13 Oct 96


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