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From Northern Ireland:

I have recently switched from disposable syringes to an insulin pen. While I am aware that it is acceptable to reuse disposable syringes (provided care is taken, is this the case with pen needles? I have read of people reusing them, but I am concerned by the manufacturer's warning that temperature fluctuation can cause insulin to be drawn out of the cartridge, thereby altering concentration. Could impurities also be drawn in? What general advice can you offer on the reuse of pen needles?


You are absolutely correct that the manufacturer recommends changing the needle for every injection and to remove the needle after each injection. While their advice is technically correct, it is more for legal protection than for any practical reason. The utility of the pen is markedly reduced if you have to take the needle off every time and the cost of needles is obviously increased if they are not reused. Most people will use a needle two or three times before changing it and I have never heard of this causing any problems whatsoever.


Original posting 18 Oct 2000
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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