Diabetes Forecast

Insulin Pens 2013

Write an Rx for health with this handy tool

By Erika Gebel, PhD ,

Consumer Guide Charts
Pen Needles 101

An insulin pen combines a syringe and insulin in a single convenient package. When choosing an insulin pen, there are a few key points to remember. For starters, each pen works only with a specific set of insulins, so if you have a preferred brand, you'd need to pick a compatible pen.

There are two basic types of pens: disposable pens, which are preloaded with insulin and tossed out after the insulin runs out, and reusable pens, which are loaded by the user and can be refilled with cartridges that are purchased separately. Another consideration is insulin dose. Some pens allow users to inject half units of insulin, while others only dose in whole units. The total number of units that can be given at one time varies among pen models, too.

Although not featured here, diabetes injectable medications exenatide (Byetta) and liraglutide (Victoza) also come in pens.



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