February 7, 2023

Step-by-step instructions for injecting insulin using one vial (bottle) of insulin.

You will begun taking insulin by injecting it with a needle into the subcutaneous tissue to determine when you should inject insulin pay attention to the times you check your blood sugar when you eat and what kind of insulin you are taking check your blood sugar no more than thirty minutes before you eat if you are taking rapid-acting insulin before meals give

Yourself the insulin when you sit down to eat if you are taking regular insulin before meals give yourself the insulin no more than thirty minutes before the meal if you are taking intermediate acting or long-acting insulin give yourself the insulin at the same time each day there is no standard or typical dose of insulin your dose will be the amount of insulin

That you need in order to keep your blood sugar and good control your doctor will prescribe an insulin dose that is right for you the most common side effect of insulin is low blood sugar or hypoglycemia low blood sugar happens when the level of sugar in the blood falls below 70 milligrams per deciliter symptoms include sleepiness shaking sweating dizziness and

Hunger be sure you know how to treat low blood sugar before you start using insulin an insulin injection delivers medicine into the subcutaneous tissue which is the tissue between your skin and muscle subcutaneous tissue which is also called sub q is found all over your body your healthcare provider has chosen insulin injections that are done with a syringe

That is filled from a bottle of insulin as the best option for you here are the steps you will take select a clean dry work area the supplies you will need include the prescribed bottle of insulin an insulin syringe alcohol wipes and a container for used equipment you can use a hard plastic container with a screw on or tight lid or a commercial sharps container

Begin by washing your hands if the bottle of insulin appears cloudy roll the bottle in your hands and turn it from side to side for one full minute you do not have to roll the bottle if the insulin is completely clear do not shake the bottle if opening a new bottle of insulin remove the plastic cap and wipe the top of the bottle with an alcohol wipe if using a

Bottle of insulin that has already been open you will still need to wipe the top or rubber stopper with an alcohol wipe remove the caps from both the top and bottom of the insulin syringe you may need to twist the cap to get it to come off more easily do not touch the needle pull back on the plunger to the unit mark for the insulin dose that has been ordered for

You put the bottle on the table insert the needle straight into the top of the bottle through the rubber stopper push the plunger down to inject the air into the bottle turn the bottle upside down with a needle still in it hold the bottle at eye level make sure the tip of the needle is in the insulin make sure not to bend the needle when picking up the bottle

Pull the plunger back to the unit mark for the insulin dose ordered for you if you see bubbles in the syringe gently tap on the syringe so the bubbles move to the top push the syringe to release the bubbles back into the bottle of insulin once again with the needle in the insulin pull the plunger back to the unit mark for insulin dose that has been ordered for

You check that the dose is correct set the syringe down without letting the needle touch anything you since you will be injecting your insulin on a regular basis you need to know where on your body to inject it you will also need to learn how to rotate or switch your injection sites recommended injection sites include the abdomen front and side of the thighs

Upper and outer arms and buttocks do not inject near joints the groin area the navel the middle of the abdomen or scar tissue if you use the same injection site over and over again you may get hardened areas under your skin that keep the insulin from working properly rotating your injection sites will make your injections easier safer and more comfortable follow

These guidelines ask your health care provider which sites you should use the injection site is about two inches of skin clean this area in a circular motion with an alcohol wipe move the site of each injection inject at least one and a half inches away from the last spot where you injected try to inject in the same general area of your body at the same time

Each day keep a record of which injection sites you have used every time you give yourself an injection write down the date time and site please note depending on which type of insulin you are taking absorption may be different for different parts of the body talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about the insulin you are using and which sites work best

Using the hand you write with hold the syringe like a pen or a pencil with the needle end down with your other hand pinch about two to three inches on both sides of the cleanskin insert the needle with a quick motion into the pinched skin at a ninety degree angle the needle should go all the way into your skin slowly push the plunger of the syringe until all of

The insulin is pushed out stop pinching your skin and pull the needle out you may bleed at the spot of the injection if you notice bleeding apply pressure with a clean alcohol white or cotton ball cover the injection site with a bandage if necessary drop the entire syringe a needle into your container for use sharps equipment do not put the cap back on the needle

It’s important to remember that when storing your insulin that you store unopened bottles in the refrigerator unopened insulin that is stored in the refrigerator will be good until the expiration date printed on the box write the date on the bottle when you first open it store the bottle you are using at room temperature avoid temperatures that are too hot or

Too cold this can change how the insulin works most insulin is good for 28 days once it’s opened check with your pharmacist or read the drug insert for exact instructions always check your medicine type and the expiration date printed on the box before you leave the pharmacy do not use insulin if it has lumps is discolored or has been frozen place used insulin

Syringes and lancets for blood sugar testing in a hard plastic or metal container with a screw on or tight lid or a commercial sharps container if you have questions about the subcutaneous injection procedure please ask your health care providers thank you again for choosing cleveland clinic for your care

Transcribed from video
Introduction to Insulin: Vial (bottle) & Syringe Injections By Cleveland Clinic