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Insulin Pens Vs. Vial and Syringe?

Dec 9, 2017

You have decided that one of your patients, a 72-year-old, should add a basal insulin dose to her antihyperglycemic regimen. During your discussion with her, she voices concern that between her “arthritic hands and poor vision” she won’t be able to accomplish this. You make the recommendation that using an insulin pen will make injection easier for her. Which of the following statements regarding insulin pens is true?


Answer: B. They have more accurate dosing than syringes

Educational Critique: Insulin pens are now widely available; some are prefilled/disposable while others are reusable and require an insulin cartridge to be loaded. Insulin pen pros: more discreet, convenient, and easier to use than vial/syringe; they have features that allow for more accurate and repeated dosing; they are less painful as the needle is only used once vs. twice with the vial/syringe; can increase medication adherence Cons: more expensive than vial/syringe; may not be covered by insurance; not all insulin types are available in pen form and there may be pen/insulin compatibility issues.  Pen vs. Vial-and-Syringe