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-   -   Not changing needles on pen (https://www.diabetesforum.com/diabetes-medication-supplies/82090-not-changing-needles-pen.html)

Bunjee 08-07-2016 18:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by div2live (Post 1151033)
I take lantus from a pen. Have been doing this for 7-8 years. I always change the needle as I prefer a sharp needle.

But I do not prime the needles, except to get the air out when I start a new pen. Wasting that insulin to prime the needle everytime seems wasteful and with slow acting insulin, small variances does not seem to impact my results .

Can you clarify this? Priming removes the air in the needle. If you take a new needle every time, you don't get an accurate dosage because the new needle has air in the needle. With the 4-5mm needles, I can use just 1u to clear it, but an 8mm needs 2u. So, my question is - why would you only prime it the first time and not subsequent times when you are using a new needle each time?

Bounty 08-07-2016 22:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bunjee (Post 1151089)
With the 4-5mm needles, I can use just 1u to clear it...

I found when I used the BD 5mm needles...that if I wrapped my hand around the pen, gave it a good grip and let the heat from my hand transfer into the pen through the glass...that it would produce a droplet at the tip of the needle.

Daytona 08-07-2016 23:01

Okay, this thread inspired me to play around some more. Originally I was offended by wasting insulin to "prime" the needle. It felt like yet another way to get money out of me. But now I have changed my mind about priming.

I tried this a few times with my novolog and levemir pens. I use the BD nano 4mm 32G pen needles.

First I would do my usual routine, tip the pen needle side down, tap to get the air bubbles to go up and get a drop of insulin to form at the tip of the needle. Then I dial 1U and eject. Just a few drops come out. Now dial another 1U and eject again, and a long stream of insulin comes out.

What this tells me is that if I continue doing what I'm doing, that first 1U of dribble isn't anywhere close to a full unit. For my basal I'm only getting 24U instead of 25. Not a huge deal, but not what I intended. For my bolus though, if I'm intending to inject 3U and I only get 2U, that's a huge margin of error...

So count me in as a "primer" convert! :D

div2live 08-08-2016 17:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bunjee (Post 1151089)
Can you clarify this? Priming removes the air in the needle. If you take a new needle every time, you don't get an accurate dosage because the new needle has air in the needle. With the 4-5mm needles, I can use just 1u to clear it, but an 8mm needs 2u. So, my question is - why would you only prime it the first time and not subsequent times when you are using a new needle each time?

Not sure what you want clarified?

As noted above I use a new needle every night. I only prime when I am starting a new pen, to get air out of the pen. Lantus is slow acting and I have the freedom from my doctor to adjust my dosages up or down by 3-4u, so by not priming/clearing the needle I recognize that my injection will be a bit shorter than I dialed in, but if I do that consistently, no matter...I adjust my dosages by watching my BS trends. I seldom adjust the insulin now. I used to take 126u now I am down to 25u and getting better results than when I was taking 126u...thanks to starting LCHF in May of 2015!

Hope that clarifies....

VeeJay 08-08-2016 17:47

This may be a dumb question, but doesn't an empty (unprimed) needle cause air to be injected? Isn't that a bad thing?

Bunjee 08-08-2016 17:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by div2live (Post 1151385)
Not sure what you want clarified?

As noted above I use a new needle every night. I only prime when I am starting a new pen, to get air out of the pen. Lantus is slow acting and I have the freedom from my doctor to adjust my dosages up or down by 3-4u, so by not priming/clearing the needle I recognize that my injection will be a bit shorter than I dialed in, but if I do that consistently, no matter...I adjust my dosages by watching my BS trends. I seldom adjust the insulin now. I used to take 126u now I am down to 25u and getting better results than when I was taking 126u...thanks to starting LCHF in May of 2015!

Hope that clarifies....

Yes, that was a perfect explanation. Thanks!

moon 08-08-2016 18:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by VeeJay (Post 1151433)
This may be a dumb question, but doesn't an empty (unprimed) needle cause air to be injected? Isn't that a bad thing?

Air isn't a problem w/ sub-q injections. You're thinking of veins and arteries.

moon 08-08-2016 18:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by div2live (Post 1151385)
so by not priming/clearing the needle I recognize that my injection will be a bit shorter than I dialed in, but if I do that consistently, no matter...I adjust my dosages by watching my BS trends.

I didn't use insulin very long, but this was my take too. I was banking on consistency and didn't prime needles, only the pen. Priming sometimes but not always is what might give more inconsistent results.

mbuster 08-09-2016 19:26

Seems the thing to do would just be consistent. If you don't want to lose any insulin just don't prime. Being a wee bit off on the insulin consistently should be adjustable. But we guess at the carb content of two apples as being exactly the same????

Daytona 08-09-2016 20:34

This morning was weird. I primed 1U and then because I only got a single drop instead of a dribble, I primed another 1U. This one too only came out a single drop. Took me 4 tries before a stream came out.

I'm not sure if it was a dud, or my technique is inconsistent. Either way, this just confirms for me that I want to eliminate the question of if I'm getting the dose I intended. One less thing for me to stress over.


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