When it comes to diabetes, everyone must have heard of this chronic disease. Relevant data show that there are more than 500 million people with type 2 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body can't make its insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. In type 2 diabetes, the body can't use insulin efficiently or make enough.
When the everyday use of oral hypoglycemic drugs cannot effectively control the deterioration of the disease, insulin injection has become an inevitable choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Insulin can be given in different ways: syringe, pen, pump. Your doctor will help you decide which type is best for you, depending on your insulin dose, comfort level, and cost factors.
Many people may not know that a special syringe is required to inject insulin. What is the difference between an insulin syringe and an ordinary syringe? How should it be used? The following article will introduce you to some details about insulin syringe size and types.
Insulin syringes on the market mainly include ordinary insulin syringes, insulin injection pens, and needle-free insulin syringes.
Traditional Insulin syringe
Insulin syringes are disposable and meant for one-time use. It helps make sure the needles are sterile to avoid the risk of infections from used needles. They are plastic products with exquisite craft, sharp needles, and precise graduations. In insulin injection therapy, people should ensure one replacement at a time.
Insulin injection pen
The insulin injection pen can be carried with you and is convenient to use. Insulin injection pens are divided into insulin prefilled pens and replaceable refill pens. The insulin prefilled injection pen is a disposable product that can be discarded together with the pen when used up. Another type has replaceable refills, but a new refill and needle need to be replaced when it is used up.
Needle-free insulin syringe (pump)
Needle-free syringes use high pressure to make insulin penetrate the surface of the skin. Its advantages are less-pain and accurate dosage. In addition, the needle-free injection is sprayed at high speed in the form of a mist. The diffusion and absorption are relatively uniform, which can avoid the occurrence of induration to a certain extent. However, needle-free syringes are relatively expensive.
Insulin Syringe Size Guide
An insulin syringe is a syringe specially used to inject insulin. It is usually composed of four parts: needle cap, injection needle, syringe, and pusher. Whether you are new to giving yourself insulin injections or a daily routine, there are several points to consider, including the syringe and needle size to maintain steady blood sugar levels.
An ordinary syringe can not replace an insulin syringe because the scale units marked on these two are different. The scale marked on the insulin syringe is insulin units, while the scale on the ordinary syringe is milliliters. The smallest unit of an ordinary syringe is usually 0.1 ml, equivalent to 4 units after conversion. Most patients need to inject insulin doses that are not an integer multiple of 4.
Common insulin syringe sizes
The size of the insulin syringe barrel determines how much insulin a syringe holds, and the needle gauge determines the needle thickness. The length of a needle determines how far into your skin it penetrates. Needles for insulin only need to go under your skin and not into the muscle. Shorter needles are safer. It should be noted that there are many types of insulin, and they are specially matched insulin syringes. At the same time, insulin syringes from different manufacturers cannot be used universally.
The number lines in an insulin syringe, measured in milliliters (ml), stand for the following:
- 0.3 mL syringes are for insulin doses under 30 units of insulin and are numbered at 1-unit intervals.
- 0.5 mL syringes are for 30 to 50 units of insulin and are numbered at 1-unit intervals.
- 1.0 mL are for doses under 100 units of insulin and are numbered at 2 units per interval.
|Needle length||Needle gauge||Barrel size|
|3/16 inch (5 mm)||28||0.3 ml|
|5/16 inch (8 mm)||29, 30||0.5 ml|
|1/2 inch (12.7 mm)||31||1.0 ml|
What size syringe should you use
The correct syringe size depends on your insulin dose and your comfort level with the needle size. You may need multiple syringes if you give different doses per day. The following are several tips for choosing the right syringe size.
- If your dose is 30 units or less, use the 0.3 ml syringe.
- If your dose is 31 to 50 units, use the 0.5 mL syringe.
- If your dose is 51 to 100 units, use the 1.0 mL syringe.
- Choose the smallest syringe size that is big enough to hold the largest dose you need in a day. The smaller the syringe, the easier it is to read the markings and draw up an accurate dose.
- If your dose is close to the maximum capacity of the syringe, you may want to go up a size to avoid problems handling the syringe.
- People who take whole unit insulin doses of less than 30 units should use a syringe with markings at every unit because its large, easy-to-read markings make it simple to draw up an accurate dose.
Precautions for using insulin syringes
The injection site must be rotated when injecting insulin, and the injection points should be separated by more than 1 cm. Avoid repeated injections at the same place; otherwise, it will easily lead to local subcutaneous fat atrophy or hyperplasia, which will affect the absorption of insulin.
- Make sure to wash your hands before injection.
- Check the correct type of insulin and the injection dose.
- Exhaust the air in the syringe and choose a body part with more subcutaneous fat, such as the sides of the abdomen, the outer thigh, etc.
- The 4mm needle should be inserted vertically, and the 6mm needle should be injected at a 45° angle.
For unused insulin opened, it can be stored at room temperature in a cool and dry place below 25 degrees Celsius, avoiding light and heat. Typically, the shelf life of insulin stored at room temperature after opening cannot exceed four weeks. Suppose it is unopened insulin that will not be used for a short period. In that case, it is recommended to store it in the refrigerator compartment at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, not in the freezer compartment.