Injecting Insulin

Taking shots safely, correctly, and with little or no pain

Why injections?

Insulin is a lifesaving medicine for people with diabetes. But there is no such thing as an insulin pill—it can only be taken as a shot. However, today's syringes and insulin pens are much easier to use and much less painful than those in the past. Many people say that they feel almost no pain at all when they take an insulin shot.

How is insulin taken?

There are two ways to give yourself insulin: from vials or with pens. If you are using a vial, you will also need syringes. If you are using a pen, you will also need pen needles. Both the syringes and the pen needles can be thrown away after you use them. It is common to take more than one type of insulin. Mealtime insulin is taken before meals to help manage food-related rises in blood glucose (sugar). Long-acting insulin helps to manage blood glucose throughout the day and needs to be taken at the same time every day. Your health …

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This Article

  1. doi: 10.2337/diaclin.31.1.46 Clinical Diabetes vol. 31 no. 1 46