Islets of Hope treatment options for persons with diabetes
This article is part of a series on insulin pens
Part 3 (Shots & Pens)
See "Step-By-Step Guide to Using an Insulin Pen" for detailed instructions on injecting with insulin pens.
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Information about insulin pens
What is an insulin pen?
An insulin pen is an insulin delivery (injection) device for the treatment of diabetes. An insulin pen is comprised of disposable needles, a vial of insulin, and the pen portion which the needle is screwed into and houses the insulin cartridge.
A number of companies make insulin pens including Novo Nordisk, Aventis and Eli Lilly. These companies produce pens for most their insulins, including Humalog (also known as insulin lispro) and Lantus (see more below). But there are only two different types of systems:
All insulin pens require a needle that you need to change (simply screw a new one onto the pen). As with traditional syringes, pen needles come in various lengths and thickness. Be sure to ask your doctor which one is best for you.
Advantages of Using an Insulin Pen
Insulin pens have a number of advantages:
Disadvantages of Using an Insulin Pen
How to Use an Insulin Pen (short version)
Pens are simple to use, and even young children (properly trained, and with supervision) can use them with ease. The basics of using an insulin pen include (assuming you are using a disposable pen, or, have already filled the cartridge in a reusable pen):
Where to Buy Insulin Pens
Insulin pens may or may not be covered by your insurance plan so you should shop around for the best prices. Costco Club stores have the cheapest prescription prices over any other walk-in pharmacy that we know of. Their nationwide store policy is to limit mark-up on all products they sell to 15-15% (depending on the product) and this includes all prescription drugs and supplies. Typically, other pharmacies mark-up the price of generic drugs up to 300% and name-brand drugs are usually marked up at least 80%.
Types of Pens Available
AUTOPEN (Owen Mumford, Inc.) (800) 421-6936
The AN 3000 and the AN 3100 insulin pens work with any Eli Lilly or Novo Nordisk 150-unit insulin cartridge. The AN 3800 and the AN 3810 insulin pens only work with 300-unit cartridges.
B-D PENS (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (800) 237-4554
Both pens work with either Eli Lilly or Novo Nordisk 150-unit cartridges
ELI LILLY PENS (Eli Lilly and Company) (800) 545-5979
All Eli Lilly pens are prefilled that contain 300 units of insulin which must be delivered in 1-unit increments
Eli Lilly also makes cartridges for reusable pens made by other companies. They sell cartridges containing 150 units of Regular, NPH, 70/30, or lispro insulin
NOVO NORDISK PENS (Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals) (800) 727-6500
Page Updated 06/31/2008