How Do I Choose the Best Diabetes Syringe?

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  • Written By: Kay Paddock
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 January 2020
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A diabetes syringe is designed for the injection of insulin. Many diabetics must inject insulin from once to several times per day to manage the condition. If you need to choose a diabetes syringe, the first things to consider are your insulin dosage and the type of insulin you use. You will also want to choose syringes that are clearly marked and easy to read to make it less likely you will give yourself the wrong dose. For less pain during the injections, look for a diabetes syringe that has a very thin, sharp needle.

The type of insulin you must use generally will determine the type of needle you need. There are two basic types of insulin: U100 and U500. U100 insulin contains 100 units of insulin in every milliliter of liquid, while U500 has 500 units of insulin in a milliliter. These require different needles. If you use a needle designed for one type with the other, you will either get a much higher or lower dose than you should, which could make you ill or even be fatal.


The most common type of insulin is U100, which must be injected with needles that are calibrated as U100 needles for correct dosing. U100 needles typically come with an orange cap to distinguish them from other types. People who have severe insulin resistance may need the much stronger U500 insulin, which must be injected with syringes designed especially for its insulin-rich solution. While it is possible to figure out how to convert one type of insulin to the other type of needle, it is best to simply use the right one and leave no room for error. People who use both types of insulin should generally use both types of diabetes syringes to help make sure they get the right amount of the medication.

Most diabetes syringes come in three sizes: 0.3 ml, 0.5 ml and 1.0 ml. It is best to choose a syringe that will hold the largest dose you take each day, but no more than that. If you require more than 1.0 ml in a single dose, there are 5.0 ml syringes that you can use to avoid having to split your dose into two injections. Look for a brand that has clear and easy-to-read markings on the barrel so you can be sure to get the right amount of insulin.

Comfort is also important when choosing a diabetes syringe. A plunger that slides smoothly in and out of the barrel will move the diabetes syringe less when injecting insulin. Also look for needles that are as thin and sharp as possible. These typically hurt less than thicker needles when piercing the skin.


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Post 2

Short, thin needles are the most popular these days. Doctors say they deliver the insulin better.

When I was taking Byetta, I had to buy pen needles and I always bought the thinnest kind. I had to use a thicker, longer one when I took Bydureon, and I hated it. It left big lumps under my skin at the injection site.

It's great that most insulin comes in pens now, so the diabetic doesn't have to go through the whole injection routine of cleaning the site, the vial, drawing up the insulin, etc. They just dial in the dose on the pen, attach the needle and go to town. It's a pain when you need a syringe, have run out and the pharmacy is closed.

Post 1

Not only should you choose the right type of needle for your syringe, you also need to make sure you have the best needle gauge. People on U100 insulin can usually use a much smaller gauge needle, which means it's not as big around and is much more comfortable for injection.

My dad was on U100 insulin and it was a great day when the pharmaceutical company came out with a 31 gauge, silicone coated needle. Syringes are pretty standard across the board, but needles aren't. Get the smallest one that works for you.

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