Giving an Insulin Injection Into the Belly Using an Insulin Pen

Attach needle to insulin pen

Putting a new needle in an insulin pen
slide 1 of 9
slide 1 of 9, Attach needle to insulin pen,

Insulin pens are either reusable or disposable. You must put a cartridge of insulin in a reusable pen. Disposable pens come filled with insulin.

After you are sure the pen has insulin, screw on a new needle.

Get ready

Removing the pen cap
slide 2 of 9
slide 2 of 9, Get ready,

Remove the outer cap from the needle. Keep this outer cap. You will use it later to safely dispose of the needle.

Remove needle cover

Removing the needle cap
slide 3 of 9
slide 3 of 9, Remove needle cover,

Remove the inner cover from the needle. Be careful not to prick yourself. Prime your insulin pen following the manufacturer's instructions.


Cleaning the area around the injection site
slide 4 of 9
slide 4 of 9, Clean,

If you use alcohol to clean the skin before you give the injection, let it dry.

Pinch up

Pinching up the skin
slide 5 of 9
slide 5 of 9, Pinch up,

If you covered the needle with the outer cap, remove it now. Check to make sure that you have the right dose. Then, using the hand not holding the insulin pen, slightly pinch a fold of skin between your fingers and thumb.

Stick it

Pushing the needle into the skin
slide 6 of 9
slide 6 of 9, Stick it,

Push the needle all the way into the pinched-up area.

Inject and wait

Pushing in the plunger
slide 7 of 9
slide 7 of 9, Inject and wait,

Let go of the pinched-up area, and push the plunger of the pen all the way in. Count to 10 (or to the number that the manufacturer recommends) before taking the needle out.


Putting the pen cap back over the needle
slide 8 of 9
slide 8 of 9, Recap,

Put only the outer cap back over the needle. The thin, inner cover is harder to put back on and you may stick yourself.

Needle safety

Putting the used needle into a solid plastic container
slide 9 of 9
slide 9 of 9, Needle safety,

After covering the needle with the outer cap, unscrew the needle and throw it away in a sharps container or other solid plastic container. You can get a sharps container at your pharmacy.

Don't share insulin pens with anyone else who uses insulin. Even when the needle is changed, an insulin pen can carry bacteria or blood that can make another person sick.

ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology

Current as ofMay 22, 2015

Current as of: May 22, 2015

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology