Devices for Taking Insulin

Alternative Devices for Taking Insulin

Alternative Devices for Taking Insulin

Many people who take insulin to manage their diabetes inject the insulin with a needle and syringe that delivers insulin just under the skin. Several other devices for taking insulin are available, and new approaches are under development. For more information about insulin, see Medicines for People with Diabetes.

Injection aids are devices that help users give injections with needles and syringes through the use of spring-loaded syringe holders or stabilizing guides. Many of these aids use push-button systems to administer the injection.

Insulin pens can be helpful if you want the convenience of carrying insulin with you in a discreet way. An insulin pen looks like a pen with a cartridge. Some of these devices use replaceable cartridges of insulin; other pen models are totally disposable. A short, fine needle, similar to the needle on an insulin syringe, is on the tip of the pen. Users turn a dial to select the desired dose of insulin and press a plunger on the end to deliver the insulin just under the skin.

Insulin jet injectors send a fine spray of insulin through the skin by a high-pressure air mechanism instead of needles.

Subcutaneous infusion sets, also called insulin infusers, provide an alternative to injections. A catheter (a flexible hollow tube) is inserted into the tissue just beneath the skin and remains in place for several days. Insulin is then injected into the infuser instead of through the skin.

External insulin pumps are devices that deliver insulin through narrow, flexible plastic tubing that ends with a needle inserted just under the skin near the abdomen. The insulin pump is about the size of a deck of cards, weighs about 3 ounces, and can be worn on a belt or carried in a pocket. Users set the pump to give a steady trickle or “basal” amount of insulin continuously throughout the day. Pumps release “bolus” doses of insulin (several units at a time) at meals and at times when blood glucose is too high based on the programming set entered by the user. They also can be programmed to release smaller amounts of insulin throughout the day. Frequent blood glucose monitoring is essential to determine insulin dosages and to ensure that insulin is delivered.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: