Different Methods for Taking Insulin
Needle and Syringe
With good blood glucose control a syringe and needle is the most common way to administer insulin. Knowing your normal dosage and the activities you plan to enjoy you can approximate your insulin amount to inject just under the skin.
The insulin Pen is similar to a regular writing pen with a cartridge. Insulin pen users screw a short, fine disposable needle on the tip of the pen before an injection. You dial in the amount of insulin you need, insert the needle under the skin and press the plunger on the end to deliver the insulin. The insulin pen is used more often in other countries than in the United States.
External Insulin Pumps
About the size and shape of an iPhone and weighs about three ounces or less. You can wear them on a belt or carry them in your pocket or purse. They use a disposable plastic cartilage as an insulin reservoir. A needle and plunger are temporarily attached to the cartridge to allow you to fill the cartridge with insulin from a vial. You then remove the needle and plunger and load the cartridge into the pump. Insulin pumps contain enough insulin for several days. An infusion set carries the insulin from the pump to the body through flexible plastic tubing and a soft tube or needle inserted under the skin.
Disposable infusion sets deliver insulin to a site on your body like the abdomen. Devices are available to assist you to insert a cannula beneath the skin. An infuse set consists of a cannula needle or a soft tube. The cannula needle or soft tube is held in place by an adhesive patch or dressing. You replace the infusion set every few days.
The insulin pumps supply insulin in a steady constant stream. The pump supplies a one-time larger dose of insulin at meal times and when faulty programming by you, sometimes, causes the blood glucose level to increase above what you planned. You must frequently monitor your blood glucose levels to determine the proper dose of insulin to deliver and program accordingly.
The ports look similar to injection sets without the long plastic tubing. They do have a cannula that you insert into the tissue beneath the skin. An adhesive patch holds the port in place. You insert the insulin into the port with a syringe and needle or a pen. Reducing the number of skin punctures is the main advantage of an injection port.
Spring loaded syringe holders make the injection under the skin quickly. Some of these devices have a button that activates a plunger to inject the insulin.
High Pressure Insulin Jet Injectors
These apply a fine spray of insulin, under high pressure, onto the skin that penetrates without a needle or cannula.