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From Clarkston, Washington, USA:

My five year old granddaughter was diagnosed in May 2006. She and her parents have done really well with all the changes and do an excellent job of keeping a log book and tracking her carbohydrates, etc.. They switched to using an insulin pen for her Lantus and another for her short acting insulin and this has been working really well for all of them. They just had their first visit with an endocrinologist yesterday. He said to get rid of the pens and to use only syringes because of two reasons: there is too much of a leak back with the pens (my son and daughter-in-law count to 10 before pulling the needle out, so they are relatively certain they are using the pens correctly); and any insulin that is not refrigerated loses half of its potency. And, of course, the insulin pens are not insulated.

Could you please give us your opinions on the use of insulin pens in 2006? I have read older articles that support the pen's use, but have not seen any current reports on them.


The concerns of the child's doctor are not without some merit. But who put the child on the pens? Presumably the doctor did since a prescription is required for them and the pen-top needles; one can only get the Lantus pen from a doctor's office.

I think that for day-to-day practical purposes, ESPECIALLY if the glucose levels are good, then keeping the pens at room temperature should be fine. You CAN refrigerate the insulin and the pens EXCEPT the Lantus pen device; the electronics in this pen do not tolerate the cold. But, you can disengage the cartridges from the Lantus pen and refrigerate them.

So, all-in-all, I think the doctor's points are well taken, but probably not called for. Do not make any changes without consulting a physician involved in the child's care.


Original posting 25 Jul 2006
Posted to Insulin


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