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May 24, 2004

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Pennsylvania, USA:

How does the length of the needle on a syringe effect insulin absorption? For the past two weeks, my blood sugars, particularly in the moring, have not been under control. The only thing that has really changed has been the length of the needle on my syringe. I used to have 1/2 inch needles. When my prescription was refilled, I was given 5/16 inch needles.

Answer:

This is something we have found in clinical practice. The short insulin syrige needles are good for very thin people. However, it has been noted that in other patients, the insulin may not be getting into the subcutaneous space where it can be absorbed. I would recommend going back to the longer needle and see what happens.

JTL