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October 22, 2001

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Mt. Morris, New York, USA:

My four year old daughter was diagnosed with type�1 diabetes just six months ago, and for the most part, she is accepting, but there are still some battles when it comes to the insulin injections. We have recently become aware of a possible alternative to the standard shot. These are called needleless injectors. One on the market currently is called Injex manufactured by Equidyne. I don't expect you to recommend or endorse these products, I am just looking for some data so we can make an informed decision. How effective are these? How do they work exactly? Are they really painless like the companies claim? I will greatly appreciate any and all research on these products.

Answer:

I have not really been impressed with these injectors, mainly because we can’t predict the insulin activity, but I don’t have experience with this particular device.

LD
Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:

I have not prescribed the Injex for anyone (yet), but have considered it for a couple of kids. It has a different degree of discomfort (having experimented with injections vs. Injex on myself — I do not have diabetes.)

There is a brief feeling of “pressure.” It is loud as the insulin is “pressured” into the skin. The pressure comes from a very tightly wound “spring” that, when released, quickly forces the insulin out of the special syringe. It is rather cumbersome. It is also expensive. There are special adapters that come to put into the insulin vials to draw up the insulin into the Injex special syringes. You have to renew those adapters and the special syringes. Maybe the company would let you give it a trial run for a week, and you can really try it out to see if you and your daughter like it.

Is your child really complaining of pain with injections or expressing fear/apprehension about injections? If the latter, you might try a simple little device called an Inject-Ease® which is like a spring loaded lancet device but fo insulin syringes. It “hides” the needle and gives the injections with the same, simple pressure. Ask your daughter’s diabetes team about it.

DS

[Editor’s comment: See Jet Injectors.

SS]