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Steps to Draw Up and Inject Insulin (4315)

Steps to Draw Up and Inject Insulin (4315) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Diabetes, Endocrine


Steps to Draw Up and Inject Insulin

Injection Sites
Insulin injections are given into fatty tissue.
Areas of fatty tissue are shaded in the image

Abdomen: If using this site, do not use the
area within one inch of your belly button.
Avoid using the belt line area since rubbing
may irritate the site. Avoid scars from

Arms: Use the back side of your upper arm
in the fatty tissue. It can be hard to reach this
area yourself. You can try pinching up the
tissue by placing your arm over the back of a
chair or brace it against a wall.

Thighs: Use middle and outer areas where
you can pinch up tissue.

Buttocks: Use any
area where you can
pinch up tissue.
This site is not
often used since
it’s hard to reach.

Site Rotation
Rotate your injection sites to prevent tissue
damage. If tissue is damaged, the insulin
may not absorb as well. This may make it
harder to control your blood sugars. Some
people keep a record of where their last shot
was given to avoid these problems. If you
choose one site, like the abdomen only, be
sure to rotate shots within that site.

Drawing Up Two Types of Insulin
If you need two types of insulin at the same
time of day and prefer to inject once, you
may be able to combine them in one syringe.
See the key points below.

(Not all insulin types can be mixed. Be sure
to ask your health care team if it makes sense
to mix the insulin types you take.)

Key Points:
 Inject air into both vials before
drawing up insulin.
 Always draw up your clear insulin
before the cloudy insulin.
 If you draw too much cloudy insulin,
discard the syringe and start again.

Drawing Up Insulin Before Dose Is Needed
 NPH and Regular insulin can be pre-
filled up to 21 days before using.
 Keep these pre-filled syringes in the
refrigerator with the needle tip pointed
upward. Rotate the syringe to mix the two
insulins before using.
 If NPH and rapid-acting insulin are
mixed in the same syringe, give the dose
as soon as you can after drawing it up.
 Glargine should not be pre-filled. Inject it
as soon as you can after drawing it up.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have
any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not
medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s
health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this
information. If you have an emergency, please call 911.Copyright © 4/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and
Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4315.