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How to inject your diabetes medication: The 5 Golden Rules

 by angela blair rn cde on 28 Mar 2017 |
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Always inject into the healthy fatty layer under your skin1

For your medication to work properly, it needs to be injected into the fatty layer under your skin, avoiding the muscle.2 It is also important to use a new site for every injection. Do not inject into the same injection site repeatedly.1

If you inject into the muscle, a scar, or any area where your skin feels thick or lumpy, your medication may not work the way it’s supposed to and may lead to changes in your blood glucose levels.1,4

Did You Know?

When inserted at 90 degrees to the skin, the BD Ultra-Fine™ 4mm Pen Needle ensures your diabetes medication is injected into the fat layer over 99.5% of the time, at all injection sites.2

4mm pen needles, inserted at 90° are recommended for all adults and children1*

A 4mm pen needle is considered the safest for adults and children - regardless of your age, sex, ethnicity or body weight.1

This is because a 4mm pen needle is short enough to pass through the skin with little risk of injecting a muscle.1

Because it’s so short, you can inject a 4mm pen needle straight into your skin at 90 degrees without a skin fold.1*
* Children 6 years and under and very thin adults should perform a skin fold and inject at 90°. Note that a 2-finger skin fold usually prevents injection into the muscle in children, but is much less effective in the thigh than in the abdomen.1

Inject your medication into areas on your abdomen, thighs, and buttocks1

Rotate your injection sites properly to help keep all of your sites and skin tissue healthy.1 Injection sites can be rotated from one body area to another however your abdomen, thighs, and buttocks can absorb diabetes medication differently.1
Talk to your Healthcare Professional about developing an injection site rotation plan that works for you.


Check your injection sites for lumps and bumps1

Thickened skin or rubbery lumps and bumps can build up in the fatty layer under the skin at your injection sites.4 Do not inject into these lumps and bumps. These areas are called ‘lipos’.1 You should check your injection sites for these lumps and bumps on a regular basis. If you inject into these lumps and bumps, your medication may not control your diabetes the way it’s supposed to.1

To avoid developing these lumps and bumps, be sure to:1
  • Inject your medication into a new site with every injection.
  • Use a new needle for every injection.
Your healthcare professional should also help you check for them, and mark any lipos that are of concern.1
Always Use a New Needle

Rotate your injection sites properly1

It’s important to rotate your injection sites to retain healthy skin and reduce your risk of developing lumps and bumps (lipos).1 When you rotate your injection sites properly, your skin can heal between injections.1

Always inject at least 5cm away from your belly button.1 Try not to use an injection site more than once every four weeks.1


1. Frid AH, Kreugel G, Grassi G et al. Mayo Clin Proc. 2016;91(9):1231–1255.
2. Gibney MA, Arce CH, Byron KJ et al. Curr Med Res Opin. 2010;26(6):1519-1530.
3. Johansson UB, Armsberg S, Hannerz L et al. Diabetes Care. 2005;28:8:2025–2027.
4. Blanco M, Hernandez M, Strauss K et al. Diabetes Metab. 2013; 39(5): 445-53.
5. Aronson R, Gibney MA, Oza K et al. Clin Ther. 2013;35(7):923–933.




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