When you use an insulin bottle for the first time, write the date on the bottle. Insulin stored at room temperature will last for about a month. Read and follow all instructions on the label, including how to store the insulin and how long the insulin will last.
Check that a disposable pen's insulin has not expired. This date is usually printed on the pen's label.
Prepare the shot
Your preparation will depend on whether you are giving one type of insulin or mixing two types of insulin.
Do not throw your used syringe, disposable insulin pen, or needle in a trash can. You can dispose of it in a metal container that either has a lid that screws on or a lid that you tape down tightly. You also can buy special containers for disposing of used needles and syringes. Talk with your local trash disposal agency, pharmacy, or your doctor about how to get rid of the container.
Other suggestions for success and safety
To help you be safe and successful in giving your insulin shots:
Teach someone else to give your insulin shots. Have that person give you a shot from time to time so they will know how to do it in case of an emergency.
Do not mix other medicine with insulin without your doctor's instruction. If you are taking two types of insulin, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether they can be mixed in the same syringe.
Never share syringes with another person. Diseases, such as HIV or infection of the liver (hepatitis), can be transferred through blood.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerRhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.