Researchers speculate that incorrect use of insulin pens may harm one’s ability to control diabetes. However, after studying the effects of correct and incorrect use of insulin pens on users, they found that the method of injecting did not affect a person’s HbA1c—despite the fact that incorrect injecting is common.
Researchers, who presented their findings at the ADA’s scientific sessions in June, observed 100 patients who were using an insulin pen to inject NPH in February 2000. They determined that the majority of the group (62 people) injected properly and a minority of them (38 people) did not—either by not suspending the insulin correctly or removing the needle too early. Both groups displayed lower HbA1c levels up to six months after the study, rendering their premise inconclusive.
Regardless, researchers note that instructing users on how to inject correctly may help control blood sugar.
In the February 2000 issue of Diabetes Health, Peter Jehle, MD, and his colleagues from University Hospital in Ulm, Germany, recommended tipping insulin pens at least 20 times before injections to ensure an even mix.