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The Correct Use of Pen Devices

1 Pen devices should be primed
(observing at least a drop at
the needle tip) according to
the manufacturer’s instructions
before each injection. Once
flow is verified, the desired
dose should be dialled and the
injection administered. (36,68)


2 Pen devices and cartridges are
for single person use only and
should never be shared due to
the risk of cross contamination.

3 Pen needles should be used
only once. (3,5,6,17,59,76,77)


4 Using a new needle each time
may reduce the risk of needle
breakage in the skin, ‘clogging’
of the needle, inaccurate dosing
and indirect costs (e.g Abscess).


5 After pushing the thumb button in completely, the individual should count slowly for 10 seconds before withdrawing the needle in order to deliver the full dose and prevent the leakage of medication. Counting past 10 seconds may be necessary for higher doses. (61,69,71,74,78,79)


6 Needles should be safely disposed of immediately after use and not left attached to the pen. This prevents the entry of air (or other contaminants) into the cartridge as well as the leakage of medication out of the cartridge, which can affect subsequent dose accuracy. (71-75)


7 Injecting through clothing should be discouraged. As needle lengths are becoming shorter there is increased risk of intradermal injection.


Under no circumstances should any HCP re-sheath pen needles. It is recommenced that safety needles should be used (153).


9 Any HCP who is required to use a lifted skin fold must exhibit caution to avoid needle stick injury.


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