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How to Give an Insulin Injection

1. Get the supplies you'll need:

  • insulin bottle
  • syringe
  • alcohol swabs
  • container for the used syringe

2. Wash your hands.

3. Check the insulin bottle to make sure it hasn't expired.

4. Remove the lid from the insulin bottle.

5. Wipe the rubber top of the bottle with an alcohol swab.

6. Remove the cap from the syringe.

Pull air into the syringe by pulling back on the plunger until its black tip is even with the line showing the dose you'll need.

Note: This information is for educational purposes only. For specific guidance on giving an insulin injection, talk with your doctor.

Push the needle through the rubber top of the bottle.

Push the plunger so that the air goes from the syringe into the bottle.

Note: This information is for educational purposes only. For specific guidance on giving an insulin injection, talk with your doctor.

Turn the insulin bottle and syringe upside down. To pull insulin into the syringe, slowly pull back on the plunger until the top of its black tip is even with the line showing your dose.

The most common places to inject insulin are the abdomen (belly), the back of the upper arms, the upper buttocks, and the outer thighs. Choose a place to give the injection, and wipe the skin with an alcohol swab.

Note: This information is for educational purposes only. For specific guidance on giving an insulin injection, talk with your doctor.

Gently pinch the skin. Hold the syringe at a 90-degree angle to the skin, and push the needle all the way in.

Let go of the pinched skin, and slowly push the plunger to inject all of the insulin. Wait about 5 seconds before pulling out the needle.

Put the used syringe in a sharps container or a plastic or metal container with a tight lid. When the container is full, be sure the lid is closed, and then dispose of it properly. In some communities, sharps containers can go in the trash. In others, they need special disposal. Check with your community or local health department.

Note: This information is for educational purposes only. For specific guidance on giving an insulin injection, talk with your doctor.

Reviewed by: Melanie L. Pitone, MD
Date Reviewed: 23-02-2022

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