Merck Manual

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Insulin Delivery
Insulin Delivery
Insulin Delivery

    Diabetes is a condition that develops because of elevated levels of glucose or blood sugar in the bloodstream. Many people with diabetes take insulin to keep their blood sugar at a normal, healthy level. There are several methods of insulin delivery including: syringe, pen, jet injector, and pump.

    The most common type of insulin delivery is through a syringe. An insulin dose is drawn up into the syringe from a vial and injected directly into the skin. The syringe should be disposed of in a puncture-proof "sharps" container designed for medical waste. Insulin pens contain pre-filled cartridges of varying doses which are injected directly into the skin.

    A jet injector does not use a needle to inject insulin. Instead, a high-pressure air mechanism is used to push a fine spray of insulin into the skin.

    Each of these methods of insulin delivery can be used to inject insulin in several areas of the body including the thighs, hips, abdomen, and upper arms. They are usually used several times a day. However, an insulin pump delivers insulin continuously throughout the day and can be worn on a belt or in a pocket. Insulin pumps allow people to more tightly control their glucose levels.

    No matter which method of insulin delivery is chosen, it is important that a person with diabetes still checks their blood sugar 3 to 4 times a day.