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disneygirl1971
05-27-2007, 06:31 PM
Are there any insulin users out there that can offer any help or advice on using insulin pens (Lantus) compared to using regular insulin in a vial with a syringe (Lantus)? I'm new to using insulin (although I've been type 2 diabetic for 5 years) and can't decide which route to go. Are there any advantages/disadvantages to either the pens or the vails? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Selket
05-27-2007, 07:14 PM
My 5 yr old is type 1 but pumping. There are a couple of good forums for those with diabetes (type 1 or 2) where you can ask your question. The question is general enough for type 1 or 2 people to respond....I thought you might get many more responses there.

The Children with Diabetes board has several boards for general issues, adults (with type 1 or 2) etc. at http://forums.childrenwithdiabetes.com/index.php

The ADA has forums too: http://community.diabetes.org/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=index&webtag=amdiabetesz&redirCnt=1

I would think if the pens aren't much more expensive it would be easier to use them. Some people have noted problems with giving very small doses of fast acting with the novolog pen (like 1/2 unit doses). I haven't seen anyone on the parents board talk about problems with the lantus pen. I'm sure someone at those forums, if not here, can help.:thumbsup2

carrie s
05-27-2007, 08:18 PM
My DD liked pens much better then syringes(she is on the pump now).She said the pen didnt hurt as much.When we went out I found it easier to bring her pen along then bringing syringes and the insulin vials.

Figaro
05-27-2007, 08:54 PM
I have used both and much prefer the vials. But then, I am an R.N. and needles and vials are pretty familiar to me. :)

Research shows that re-using your needles in your home environment is perfectly safe, as is injecting through clothes when necessary. I tend to re-use needles for environmental and financial reasons and that is more difficult (not impossible, but more difficult) with the pens. I have been doing this for many, many years and have never gotten even a tiny infection. :)

I have been a diabetic for quite a few years now and use both insulin (with needles and vials) and Byetta (with the pen). The diabetesmonitor.com website has a lot of good advice and pretty decent blog forums.

Good luck!

disneygirl1971
05-27-2007, 10:03 PM
Thanks for all the great info. I will definitely check out that website!

carrie s
05-27-2007, 11:42 PM
I reused the needles from my DD's pen all the time,its not difficult at all.

Figaro
05-28-2007, 08:04 AM
The difficulty I have with the pen needles is that they bend a bit easier than the syringe needles do and with the Byetta pen, if you hit a small blood vessel, it is likely to pull blood up into the pen and that wrecks the pen for further use. But that could be specific to the design of the Byetta pen. :) If I get blood back in the syringe, I can simply discard it. That isn't an option with the Byetta pens, as the medication co-pay is just over $90.00 once a month.

Cheshire Figment
05-28-2007, 08:22 AM
I use both insulin from vials (and syringe needles are 30 gauge by 1/2 inch) and Byetta (where the needles are 31 gauge by 3/16 inch). The 31 x 3/16 are extremely comfortable.

And I did not think it was possible to draw blood back upnto the pen as it is a preset dose.

carrie s
05-28-2007, 09:47 AM
Do you go to a diabetes clinic? When we were thinking about changing from syringes to pens our diabetes educator gave us the pens and some insulin for the pens.The companys send them samples.They may be able to give you a sample of each so you can see what one you like better.

disneygirl1971
05-28-2007, 12:23 PM
I never thought of asking for samples. What a great idea! I do start going to the diabetes center run by a local hospital next week. What's the most confusing of all of this is I will be starting on only one shot a day of the 24 hr. insulin but everyone keeps mentioning that the doses could easily get changed? So I guess if I stay with the 24 hr. and fast acting gets added in then I will then have 2 different pens with different insulin? I'm just thinking that could get expensive versus the vials/syringes. At this point I'm just going in circles and trying not to lose my sanity :headache: All that's keeping me sane is thoughts of my upcoming Dec. WDW trip:dance3: Thanks for all the great help everyone, dissers are the best!

carrie s
05-28-2007, 12:38 PM
Yes,you would need 2 pens.
My dd has been on the pump for almost a year so I cant remember the price difference between pens and syringes and vials.The pens were more but I dont think it was a huge difference.

Terk-1
05-28-2007, 03:18 PM
When my mother was alive, she was insulin dependent. She was given the pens about a year or 2 before she passed away and she liked it better, especially when traveling. Instead of having to worry about packing enough needles, bottles of insulin, etc., she would only need to pack one or two pens. They were very easy to use.

Merriwind
05-28-2007, 03:22 PM
My DH is Type I diabetic and has been using Lantus and NovoLog pens for a little over a year. He travels about 200 nights annually and loves the convenience of the pens. Pens cost more, but I don't think it's a huge difference.

nowimscrappin
05-28-2007, 07:21 PM
I never thought of asking for samples. What a great idea! I do start going to the diabetes center run by a local hospital next week. What's the most confusing of all of this is I will be starting on only one shot a day of the 24 hr. insulin but everyone keeps mentioning that the doses could easily get changed? So I guess if I stay with the 24 hr. and fast acting gets added in then I will then have 2 different pens with different insulin? I'm just thinking that could get expensive versus the vials/syringes. At this point I'm just going in circles and trying not to lose my sanity :headache: All that's keeping me sane is thoughts of my upcoming Dec. WDW trip:dance3: Thanks for all the great help everyone, dissers are the best!

My 2year old is on 24 hour Lantus and then Humlog fast acting. Its actually great regimen and will give you a lot of flexibility.

We are getting ready to move to pens. They dial up in full-unit doses, so you will be rounding to a full unit after calculating your dose for fast acting (your dose will be based on your carbs for a given meal and whether you were high or low before the meal). For your long-lasting, it will be a set dose but it may take a while to set the dose just right and it may change as your body goes through hormonal changes (for example, we had my daughter up to 3.25 units but she's down to 2.5 right now).

You will have one vial/pen for the fast acting and another for the long-lasting. They cannot be mixed. The only things I hear about the pens that is bad are a) that you need to leave it in for 5 seconds to make sure it all drips in; and b) you waste a bit more having to "prime" the needle. But, we have never used all of a vial before it expired, so that isn't a problem for us.

My 2 year old is a newly diagnosed diabetic (March) and I came over here because we are planning our Dec trip also. Maybe we can share tips and info we get. I will be calling all of the food managers at the parks to discuss carb content with them before our trip!

nowimscrappin
05-28-2007, 07:25 PM
Yes,you would need 2 pens.
My dd has been on the pump for almost a year so I cant remember the price difference between pens and syringes and vials.The pens were more but I dont think it was a huge difference.

If you have a standard insurance co-pay, I've heard the pens are cheaper - they come packaged 6 in a package, which is the same as getting 6 vials of insulin. Someone on our local yahoo group actually gets the pens but then uses the "container" with a syringe (like a vial) instead of using the pen needles because its cheaper that way.

Figaro
05-28-2007, 07:54 PM
Cheshire Figment, unfortunately the Byetta pens can be pretty flaky. They are better now then they were when they first came out, but people report getting black material visible in the pen after using it for a few times and that black stuff turned out to be blood. That's why they recommend always using a new needle with each injection.

Chloesmom
05-31-2007, 04:41 PM
My Dd was on Novolog and Lantus for about a year ( we just moved her to the pump :goodvibes ). We liked the pen alot better since you can get a shorter needle than the syringe whoch meant no pinching up and it was easier for DD to give her own shots in her arms. It was alot cheaper too because you do get 6 pen cartridges in a pack and DD never even used a whole cartridge before it expired. We were wasting so much insulin in the vials. We basically were only getting 2-3 lantus refills a year. Thankfully our insurance covered it all but if you had a co pay or it was not covered then I would think the pen would be cheaper.
I would never reuse needles. Aside for the sterile issue the needle dulls alot with just one use. There was a flyer in my needle box that had an enlarged pic of a new needle and a needle used once. It was a HUGE difference. I guess in a pinch it would be ok but I cannot imagine doing it as normal practice.
Oh.. also Disneygirl. The meantion of doses getting changed just means that the Lantus will act differently in your body than the other insulin you have used so they will have to tinker with your dose to get the right one. I know DD's changed alot thru her year due to wieght changed, more active in summer, etc.

Daydreamer64
06-01-2007, 02:41 PM
Pen lovers here! There are two diabetics in our family, myself and my middle DS- we love the pens- HATE the vials...just us- but the pens are so easy to carry and use- the novolog pens use only whole units to deliver the insulin- the major bonus for us is that the pens are just so easy to read the numbers verses having to count the lines on the syringes.

DS uses the Lantus for 24 hour control- he takes one shot at bedtime with the syringes and he takes his daily meal dose with the Novolog pens- our doc said that the pens are not real accurate if you are taking 2 or less units- he is on one unit for every 20 grams of carbs so he easily eats more then two units per meal-:rolleyes1

Our biggest difference is that with the vials, we had to inject the air and make sure that there are no drawn up bubbles in the syringes- with the pens we only have to prime out 2 units to fill the needle with insulin- dial the dose and inject the required amount and then count to ten before you draw out the needle- really easy for my 11 year old to do!:thumbsup2

He has also dropped two vials of Lantus and they broke, however, with the pens, he's dropped them too, they just do not break :confused3 so that helps us feel more comfortable with him handling things by himself.:upsidedow