FDA urges patients to use caution when injecting insulin with pen needles

The agency offered new recommendations after receiving reports of patients using standard pen needles to inject insulin without removing the inner needle cover.


The FDA provided recommendations to patients, caregivers, and clinicians on the proper use of both standard and safety pen needles to inject medicines in a Sept. 27 safety communication.

The recommendations follow reports that the agency has received about patients using standard pen needles to inject insulin without removing the inner needle cover, which stopped the needle from entering the skin and delivering the insulin. Due to this issue, some patients developed hyperglycemia, and one hospitalized patient died.

Patients can use the same pen injector with both standard and safety pen needles, but they may not know the differences between the two types of pen needles, said the safety communication, which includes illustrations of both types of device. Patients should be sure to remove both the outer and inner covers of standard pen needles (safety pen needles have only one removable outer cover), as well as check each new box of pen needles they receive to make sure they know how to use them, the agency recommended.