Using and Taking Care of Your Diabetes Medicine | Cornerstones4Care®

Using and Caring for Your Diabetes Medicine

How and where to inject insulin

Before you inject, please read the “Instructions For Use” information that comes with your medicine or visit the website on the packaging for detailed instructions. Injections can be given in the layer of fat right under the skin in the following sites:

  • Abdomen (inject at least 2 inches away from the belly button, scars, and moles)
  • Thighs (top and outer area)
  • Back of the upper arm
  • Buttocks or hip (in the “wallet area”) (this spot is not appropriate for all insulin, so remember to double check with your health care provider first)


Rotating injection sites can help protect your skin

To avoid lumps or scar tissue buildup, you should not inject in the same exact spot every day. Here’s an example: If you injected in the abdomen in the morning, then inject in the thigh or upper arm that night before bed. You may also inject in the same area, such as the abdomen, for a month, changing the injection site within that area, and then move to another area of the body the next month.


Important tips to remember when storing your insulin and/or prefilled pens:

  • Follow all the instructions on the label
  • Keep new, unopened containers in the refrigerator, but do not freeze and do not use a container if it has been frozen
  • Store opened injectable insulin pens at room temperature. Vials can be refrigerated once opened. Always check the label for proper storage information and for how long it is good after opening
  • Keep it out of sunlight
  • Do not store in your glove compartment or trunk of the car where it can get too hot

Throwing needles away

After you use a needle, carefully place it in a “sharps container,” which is a hard plastic or metal container that has a secure lid. You can buy a sharps container at your pharmacy where diabetes supplies are sold. Or you can use a plastic bleach jug, plastic milk jug, an empty detergent bottle, or other plastic bottle that you can’t see through. Always seal and dispose of the container properly according to local or state laws. Do not throw away used needles in household trash or recycling bins.

Have you signed up for the Diabetes Health Coach?