Injection Sites, Storage & Insulin Disposal | Cornerstones4Care®

Using and Caring for Your Diabetes Medicine

How and where to inject diabetes medicines

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 usually be given in the layer of fat right under the skin in the following sites:

  • Abdomen (except a 2-inch circle around your belly button)
  • Thighs (top and outer parts)
  • Upper arms
  • Buttocks


Rotating injection sites can help protect your skin

Choose a different area of your body each time you inject your diabetes medicine. For instance, if you inject in your abdomen in the morning, inject in your outer thigh or upper arm the next time. To avoid lumps or buildup of scar tissue, do not inject your diabetes medicines in the same exact spot each day. 

Where you inject can affect how quickly the medicine works. Be sure you know how to prepare and inject your medicine and how fast it works.

Talk with your diabetes care team about how to inject your diabetes medicine. Use the injection technique recommended by your diabetes care team.


Here’s what you need to know about storing injectable diabetes medicine:

  • Follow the instructions on the label
  • Keep new, unopened containers in the refrigerator but not too close to the cooling element
  • Do not freeze injectable diabetes medicine, and do not use it if it has been frozen
  • It’s usually okay to store injectable medicine at room temperature after you have opened it, but check the label to make sure
  • Do not let injectable medicine become too hot or too cold
  • Keep injectable medicine out of bright light and sunlight
  • Do not store injectable medicine in the glove compartment of a car
  • Do not use injectable medicine after the expiration date on the label
  • Always check the package insert for each medicine because storage information can vary between products


How do I get rid of used diabetes supplies?

Put needles and any empty prescription pens, also known as prefilled pens or insulin pens, in a sharps container or some type of hard plastic or metal container with a screw top, such as a detergent bottle or empty coffee can. These containers should be sealed and thrown away the right way.

Check with your diabetes care team about the right way to throw away used syringes and needles. There may be local or state laws about how to throw them away. Do not throw away used needles and syringes in household trash or recycling bins.

Have you signed up for the Diabetes Health Coach?