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Steps for Preparing a Single Dose of Insulin


Rolling the bottle gently

Picture of rolling an insulin vial between the hands

Follow these steps when preparing an insulin shot with one type of insulin.

Step 1. Roll the insulin bottle (vial) gently between your hands. Roll a bottle of cloudy insulin until the white powder has dissolved.

Rolling the bottle will warm the insulin if you have been keeping the bottle in the refrigerator.

Important: Do not shake an insulin bottle.

Cleaning the lid of the bottle

Picture of wiping the rubber lid with alcohol

Step 2. Wipe the rubber lid of the insulin bottle with an alcohol wipe or a cotton ball dipped in alcohol. Let the alcohol dry.

Note: If you are using a bottle for the first time, remove the protective cover from the rubber lid before cleaning.

Removing the needle cap

Picture of removing the plastic cap from the needle

Step 3. Remove the plastic cap covering the needle on your insulin syringe.

Important: Do not touch the needle.

Drawing air into the syringe

Picture of drawing air into the syringe

Step 4. Pull the plunger of the syringe back and draw air into the syringe equal to the number of units of insulin to be given.

Forcing air into the bottle

Picture of pushing air into the insulin bottle

Step 5. First, insert the needle of the syringe into the rubber lid of the insulin bottle.

Next, push the plunger of the syringe to force the air into the bottle.

Then, leave the needle in the bottle.

Note: Forcing air into the insulin bottle equalizes the pressure in the bottle when you remove the dose of insulin.

Drawing insulin into the syringe

Picture of drawing insulin into the syringe

Step 6. First, turn the bottle and syringe upside down.

Next, position the tip of the needle so that it is below the surface of insulin in the bottle.

Then, pull back the plunger to fill the syringe with slightly more than the correct number of units of insulin to be given.

Removing the air bubbles

Picture of pushing bubbles back into the insulin bottle

Step 7. First, tap the barrel of the syringe so that trapped air bubbles move into the needle area.

Next, push the air bubbles back into the bottle.

Important: Make sure you have the correct number of units of insulin in your syringe.

Finally, remove the needle from the bottle.

Now you are ready to give the shot.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last RevisedOctober 1, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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