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Giving an Insulin Injection Into the Belly Using an Insulin Pen

Attach needle to insulin pen

Photo of a person attaching a new needle to an insulin pen

After you have put the insulin cartridge in the insulin pen, screw on a new needle.

Get ready

Photo of a person removing pen cap

Remove the outer cap from the needle. Keep this outer cap. You will use it later to safely dispose of the needle.

Remove needle cover

Photo of a person removing needle cap

Remove the inner cover from the needle. Be careful not to prick yourself. To keep the needle clean, set the insulin pen on a counter or put the outer cap back over the needle while you do the next step.


Photo of a person cleaning area around injection site

Clean the area of skin where you will give the injection. If you use alcohol to clean the skin, let it dry.

Pinch up

Photo of a person pinching skin

If you covered the needle with the outer cap, remove it now. Check to make sure that you have the right dose. Then, using the hand not holding the insulin pen, slightly pinch a fold of skin between your fingers and thumb.

Stick it

Photo of a person pushing needle into skin

Push the needle all the way into the pinched-up area.

Inject and wait

Photo of a person pushing plunger in

Let go of the pinched-up area, and push the plunger of the pen all the way in. Count to five before taking the needle out.


Photo of a person puttting the pen cap back over the needle

Put only the outer cap back over the needle. The thin, inner cover is harder to put back on and you may stick yourself.

Needle safety

Photo of a person safely disposing of the needle

After covering the needle with the outer cap, unscrew the needle and throw it away in a sharps container or other solid plastic container. You can get a sharps container at your pharmacy.

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

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