FDA Issues Warning to Practitioners Using Pen Needles for Injections

Nurses, nurse practitioners and others cautioned in announcement

The FDA is providing recommendations to patients, caregivers, and health care providers to promote the safe use of pen needles used to inject medicines from pen injectors.

The FDA has received reports of patients using standard pen needles to inject insulin without removing the inner needle cover. In these cases, the inner cover stopped the needle from entering the skin and the patients did not get the insulin. Some patients developed high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) because the inner needle cover stopped them from getting insulin. One patient was hospitalized and died because of having blood sugar that was too high for too long.

To help people use pen needles safely, the FDA recommends these actions:

  • Each time you get a new box of pen needles, check to see if they are the same type as the ones you were trained to use. If not, ask your health care provider to show you how to use this new type properly.
  • If you use a standard pen needle with an outer cover and an inner needle cover, be sure to remove both covers before use.
  • If you feel like your medicine from the pen injector is not working, talk to your health care provider.
    • For example, if you have diabetes and your blood sugar levels are high after insulin injections, contact your health care provider to talk about your injection technique, insulin dosage, and other things that can affect your blood sugar levels.
  • If you have any questions about your pen needle, contact your health care provider.



Learn more:

Promoting Medication Safety
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