General How To ?

How to Give an insulin Injection

Where is insulin injected ?

Insulin is injected subcutaneously – into the fat layer just under the skin –

If the syringe needle is injected too deep and reached the muscle, the insulin will be absorbed too fast as all the administered dose will move Quickly into the blood stream .



Common sites for injecting insulin :




The usual sites for insulin injection are shaded as illustrated in the previous photos :

1 -Abdomen ( away from the belly button )

2- arms

3- Outer thighs

4- Buttocks

Hint : The fastest absorption rates of Insulin is from the abdomen , followed by the arms, then the thighs, and finally the buttocks.



Before performing any kind of injection make sure you properly wash you hands with soap and warm water .


Ingredients ! :

alcohol swabs , insulin bottle & insulin syringe

firstly , Have a look at the insulin bottle

– Check the label on the insulin bottle to make sure you are using the right kind

– discard the bottle if you noticed precipitated crystals or change in the insulin colour , also there shouldn’t be any particles attached to the corners of the insulin bottle

if you are not sure wether your insulin bottle is Okay or not , Consult a health care professional .


if you are using Cloudy insulin type ,mix the bottle contents by rolling the it between your hands until the white powder is distributed equally in the vehicle and you see one homogeneous phase  ,

Never shake the bottle as this leads to formation on air bubbles and could also make the insulin clump together

Tip : if you keep your insulin ( clear or cloudy ) in the fridge , warm the insulin by gently rolling the bottle between your hands before injecting it as Injecting cold insulin can make your shot more painful



Remove the plastic cap of the insulin bottle



clean the rubber stopper with an alcohol swab


Inject an amount of air that is equal to your insulin dose into the bottle.
simply , Pull back the syringe plunger until the dose is adjusted .
e.g : lets make a dose of 53 units

Hint : Injecting air into the bottle increases the air pressure inside the bottle, This air pressure decreases the resistance you feel while withdrawing insulin from the bottle & makes it easier to draw the right accurate dose of insulin into your syringe


Push the syringe needle straight into the rubber top of the insulin bottle


pay attention while pushing the syringe into the bottle because hitting the the metal edges rather than the rubber center could contaminate your syringe or even break its needle if you are pushing fast


Inject air into it by pushing the plunger in.

With the needle still in the bottle ,Turn the insulin bottle upside down

Tip : Make sure the needle is in all the way in the insulin bottle to prevent breaking the needle while flipping the insulin bottle .


Pull the plunger back while Making sure the needle is dipped into the insulin & Draw the correct dose of insulin into the syringe



if you find air bubbles stuck in the syringe with the up taken insulin ,


push the insulin back into the bottle slowly


then re-draw the insulin carfully and slowly making sure your syringe is under the insulin surface all the time


Hint : If small air bubbles are present , tap the syringe head ( Not needle ) with your finger , air bubbles will float to the top ,carefully Push the plunger to move the air bubbles out of the needle , then draw more insulin units from the bottle to adjust your dose .



after drawing the right dose , remove your fingers from the plunger and grab the syringe as a pen to prevent any messing with the dose .
then , carefully restore the syringe and bottle to the Normal position

remove the syringe from the bottle
Tip : if you have to leave the syringe somewhere before injecting it , make sure it’s on a clean surface and that the needle is touching nothing but air to prevent contamination .

clean the injection site with an alcohol swab using a circular motion

bench some skin & fat between your thumb and first finger and inject the syringe to it at a 90° angle
Tip : in case of young childern or thin people , inject at a 45-degree angle so that you make sure you’re going into the fat layer and not into the muscles

inject the insulin dose slowly and then let go of the pinched tissues
Hint : wait for a few seconds before removing the syringe to prevent insulin likage

clean the site again with an alcohol swab using a circular motion .
syringes should only be used once.
Throw away used needles and syringes safely in a Sharps container or any hard container that the needles cannot penetrate and Closed tightly with a screw-on cap.


<< Tips for decreasing pain when injecting insulin >>


1- If insulin has been stored in the refrigerator, leave it in room temperature 15-30 minutes before injecting it and warm the insulin bottle by gently rolling it between your hand


2- You can reduce injection pain by choosing a needle length and gauge that are right for you.


3- Make sure you removed all air bubbles from the syringe before injecting insulin


4- Wait a few moments after cleaning the skin surface at the injection site with an alcohol swab to allow the alcohol to dry out , then inject your insulin


5- the person taking insulin should be encouraged to Relax , tensing muscles while injecting insulin can make the injection more painful


6- Be straight and confident during needle insertion and removal , hesitating , shaking & changing direction can make the injection process more painful


7- Do not reuse disposable needles


8- Do not inject close to the belly button , moles or scars as the tissues there are tough so it’s more painful & besides, the insulin absorption will not be as consistent


9- If you inject insulin in the upper arm, use only the outer back area – where the most fat is –


10- It is hard to pinch the upper arm when you are injecting yourself , so instead of pinching try pressing your upper arm against a wall


11- Stay away from the inner thighs and never inject insulin or anything else there because If your thighs rub together when you walk, it could the injection site sore and become very painful


Finally , Do not fall in love with a single injection site ! It might seem a good idea to find a spot that does not hurt and inject there all of the time . . . but unfortunately , this could lead to unpleasant swellings and lumps .

>> talk with your doctor about the ” Rotating technique “ and when & where should you change the injection site

…  … 


we can mix clear and cloudy insulin in one syringe to give a rapid & prolonged action at the same time , the doctor will prescribe the dose and amount of each insulin type according to life style , habits , diet  & the body’s metabolism

Nothing tricky about mixing insulin except that you should withdraw clear insulin first , to prevent it’s contamination with cloudy insulin .

this video shows the right way for mixing up the insulin 🙂 :


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instead of syringes , . . Insulin pens are available and commonly used now by many people

the are easier in adjusting doses and injecting the insulin

watch that video for more information about insulin pens and how to use them :


….  …..  ….


to clearly understand , the next video illustrates insulin injection techniques using both syringes and needles .. the previous pics & videos were cartoony but this one is for real 😀

…..  ….  …. 




Hint : insulin that can be inhaled is now available and approved by the FDA

it’s a promising technique which provide insulin to the body in a non invasive way ” inhalation “
However, injections are considered the most efficient and reliable way to deliver insulin to the bloodstream at the present time .








references :

EPA , United States Environmental Protection Agency

Discovery Health official website

FDA official website


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Nice! keep it up 🙂

Dina El- Shishtawy

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