Video: How to inject insulin

content provided by

Video: How to inject insulin

First, gather your supplies. You'll need a bottle of insulin, a syringe and needle, an alcohol wipe and a covered, puncture-resistant container for needle discard. Then, wash your hands. Be sure to check the insulin bottle label for source, type, concentration and expiration date.

Clear insulin does not need to be mixed; however, cloudy insulin should be mixed by gently rolling the bottle between your hands. Do not shake. Then, check that there are no particles at the bottom of the bottle.


Remove needle cap and pull the plunger to draw in an amount of air equal to the amount of prescribed insulin. Wipe the top of the insulin bottle with alcohol, then insert the needle through the rubber stopper of the insulin bottle and inject air into the bottle.

Turn the bottle upside down with the needle in it. Pull the plunger on the syringe and withdraw insulin, not air, past the number of units needed.

If there are air bubbles, they must be removed. Without taking the needle out of the insulin bottle, push the insulin back into the bottle and draw again. Or snap the syringe sharply with a finger, then push the plunger to expel air into the bottle.

You may inject through one layer of clothing, although it's best to inject directly through your skin. Inject the insulin by holding the syringe like a pencil with one hand, and inserting the needle into the fold of your skin. Then release the pinch. Push in the plunger and inject the insulin. Pause for five seconds and then withdraw the needle. Do not re-cap the needle. Discard it into the puncture-resistant container.

Insulin is best injected into the abdomen because of quick and consistent absorption; but it can also be injected into fatty tissue between skin and muscle anywhere that large blood vessels, nerves and bones are not close to the surface.

  • The upper arm
  • The abdomen
  • The thighs
  • The buttocks

Once you become comfortable with injecting yourself, it takes very little time.

Last Updated: 05/31/2006
© 1998-2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Terms and conditions of use


Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version