Disposable Pens - getting all of the insulin

Just a tip. Many may be aware of this, but thought I’d throw it out there for the good of the group.

For the past couple years or so, I’ve been using Levemir basal in disposable pens. This has turned out to be a great thing, since I use syringes for boluses, and now pens for basal. (Accidentally taking bolus as basal insulin at bedtime is not a good thing at all…ask me how I know…)

The disposable levemir pens contain an extra 12 to 15 units of insulin, after they reach “0” on the dial. You can simply remove the pen needle, and draw out the remaining insulin with a syringe, just as though using a vial.


Thank you @mike_g ! That’s great to know. I’m going to investigate this on my Tresiba pens ( it’s u200 though).

Also, on the indisputable pens, I know at least the Novopen 3 leaves about 12-15u in the cartridge that the pen won’t dispense.

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@docslotnick, what did you find on the tresiba pens?

@Michel The Tresiba pens are very efficient. They seem to leave <5u in the vial after the dial registers 0. Very difficult to extract 3-5u successfully.


On average, on disposable Lantus and Basaglar pens, I average about 10 units in the reserve. The big bonus is that you also get to draw out those small partial doses that would have been leftover from your full dosage needs. This, plus the reserve, gives me an average of one extra day in a box of 5 pens. With the basaglar pens, you can also take a dose from a full pen, then turn it back enough to allow you to inject your salvage syringe back into the delivery chain.

I even do the same process with my “refillable” cartridges.
With the price of insulin these days, the only unused insulin around my house is the amount needed for those pesky priming shots!


2 posts were split to a new topic: MDI: saving all your priming insulin