Refilling the Lilly KwikPen disposable pen

What’s that joke about the physicist explaining to the carpenter that he could never actually touch a beautiful woman because each distance between them could be halved indefinitely… and the carpenter saying he thinks he could get close enough for practical purposes…

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Oh yeah, I remember that. :rofl:

I just tried this method with a couple of Lilly produced Basaglar pens and it works great!


Thanks Dave! Looks good!
Hey, those pens you tried it with. Do they have 1/2 unit doses? Or just full units?

I like the metal Lilly metal non-disposable pen, because it has 1/2 unit doses. But unfortunately it is bigger than the Lilly disposable pens.

I would use the disposable plastic pens if they had 1/2 unit doses. Would love to find a smaller pen with 1/2 unit doses that can be refilled. Anyone know of one?


The Basaglar pens dispense in single units, up to a maximum of 80 units.
I’m waiting on one of the Luxura HD pens to be delivered from Canada Drugs, based on your other post about refilling cartridges/vials. My hope is that my stockpile of 3ml vials from the disposable Lantus Solostar pens, or the 3ml vials from Levimir disposable from a family member, can be used with the Luxura pen.

Otherwise I was planning on asking my PCP to give me a temporary script for Humalog refills instead of the Novolog.

My personal insulin needs aren’t anywhere near the 1/2 unit dosage needs at this point in time, but the Luxura HD pen is definitely a much nicer way to handle my Novolog before/after meals.

Any input on how the TSA reacts to self filled vial refills when passing through security? With a refilled disposable pen, I don’t really anticipate a problem, other than concerns about leakage due to pressure changes. But not real sure on how they will react to self labeled vials, especially if they are not in the packaging normally associated with refill cartridges.

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They have never actually looked at my stuff. I run it through x-ray and it never gets flagged.

But even if they were to look at it, there is no evidence that you put your own stuff in there. The note saying “Lantus” or NovoLog" doesn’t tell them too much.

You could tell them - Well Mr. TSA, the word ‘LANTUS’ is a reminder that stands for

I have never been overwhelmed by TSA intellect.


They (TSA agents) have a lot going on.

If I was going through airport security with a bunch of stuff and was flagged down and asked what that all is, my answer would be:

“Insulin and medical supplies. I am a diabetic.”

I think more likely than not, they are just looking for the big picture idea.


Tsa will have no reaction whatsoever to any medical supplies

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I would want more than the taped labels to make the lantus pens difficult to confuse with the novolog pens. The consequence of injecting novolog when you thought you were taking lantus is a massive low. I’ve done it once and it took lots and lots of glucose tabs to stay above 35.

I’d suggest to use two drastically different colors of pens (marker? paint? nailpolish?) and also to modify them so one had a tactile distinction, like some kind of ridges on the barrel and bumps on the knob. Otherwise it’s just a matter of time before you grab the wrong one and the incorrect label doesn’t quite register.


Good call. I did that with mine.

Although I did not do anything with a different “feel” to it. A strip of sandpaper might work.



I completely agree. To be honest, I did this project as a proof of concept more than anything else, plus the fact that I had two Basaglar pens on hand that my PCP supplied, but inadvertently gave me pens that were 4 months past the expiration date on the pens. Since his office advised me to not use them, I first ejected the contents, and tried turning them backwards as described for the Humalog disposable pens. Once I determined that this could be done, I finished emptying them out, syringed out the residual, flushed a bit with the new, and then refilled them both completely, one with Lantus, the other with Novolog, both of which I had on hand in vials.

I do plan to use some colored tape on each, Blue for the Novolog, and red for the Lantus, around the body, to make it glaringly obvious which is which.

And when my current supply of Lantus in a vial is used up, my PCP has me switching over to the Basaglar pens anyway. Hopefully by that time the Luxura HD pen I ordered will have arrived, which I plan to use for my Novolog going forward.
I’ll be more than happy if the one Novolog refilled pen is all I need to get me by until that point.

But it’s nice to know that these pens, like the Humalog disposables, can be refilled, if that is what you have to work with. Certainly a less costly option than the proposed alternative of purchasing a box of Humalog disposable pens out of pocket, simply to gain some refillable pen options for those of us that have insurance companies that won’t cover the disposables.


That could work. The goal is just to get a whole collection of different sensory inputs: language, color, texture, … so that even if you’re not paying proper attention you’ll get a nagging sense that something just isn’t right.

Absolutely. You’ve contributed a helpful finding to the rest of us. I kibitz just in the hope of saving one person from replicating my blunder, that’s all.


I’ve tried this trick with the NovoLog (NovoRapid) Flexpen, the Levemir Flextouch pen, and the Lantus Solostar pen, and none of those pens will let you dial back the plunger. I even tried disassembling them and resetting the plunger manually, but something in the mechanisms of these pens is adamant that they are a one use only device. Did manage to get one Solostar to kinda sorta work, out of several I tried, but it was so wonky there is no way I would have trusted the dosage.
I did, however, salvage almost all of the disposable vials (they are delicate outside the pen!) and I am waiting for delivery of one of the Luxura HD pens from www.canadadrugs.com to determine if they can be refilled and used in that device, as described here.
Filling your own pens

If anyone wants to have a go at some empty Solostar pens (with the vials removed) to see if they can figure out a way to reset the plungers so that the pens still work, send me a msg and we can work out a way to get them headed your way.


I tried with a Tresiba pen and it was also a dead end.

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3 posts were split to a new topic: Where to get empty Humalog cartridges?

3 posts were split to a new topic: Do Apidra cartridges fit into Luxura/ Luxura HD pens?

So if I understand this right I should also be able to take the full humalog disposable pens that I have and use them to refill empty humalog cartridges I will have (now that I am switching to the In-pen which uses disposable cartridges) All I need to do is insert the pen into the cartridge using a pen needle. The internal stopper will move to allow it to refill so long as the black pen twist thing that pushes the stopper down is all the way back? Sorry for my use of such technical terms. This could save me a refrigerator full of insulin I thought I wouldn’t be able to use. Diabetics are ingenious masterminds and so resourcefull

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Yes. As long as nothing is in the way of the rubber stopper, you can refill.

As a matter of my own foolishness, I have refilled Humalog cartridges with Apidra, Lantus, Levemir, and Humalog, as well as diluted Humalog.

As long as you clean them out first so you are not mixing different kinds of insulin, have at it!


thanks. I am putting the same insulin in so that should make it even easier, thanks so much


U tube has a video how to refill a used novolog solorstar quickpen .Also A D W diabetics online has pens that you can put your syringe in and works like the solorstar.