Using syringes with pens


We recently ordered Humalog vials but instead received pens. Our son has tried pens in the past and prefers vials. I contacted the pharmacy and they admitted the error but said that the insulin can be drawn from the pens and used just like a vial. They were supposed to send me instructions on how to do this but I’ve yet to receive anything. We’re just about out of the last vial so I was looking to see how this works before it’s time. Has anyone done this before and if so how easy or difficult is it?



The other day I forgot my insulin at home on a long weekend, so we bought the insulin we found at the pharmacy: novolog pens. I just inserted the pod syringe through the membrane at the top of the pen and took what I needed while keeping the pen vertical, then bled the air out of the syringe. It worked fine. I finished 3 of these pens already and I have had no problems. I did not inject any air, since there is a plunger on the other side of the pen.

I did wipe the membrane with alcohol before inserting the syringe.

I am sure you need to reprime the pens every time if you want to use them. I use cartridges in my regular refillable Echo pen, and I also take insulin out of them for my pod. Every time I need to dial in as many units as I took out so as to be able to use the pen. I make sure that I reprime it every time.


@Kaelan has detailed the trick. Just don’t inject any air. The system is ready to go, just insert your syringe and draw.

1 Like

Two ways -

  1. Insert the syringe with no air in it, dial up the dose on the pen, and inject the insulin from the pen into the syringe. (This works for all pens.)
  2. Just insert the syringe with no air in it and draw the insulin. This pulls down the rubber stopper on the pen vial - this may only work on the penfill cartridges and some pens, but not all.