Improper Use of Insulin Pen Needles Triggers FDA Safety Alert

A recent safety notice issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminds patients, healthcare professionals, and caregivers about the proper use of insulin pen needles. Specifically, the agency aimed to highlight potential risks if the inside needle cover is not removed prior to the injection. Pen injectors may be used with both standard and safety pen needles, which may lead to confusion about how to use the pen needle correctly.

According to the FDA, reports have been received of patients using standard needles for insulin injections without first removing the inside needle cover. In these cases, the inner cover prevented the needle from puncturing the skin, and the patients did not receive their insulin. In some cases, hyperglycemia occurred. Health care professionals can help to prevent such issues in the future by educating patients and caregivers on the proper use of pen needles.

These findings were published on Medscape on September 27, 2018.

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