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How to prepare a single dose of insulin

Follow these steps when preparing an insulin shot with one type of insulin.

Roll the bottle gently.

slide 1 of 7
slide 1 of 7, Roll the bottle gently.,

Roll the insulin bottle (vial) gently between your hands. Roll a bottle of cloudy insulin until the white powder has dissolved.

Rolling the bottle will warm the insulin if you have been keeping the bottle in the refrigerator.

Important: Do not shake an insulin bottle.

Clean the lid of the bottle.

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slide 2 of 7, Clean the lid of the bottle.,
  1. If you are using a bottle for the first time, remove the protective cover from the rubber lid.

  2. If the rubber lid of the insulin bottle is dirty, clean it with an alcohol wipe or a cotton ball dipped in alcohol. Let the alcohol dry.

Remove the needle cap.

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slide 3 of 7, Remove the needle cap.,

Remove the plastic cap covering the needle on your insulin syringe.

Important: Do not touch the needle.

Draw air into the syringe.

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slide 4 of 7, Draw air into the syringe.,

Pull the plunger of the syringe back and draw air into the syringe equal to the number of units of insulin to be given.

Force air into the bottle.

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slide 5 of 7, Force air into the bottle.,
  1. Insert the needle of the syringe into the rubber lid of the insulin bottle.

  2. Push the plunger of the syringe to force the air into the bottle. This equalizes the pressure in the bottle when you later remove the dose of insulin.

  3. Leave the needle in the bottle.

Draw insulin into the syringe.

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slide 6 of 7, Draw insulin into the syringe.,
  1. Turn the bottle and syringe upside down.

  2. Position the tip of the needle so that it is below the surface of insulin in the bottle.

  3. Pull back the plunger to fill the syringe with slightly more than the correct number of units of insulin to be given.

Remove the air bubbles.

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slide 7 of 7, Remove the air bubbles.,
  1. Tap the barrel of the syringe so that trapped air bubbles move into the needle area.

  2. Push the air bubbles back into the bottle. Important: Make sure you have the correct number of units of insulin in your syringe.

  3. Remove the needle from the bottle. Now you are ready to give the shot.

Current as of: October 2, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.