Sometimes, the proper diet, regular exercise, and oral medications aren’t enough to manage type 2 diabetes. In this case, you may need insulin therapy to help you live a healthier and more stable life. Injecting insulin at home will be difficult and worrying at first, but as long as you follow the steps below, you’ll find it easier to handle.

Gather the Supplies

Before injecting insulin into the body, you first need to ensure that you have everything required for the procedure. The items you’ll need are:

– Insulin

The supplemental insulin can come in small bottles or vials for multiple injections. Most people take only one type of it, but some people with diabetes need to mix two types of insulin medication.

– Syringes

The syringe will be used to measure each dose of insulin for injection. The size of your syringe must be able to accommodate your prescribed dose, but if you can’t read the markings on the plastic tube, use a magnifier or talk to your provider.

– Alcohol Wipes

When it comes to injecting anything into the body, sanitation is essential! Always have enough supply of alcohol pads or cotton swabs and alcohol to clean the skin where you’ll inject the insulin.

– Sharps Container

Syringes and needles are considered medical waste, so you can’t dispose of them as you would with regular trash. Stash your used syringes and needles in a sharps container, or you can use a detergent bottle with a cap that fits securely.

Check the Insulin

Don’t inject the insulin right away! Before going through the procedure, remember to check the insulin’s type, expiry date, and quality.

There are different types of insulin; using the wrong one for you could lead to adverse effects. Some insulin medications could expire before their expiry date if they were left open, so take note of that too.

Remember, unsealed insulin needs to be discarded after 30 days, but those with clumps should be tossed right away!

– Fill the Syringe

After checking the insulin and washing your hands, it’s now time to fill the syringe.

Pull back on the plunger and fill it with the same amount of air as the insulin dose you need to inject. Put the needle through the bottle’s rubber top and push the plunger to inject the air into the bottle.

With the needle in the stopper, turn the vial upside down. Make sure to keep the tip of the needle in the liquid. If there are bubbles in the syringe, tap it with your finger so that they float to the top. If there are no more air bubbles, you can now pull back the plunger again to get the correct dose. Take the syringe out of the bottle carefully.

– Prepare the Injection Site

You can only inject insulin medication in specific areas of the body, such as the:

  • Abdomen;
  • Upper arm;
  • Buttocks;
  • Hip; and
  • Front or side of the thigh.

Remember to stay away from areas where you have a wound or bruising and avoid injecting into the same location, as it could cause lumps, swelling, or thickened skin.

Clean your chosen area by wiping it in a circular motion with an alcohol wipe, but wash it with soap and water if it’s visibly dirty. Allow the alcohol to dry before injecting the insulin.

– Inject the Insulin

Pinch the skin and angle the needle at 45 degrees, but if your skin tissues are thicker, you can inject straight at a 90-degree angle. Push the needle into the skin all the way, then press the plunger in to release the insulin medication. Let go of the pinched skin and leave the syringe in place for five seconds.

– Dispose of the Used Syringe and Needle

Pull the needle out at the same angle it went in and place the syringe in your sharps container. Always keep your container away from children and other people, and make sure to drop them off at a collections site once they’re filled.


The injection can be pretty scary, especially when you’re inexperienced. Reading a guide is still different from actually doing it, after all. If you want to successfully and safely inject insulin at home, you can enroll in diabetes patient education at a community pharmacy.

Are you worried about making mistakes and medication mishaps? Our certified diabetes educators, specialist nurses, and experts at Walker Lake Remedy can help! With our diabetes help programs in Edmonton, you’ll be able to deal with the symptoms and lead a full life. Book an appointment today!