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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
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Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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For a physician please: I am on fixed income and diabetic. I

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For a physician please: I am on fixed income and diabetic. I use Lantus with pen tips. Repeatedly I am told I cannot use the same needle (tip) for another pen. No one will tell me why. Often I have pens with partial amounts of insulin and I feel the cost uneccesary to have to use a new needle when I am going from the new pen to the remaining amount in the older pen. I use alcohol on the skin, the top of the barrel and dont know why it is issue. Thank you.
Hi. Just realize that I am telling you this without being your physician so this is just for your information and I'm not suggesting you do this. That said, there is no reason why you can't reuse meed;es. at least until you've used up all the Lantus in a given pen. The old needles should be useful for at least twice the time you normally use them
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kind of you. If I may this is example of what I have been doing. If old pen had say 10 units and I needed 50, I would get 40 from new pen and then use that needle ('down stream', so to say) on older pen and then toss. I did not see any possibility of corruption if my own needle (I do not have hep/HIV/infectious issues; if at issue). Now (if you dont mind) a way to reuse a needle more than once for that pen (I can do alcohol on clean swab for ten minutes and then place in clean bandage container, but cant get alcohol IN side needle if that is issue). Now that would be a way to get 2 boxes out of one (I dont think using more than twice should be done, even if sterile. I would be happy with double use/savings). Is that OK, or is not getting alcohol inside needle an issue? My insurance will not pay the $54 per box saying they are luxury. Because of arthritis and neuropathy I cannot hold vial and do needle so have to do the Lantus route. I drop this on floor as is. If you dont feel comfortable with this follow up I understand, or you can place in private?? Thank you Doctor for helping. Means alot.

OK Chris--your plan sounds fine and there's no danger of getting alcohol inside the needle. So long as you use the alcohol there should be no risk of infection. I think the reason for always using new needles is just in case the old one got dull but there should be no risk of that with the plan you outlined above
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Spoke with the Endocrinologist (A1C 4.9). Wish I had asked boxes ago:

1. After using the cap (needle) place in clean pill bottle with alcohol to cover it more than twice, or so.

1a. Shake gently container to get alcohol into underside of cap and moving air out.

2. The next use take out using clean Qtip and shake excess alcohol away. Let dry a minute, or so.

3. Do not touch needle to anything (including fingers).

4. Wipe barrel head with alcohol.

5. Attache cap to barrel.

6. Measure one unit of Insulin and squirt out clearing the needle.

7. After appropriate dosage, remove cap and place back in container with alcohol for

next use.

8. Go through same procedure UNTIL it hurts after inserting, or more bleeding from

opening than usual. Time to discard this cap.

9. Empty old alcohol (as long as it is wet, it is useable and effective) and restart.

Is this a plan? Thank you.

Sounds right on Chris--I couldn't have said it any better
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