Safety Alerts & Recalls

What does this mean?

For anyone using insulin, this alert is a good reminder to use safe injection practices when giving insulin injections. To avoid infections and other complications, syringes and needles should not be reused or shared with other people. If you are using an insulin pen, you should not share your insulin pens and cartridges with other people.

If you have questions about your how to safely administer insulin, please follow up with your doctor, pharmacist or other health care provider.

Insulin Pens and Insulin Cartridges Must Not Be Shared

The FDA has issued an alert to remind patients that insulin pens and insulin cartridges should not be shared with other people. Sharing insulin pens and cartridges with other people increases the risk of transmitting viruses and bacteria that can cause infections including HIV and hepatitis.

This alert was prompted by a report stating that insulin pens may have been shared among many patients (two thousand or more) in one hospital in the U.S. from 2007-2009 and and in a smaller number of patients in at least one other hospital.

Insulin is available in both vials and insulin pens. Insulin pens are pen-shaped injector devices that contain a disposable needle and either an insulin reservoir or an insulin cartridge. The devices typically contain enough insulin for a patient to self-administer several doses of insulin before the reservoir or cartridge is empty. All insulin pens are approved only for single-patient use (one device for only one patient).

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Source: FDA
Publication Date: 2009-03-20
Last Updated: 2009-12-05

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