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Dealing with wastefulness

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by rosemaree, Apr 14, 2022.

  1. rosemaree

    rosemaree LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Hey everyone, I've just been looking at all the diabetes supplies I have and wondering how I can deal with the wastefulness better. I recycle and sort as much of it as I can, but it still seems like so much waste. One thing that has been bugging me is the little bit of insulin left in each refill, I find it hard to just throw it away knowing that there are people who don't have access to the insulin they need. I thought about getting syringes to extract it, but that makes more waste on its own.

    It's just been weighing on my mind, thought I'd post and see if anyone has any ideas?
     
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  2. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    There definitely are people who used syringes to extract that last bit of insulin, especially in parts of the world where insulin is expensive.
    There is a little trick with the small cap of your penneedles too. Just open the pen, throw the little cap into the penfill and put the pen back together. Make very sure to do airshots until insulin actually comes out before injecting!
    Mind, this is NOT officially advised, and I think the dose might just ever so slighly off because the cap is a little wobbly. I wouldn't like to use it for a 1 or 2 unit dose but I'm fine with anything above.
    This will give you an extra 16 to 20 units without creating extra waste.

    Personally, I only do this when I'm out and about and I find out I should have taken a new penfill with me. It definitely saved the evening a couple of times when eating out!
     
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  3. rosemaree

    rosemaree LADA · Well-Known Member

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    @Antje77 Ooh, I'll have to try that. I wasn't sure of using a syringe because it seemed a waste to use a new syringe for each one, but I suppose people reuse them. If I knew it was safe / how to add up all the tidbits and refill the cartridge that would be great! Thanks though!
     
  4. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This bugs me too because as a pump user I am instructed to change the whole kit and caboodle every 2-3 days regardless of whether the insulin has run low or not. I can squirt in some fresh insulin and re use the existing cartridge and use a 1ml syringe to get the maximum out of the 100ml vial but that's about it.
    I can also minimise the amount I put into the cartridge but also if well controlled , eating low carb and managing weight etc. I should be able to keep insulin doses low naturally.
    To worry about it more than that would really be sweating the small stuff IMOI noting that many type 2s on insulin are getting through 100s of units and the cost of the insulin is there real issue here. When discovered Banting et al were careful not to patent it but this hasn't stopped it being rather expensive in the US, something which there's a cross party campaign to address this.
     
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  5. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    I've never heard of people refilling their penfills with a syringe, only of people using a syringe to inject the last units!
    And I guess they do not reuse their syringe, that doesn't sound safe.

    This is what I meant, just use the little inner cap of your penneedle as an extension of the plunger. Again, not officially recommended, and your dose might not be as precise.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Fenn

    Fenn Type 1.5 · Well-Known Member

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    Whoa! This is cool, you get 16 to 20 units from an otherwise empty pen? That’s insane, why don’t they make the plunger more efficient?
     
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  7. Japes

    Japes LADA · Well-Known Member

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    I do the needle cap trick most times if I need up to 10 more units and have never had it seem to make a difference. My current basal amount seems to demand this trick most times and as I'm rarely more than 10 units for bolus, it gets me an extra meal for each refill!

    The plastic waste bothers me a lot as well, but I do my best...
     
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  8. rosemaree

    rosemaree LADA · Well-Known Member

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    @Antje77 Thanks for the pics, that is what I was thinking you meant - I was just looking at my pile of old cartridges with tidbits in them and thinking if I could put it all into one it would be useful! Also don't think it's safe though, so I haven't/won't do it!

    But I will definitely use your trick going forward, will make me feel much better about it all :happy:
     
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  9. xshtiek

    xshtiek Type 2 · Member

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    That's a great trick using the pen needle cap, I stretch my cartridges also, but I use the cap off my test strip lancets if I have one, as it's larger and less wobbly.
     
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    #9 xshtiek, Apr 15, 2022 at 8:08 PM
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2022
  10. Fenn

    Fenn Type 1.5 · Well-Known Member

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    Can’t wait to get to end of pen to try this, I’m scared to break it open until it’s done in case I break it
     
  11. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    Break it open?
    You can't do this with single use pens if that's what you mean, it only works with pens with penfills.
     
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  12. Fenn

    Fenn Type 1.5 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh :( thanks
     
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  13. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    You can ask for reusable pens though.
    Not only less waste, but also more room in the butter compartment of your fridge!
    And if you are on any of the NovoNordisk insulins you can ask for the Novopen 5, which has a little display remembering your last dose, I find that very useful.
     
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