Humalog and Lantus pens mechanical malfunction

Greymalkin

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I've been on Humalog and Lantus for over twenty years now. Just in the last couple of years, I've had half a dozen pens (both insulins) where the twist-and-pump function failed.

In at least three cases they didn't work, fresh out of the new box.

Today I found the Humalog pen I've been using without difficulty for many days, now resists dialling up the quantity, and the plunger no longer pumps out the insulin.

It's not catastrophic - I have more pens in the fridge. But has anyone else noticed the mechanical function of the pens is not as reliable as it used to be?

It could have been a real crisis if I'd taken a pen on holiday containing enough to last, then found I couldn't get the contents out.

In the year or two after I was diagnosed, I was supplied with hypodermics and insulin in a vial. I'm thinking I could order hypodermics again, and still use the insulin in the defunct pens.
 

EllieM

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Hi @Greymalkin
Are you using disposable or resusable pens? I use reusable ones, and always had a few syringes in reserve for if the pens fail or (more frequently) for when I lose them. I can draw insulin from the cartridges.

Now I'm on a pump I still take pens and syringes with me, in case the pump fails.
 

Zhnyaka

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you can simply break the pen, remove the cartridge from it and insert it into a metal syringe pen (it is important to see that the value of 1 unit is the same, this is not always true). Or buy a regular syringe and use it to dial insulin (it's really hard to dose, but I did it, the main thing is to buy a thin syringe, with many divisions)
 

In Response

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Sorry you are experiencing problems with the disposable insulin pens
I second the comment about getting reusable pens. These are far more robust, produce less waste and the cartridges take up less space in your fridge.
You also mention the risk if a pen broken while you are away. This risk is one of the reasons why it is always recommended to take twice as much diabetes supplies with you when you are away. It is also why the recommendation is to have a spare reusable pen (and take it with you when away overnight) because after time, these can eventually fail.
Reusable pens are, in my opinion, a much better solution than syringes.
 

Greymalkin

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Thanks all. After so long on single-use pens, I don't want to think how much waste I could have prevented with reusable pens.

I think my GP or their representatives at the pharmacy could have suggested the cartridges, long ago. Yes, space in my fridge is limited!

I wonder why the single-use type are still produced in the presence of the alternatives?

Anyway, I'll certainly ask for reusables going forward. Thanks again!
 

becca59

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Hi @ Greymalkin. The reusable metal ones are a boon. Last dose redials, half units if you request and the ability to scan into your Libre app. Just remember to get 2 different colours for the 2 different insulins.
 

In Response

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Hi @ Greymalkin. The reusable metal ones are a boon. Last dose redials, half units if you request and the ability to scan into your Libre app. Just remember to get 2 different colours for the 2 different insulins.
Are all these features available on the Solastar pens for Lantus and Humalog?
I thought they were features of the NovoPens.
 
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Jaylee

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Hi @ Greymalkin. The reusable metal ones are a boon. Last dose redials, half units if you request and the ability to scan into your Libre app. Just remember to get 2 different colours for the 2 different insulins.
The only pens I know that transfer dosage to librelink via NFC is the Novopen 6 or “echo plus.”

Humalog cartridges are like the Lantus ones in design. I use a reusable Allstar pro pen for Lantus. (No NFC feature.)
The Lantus cartridge will not fit my Novopen, the same goes for Novorapid in an Allstar pro due to the cap design the needle screws to…

This might help explain the differences

Re usable Lantus pen. https://www.mysanofiinsulin.co.uk/t...llStar Pro Patient Booklet 2021 - Digital.pdf

What I use for Novorapid. Unfortunatly, Humalog would not be compatable.
 
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becca59

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Sorry was unaware that they didn’t accept all insulins. Am on Tresiba and Fiasp.
 

KatrinaEvans

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I've been on Humalog and Lantus for over twenty years now. Just in the last couple of years, I've had half a dozen pens (both insulins) where the twist-and-pump function failed.

In at least three cases they didn't work, fresh out of the new box.

Today I found the Humalog pen I've been using without difficulty for many days, now resists dialling up the quantity, and the plunger no longer pumps out the insulin.

It's not catastrophic - I have more pens in the fridge. But has anyone else noticed the mechanical function of the pens is not as reliable as it used to be?

It could have been a real crisis if I'd taken a pen on holiday containing enough to last, then found I couldn't get the contents out.

In the year or two after I was diagnosed, I was supplied with hypodermics and insulin in a vial. I'm thinking I could order hypodermics again, and still use the insulin in the defunct pens.
Does changing the needle help? Ive found my pens lock . I googled it and it said change the needle which i do and it sorts it?
 
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Cumbrianjudith

Active Member
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35
Type of diabetes
Type 3c
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I used Humalog pens for 10 years, till changed insulin in Jan.to Toujeo and Fiasp, and fairly recently, say last year, had more failures with pen seizing up (changing needles did not work)…the new insulins are somehow far more sophisticated in design and inject far more easily( and painlessly)! I am interested in the idea of refills….had had such a device years ago in India as a tourist when I had problems with my insulin pens, but never seen them offered in the Uk. Is there a price difference to NHS between ready filled and DIY refills?
 

Klong

Newbie
Messages
1
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
I've been on Humalog and Lantus for over twenty years now. Just in the last couple of years, I've had half a dozen pens (both insulins) where the twist-and-pump function failed.

In at least three cases they didn't work, fresh out of the new box.

Today I found the Humalog pen I've been using without difficulty for many days, now resists dialling up the quantity, and the plunger no longer pumps out the insulin.

It's not catastrophic - I have more pens in the fridge. But has anyone else noticed the mechanical function of the pens is not as reliable as it used to be?

It could have been a real crisis if I'd taken a pen on holiday containing enough to last, then found I couldn't get the contents out.

In the year or two after I was diagnosed, I was supplied with hypodermics and insulin in a vial. I'm thinking I could order hypodermics again, and still use the insulin in the defunct pens.
I’ve had. This happen with both Lantus and novorapid pens whether coincidence i changed the needle and they worked, sheer fluke I think??
 

Cumbrianjudith

Active Member
Messages
35
Type of diabetes
Type 3c
Treatment type
Insulin
I remember some problems occurred when my Trust decided to change the screw on needles to a much more inferior brand…the new ones would bend sometimes on contact with tum skin, and had more needles that wouldn’t go on straight on the screw thread..so got used to doing everything by proper protocol. I think it was something to do with the pump mechanism we can’t see eg inferior, so cheaper, plastic, for eg?
 

EllieM

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I’ve had. This happen with both Lantus and novorapid pens whether coincidence i changed the needle and they worked, sheer fluke I think??
I've had pens fail to work when the underside of the needle on a new pen needle was too short and failed to go into the insulin cartridge. With no way for the insulin to leave the cartridge the pen was unable to work. Luckily defective pen needles are rare and changing the needle fixes that issue.
 

Greymalkin

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Type of diabetes
Type 1
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...a new pen needle was too short and failed to go into the insulin cartridge. With no way for the insulin to leave the cartridge the pen was unable to work...
Thanks for all replies.

I have this morning tried each of the six 'dud' pens with a new needle screwed fully on, and all of them work as intended. So, it was my error. The needles weren't too short, but I hadn't ensured their inside ends had entered the cartridge.

I'm glad I hadn't returned them to the pharmacy, from which I doubt they could have been reissued to another patient. On the other hand, I need to check the dates because some of them have been in my fridge a while now.

Note to self: ALWAYS SCREW A NEW NEEDLE FULLY ON TO THE PEN UNTIL IT STOPS TURNING.

Thanks again. :)
 

jaywak

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I have found from whatever pens I use and because I don't change the needles very often that with the warmer weather they sometimes get blocked and when I do an airshot nothing comes out so I then have to change the needle and everything is fine , it doesn't happen in the winter .