The Types And Characteristics Of Insulin Syringes

by | Mar 4, 2014 | Healthcare

If you have Type 1 Diabetes, chances are you are using insulin syringes to deliver the insulin into your body. When it comes time to choose the right type of syringe for administering insulin, you need to know exactly what your medical professional, either your doctor or a specialist, recommends. The dosage and strength of the insulin, in particular, will have an effect on the type and size of the insulin syringe and needle.
Types of Insulin Syringes
Essentially, you can classify insulin syringes into two basic types. These are regular syringes and pen injection or insulin pens. An insulin syringe is still one of the most common means of injecting insulin. It is also the most conventional methods.
Like most syringes, those for insulin consist of three main components:

  • Barrel
  • Plunger
  • Needle

Yet, the barrel of an insulin syringe differs from other types. It tends to be smaller. This is because it is not meant to contain a large amount of fluid. It also is designed to measure insulin in units not in terms of mL the usual measurement for fluids. Another difference is in its needle. These are smaller, the result of its purpose – subcutaneous injection. Many of the insulin needles also tend to be single injection or one-time use.
Needle and Syringe Size
The basic sizes of the needles range between 28 and 31. The largest gauge indicates a small needle while the smallest gauge indicates the opposite. Yet, more frequently, the reference is not to needle or syringe size.  Instead, the term “unit” is applied.
As a result, the reference is to 100-unit (U-100) or 50-unit (U-50) syringes. The amount stated for the unit indicates the capacity of the syringe to hold that specific amount in a volume of 1cc or 1 mL. U-100 refers, for example, to the dosage diluted enough to produce the result of 1 mL fluid containing 100 standard units of insulin. The same approach applies to a 50-unit syringe. It can hold 50 units of insulin in a volume of 0.5 cc or ½ mL.  With 30-unit syringes, the capacity is this amount in a volume of 0.3 cc or 3/10 mL.
Accordingly, each mark on the barrel of the syringes indicates a different measurement of units. One mark on a

  • 100-unit indicates 2 units of insulin
  • 50-unit, indicates 1 unit of insulin
  • 30-unit indicates ½ unit of insulin

If you take insulin, you may need to use syringes. While many can use pumps or pens, it is still more common to rely on syringes to deliver the insulin into the system. Before you purchase your syringe, make sure you are obtaining the right size and type. If you are looking for insulin syringes, consider what Bulk Syringes has to offer. Discover our products, our inventory and our prices.

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