All About Needles

If you are newly diagnosed, or even if you are just curious, here is some info on what the numbers mean on the needles you use for injecting insulin.  Knowledge is power and the more you know, the more the fear can dissipate when beginning to first inject.  For instance, higher gauge needles may hurt less as they are thinner.

Needle Length:

These numbers will either be in millimeters or inches: 4mm (5/32″), 5mm (3/16″), 8mm (5/16″) and 12.7mm (1/2″).  They indicate the length of the needle that will puncture the skin.

Needle Gauge:

Gauge rhymes with “Cage” and tells how thick a needle is. The higher the gauge, the thinner the needle. For example, a 31 gauge needle is thinner than a 28 gauge needle.  Generally these come in 28 gauge, 29 gauge, 30 gauge, or 31 gauge needles for insulin use.

Choosing a Syringe

Choose the smallest syringe that’s big enough to hold the largest dose you take in a day. The smaller the syringe, the easier it is to read the markings and draw up an accurate dose.

Or, you can use a pen needle instead of a syringe.  A pen needle is used in conjunction with an injection pen to deliver insulin.  You can talk to your doctor about which will work best for you.

At, we have a variety of both insulin syringe sizes as well as insulin pen needles for you to choose from for whatever your needs may be.  Additionally, we are dedicated to providing you with any information we can to get and keep you on the road to health.  Don’t hesitate to check out our insulin accessories or ask any questions you may have about our products.  Thanks!

By: DiabeticCare editorial team; Published: 10-14-2013, 9:30 AM

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