Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Insulin Syringe Needle Sizes Chart

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Recommended Needle And Syringe Sizes For Infants And Children

Pen Needles & Syringes: How Do You Know What Size Pen Needle to Use

Newborn 0 to 28 days

The recommended needle gauge ranges between 22 and 25 with a length of 5/8 inches to be introduced to the anterolateral thigh muscle.

Infants 1 to 12 months

The injection is introduced to the anterolateral thigh muscle with a needle gauge ranging from 22 to 25 and a needle length of 1 inch.

Toddler 1 to 2 years old

  • The needle length ranges between 1 and 1 ¼ inch and gauges 22 to 25 injected to the anterolateral thigh muscle.
  • For the deltoid muscle route, the ideal gauge ranges between 22 and 25 with a needle length of 5/8 to 1 inch.

Children 3 to 18 years-old

  • For the deltoid muscle route, the needle gauges are 22 to 25 with a length of 5/8 to 1 inch.
  • For anterolateral thigh muscles, the needle gauges are 22 to 25 and the ideal length is 1 to 1 ¼ inch.

For subcutaneous injections, the needle gauge ranges from 23 to 25 of at least 5/8 inches.

How Do I Choose A Needle For Injection

The optimal needle length to choose would be 25 mm. For the subcutaneous injection, the needle size should be 1/3 of the tissue, about 10 mm. The correct needle to choose is the 10 mm, to inject the right tissue, to get the right effect of the medicine and reduce the risk of injection site reactions.

Insulin Syringe Sizes: How To Choose The Right Size For Your Situation

Insulin syringes come in three common sizes:

  • 3/10ml syringe, also called a 0.3ml syringe
  • 1/2ml syringe, also called a 0.5ml syringe
  • 1.0ml syringe

How many units can each size draw?

  • 3/10ml syringe draws up to 30 units.
  • 1/2 ml syringe draws up to 50 units.
  • 1.0ml syringe draws up to 100 units.

What size syringe should you use to draw your insulin?

  • If your dose is 30 units or less, use the 3/10ml syringe
  • If your dose is 31 to 50 units, use the 1/2 mL syringe
  • If your dose is 51 to 100 units, use the 1 mL syringe

Here is some advice: Choose the smallest syringe size thats 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.

If your largest dose is close to the syringes maximum capacity, you may want to buy the next size up to handle any increases in your dose adjustments. For example, if your dosage is 29 units and you buy a 3/10 mL syringe, you wont be able to use those syringes if your doctor increases your dosage to 31 units.

3/10 mL syringes are available with two different kinds of barrels: one with dosage markings at every unit and one with dosage markings at every half-unit.

People who take whole unit insulin doses of less than 30 units should use a syringe with markings at every unit because its large, easy-to-read markings make it simple to draw up an accurate dose.

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Tuberculin Versus Insulin Syringes

Patient was tested for allergies in a primary care doctor’s office. He will be getting allergy shots for cat, mold and dust allergies. The technician who is managing the program for the doctor ordered insulin syringes for the allergy shots instead of tb syringes. She claimed that 10 Units on an insuling syringe is equivalent to 0.1 cc on a tb syringe. Is this common practice to use insulin syringes for allergy shots? She said they are cheaper than tb syringes. Thank you Thank you for your inquiry. There are differences between tuberculin and insulin syringes. The two links copied below will take you to websites that discuss these differences. This does not preclude insulin syringes from being used to administer allergy injections, but one has to be very careful about the conversion units involved. In addition, syringes specially designed to administer allergy injections are also available for purchase at suppliers. These are designed specifically for that task. It’s All in the Syringe What is the difference between a tuberculin syringe and an insulin syringe? Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope this response is helpful to you. Sincerely, Phil Lieberman, M.D.Continue reading > >

Patient Case Highlighting A Unique Situation

Insulin Needles.

A 63-year-old, morbidly obese woman with type 2 diabetes and arthritis presented to the clinic diabetes service with an initial complaint of sporadic yet large-volume insulin leakage from her injection site while using 5-mm pen needles. She was receiving 84 units of insulin glargine twice daily. Her A1C was 7.6%, and her blood glucose log revealed wide glucose excursions . During the education visit, the patient was able to demonstrate proper injection technique . To help reduce insulin leakage, she was counseled to split the dose into two separate injections of 42 units each and provided additional education on injecting the insulin slowly and rotating the injection site.

At her follow-up visit 5 months later, she continued to report significant insulin leakage. Her glucose values continued to show wide excursions ranging from 83 to 354 mg/dL, and her A1C remained at 7.6%. The patient also complained at this visit of her injection site bubbling up immediately after the injections.

Taking her BMI into consideration, it was decided that a longer pen needle length may help prevent insulin leakage despite evidence that skin thickness is not increased in obesity . Therefore, the patient was switched to an 8-mm pen needle length.

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How To Choose The Right Insulin Pen Needle Or Syringe

If you live with insulin-dependent diabetes and manage your blood sugars with an insulin pen or syringe, youre most likely taking 2 or more insulin shots a day.

Thats a minimum of 730 times a year that youre piercing your skin with a needle to do an injection.

I do a lot more than 2 injections a day. Im closer to 7 doses a day, which isnt unusual for people living with diabetes. Thats 2,555 injections a year!

I dont mind and it doesnt hurt. But one of the main reasons it doesnt hurt is that I use the right needle, the right injection technique, and I change my needles frequently.

In this article, youll learn how to choose the needle or syringe size thats right for you to minimize pain, avoid scar tissue buildup, and ensure that a full dose is received every time you inject.

Visual Guide To Barrel Markings

eah line is 2 units

This is a 1 cc, 1 ml U100 insulin syringe with markings indicating every TWO units.

This is a 1/2 cc, 0.5 ml U100 insulin syringe with markings indicating each unit.

These are 3/10 cc, 0.3 ml U100 insulin syringes. At left is half-scale, or half-unit markings. At right is whole units with one mark for each unit of insulin.

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Needle Thickness Whats The Deal

Needle thickness is measured in gauge rather than millimeters or inches. Pen needles come in 29 G to 32 G, and the higher the gauge, the thinner the needle.

The pen needle thickness is mainly relevant if you inject a large amount of insulin at a time, as you might want a needle with a lower gauge that will allow more insulin to flow through faster.

Bmi And Skin Thickness

Selecting a Needle & Syringe

Needle lengths for subcutaneous injections started out as long as 16 mm in 1985, and 12.7-mm needles were introduced in the early 1990s. Over time, with growing evidence of longer needles increasing risks for intramuscular injections and improved technology, shorter needles of 4, 5, 6, and 8 mm have been developed.

When evaluating skin thickness in 388 patients with BMIs varying from 19.4 to 64.5 kg/m2, Gibney et al. found that a 10-kg/m2 difference accounted for a 4-mm difference in subcutaneous tissue thickness. The average subcutaneous thickness ranged from 10.35 mm to 15.45 mm across all injection sites. This study concluded that 1) the thickness does not vary much between under-, normal-, or overweight individuals and that 2) BMI differences do not cause much variation in the level of skin thickness. The BMI differences were statistically significant but did not make a clinical impact . The skin thickness averages were 1.92.4 mm across several different injection sites , as well as across several BMI levels. With the upper end of skin thickness falling at 2.4 mm, it is logical to assume that a 4-mm needle would be effective in all patients. Therefore, the study further concluded that 4-mm needles would be able to successfully deliver insulin in most adult patients.

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When To Pinch The Skin

There are different ways of successfully doing a subcutaneous injection and the right technique comes down to what length of needle you choose.

If your needle is 4 mm or 5 mm, you can do the injection at a 90-degree angle. That means you dont need to pinch the skin, and you can do the injection one-handed if you like. This can be practical if youre injecting into the arm, lower back, or glutes.

Children from 2 to 6 years old or extremely lean adults may need to use a pinch-up technique regardless of needle length.

If you opt for a needle longer than 5 mm, you will want to do the injection with a pinched-up skinfold or a 45-degree angle to avoid intramuscular injection of insulin.

What To Keep In Mind When Choosing A Syringe


When choosing a syringe, you have to consider the size. Make sure the size of the syringe matches the volume of the drugs to be given as well as the desired pressure flow. If you are going to give large volumes of drugs, then you would need a large syringe. The same thing goes for low-pressure flow.

Syringe Tips There are many types of syringe tips and these are the following:

  • Luer Lock Tip When it comes to syringe tip, one of the common options is the Luer Lock Tip. It secures the needle in place by twisting it on.
  • Slip tip The needle is placed onto a slip tip syringe without having the need to twist it. A catheter slip tip is used with medical tubings such as feeding tubes and catheters.
  • Eccentric Tips It is the perfect syringe tip if you are going to introduce drugs parallel to the patients skin such as a vein near the skin surface.
  • Catheter syringe tip The tip is tapered to enable the tubing to slip onto the tip. It is primarily used for irrigation.

Needles They have a hub at one end that attached to the syringe. Needles come in different lengths and are measured in inches. They also vary in gauge sizes. thin needles have high gauge sizes. The tip of the needle has a bevel/slope to allow the needle to easily pass through the tissues. When it comes to choosing a needle for your syringe, there are a few things to keep in mind. They are the following:

Image 6: Needles of varying gauges.

Picture Source:


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Selecting Syringes And Needles

Most of us can recognize a syringe, with a needle sticking out of a long plastic body. For many, it is a childhood horror that they can never forget! While your early years may have been spent dreading a needle, your teens or adulthood might require you to keep a supply of syringes ready to administer a doctor prescribed medication. When you start your own family, you may need a supply of needles for a family member to treat a medical condition. In this case, not only do you need to forget your old dread of this small medical device, but you will also need to know how to use it. Most importantly, you need to know that not all syringes are the same. There are different designs to meet different purposes.

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How To Pinch Up

  • Use thumb, index finger and possibly the middle finger.
  • Pull skin and fatty tissue carefully away from the muscle.
  • Do not squeeze too hard.
  • Hold the pinch up as long as you keep the needle in.

Always pinch up when using needles longer than 6 millimeters. Children should do this even when using 4 millimeter needles. Usually, pen needles are inserted at a 90-degree angle.

How To Safely Administer Insulin

As the body uses digestive enzymes to break down insulin, a person must use a subcutaneous injection to deliver the insulin into the layer of fat below the skin. The insulin can then absorb steadily into the bloodstream, where it circulates to cells throughout the body.

To draw insulin into a syringe, a person should:

An individual is now ready to inject the insulin. Common injection sites can include the stomach, hips, thighs, buttocks, and backs of the arms. To administer the insulin, a person should:

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Does Insulin Syringe Needle Length Matter

Although longer needles are often prescribed for patients with increased body fat, this practice actually has no clinical basis.

When it comes to diabetes therapy, insulin is pharmacists most valuable weapon.

Although oral therapies can offer convenience and reduce hypoglycemia risk, the glucose-lowering effects of insulin remain unrivaled. Simply put, insulin is diabetic hormone replacement therapy. Patients with hypothyroidism receive levothyroxine, while patients no longer making sufficient insulin can replace it exogenously.

A variety of needle lengths are available, ranging from 4 mm to 12.7 mm

Unfortunately, patients may resist starting insulin for many reasons, one of which is a fear of needles. Injecting insulin can be painful, especially when using longer needles. Painful injections are not only unpleasant for patients, but can also lead to medication noncompliance and poorer health outcomes.

Although longer needles are often prescribed for patients with increased body fat, this practice actually has no clinical basis. Insulin is meant to be injected into subcutaneous tissue, human skin is only 1.6 mm to 2.4 mm thick, on average. Because skin thickness doesnt increase significantly in overweight and obese patients, a 4-mm needle is sufficient to deliver insulin to subcutaneous tissue in patients of all sizes.

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What Are The Different Types Of Syringes


At a glance, syringes look the same but they are not. There are different varieties of syringes, although, most of them are disposable. If you buy a syringe, it either comes with or without a needle attached to it.

  • Plastic syringe It is the commonly used syringe because it is inexpensive and disposable. It comes with a full plastic plunger tip or a rubber plunger tip. Of the two tips, the rubber plunger tip is better because it minimizes the leaking of fluid past the plunger. Although affordable, plastic syringes flex under pressure which could lead to volume inaccuracies as high as 5%.
  • Glass syringe This type of syringe is used with a syringe pump. Unlike plastic syringe that is disposable, glass syringes are reusable and more accurate when compared to other types of the syringe. The plunger can be made from ground glass, glass with a Teflon syringe tip, metal with a Teflon tip, and metal-only. Glass syringe is more expensive than the plastic syringe.
  • Stainless steel syringe Of all types of the syringe, the stainless steel is the most durable one. It is primarily used for high-pressure dosing applications. The durability of the material makes it the most expensive type of syringe. Aside from the price, another drawback is the challenge of using it as it is not transparent. Health professionals may find it difficult to load and remove air bubbles.
  • Image 5: The different types of syringe tips.

    Picture Source:

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    Purchasing Syringes And Needles

    When youbuy syringes, it is essential that you know which one you need. Are you using the syringe with needle for intradermal injections, intramuscular injections or subcutaneous injections? The needle gauge and needle length selection are different for each type of injection. Below is a quick list of the selection criteria used for purchasing a syringe and needle.

    • The volume of medication to be administered determines syringe size.
    • Type of needle hub used determines syringe hub.
    • The viscosity of the medication determines needle gauge.
    • Location of the injection determines needle gauge and needle length.

    Make sure you know your needs before shopping!

    Burt Cancaster, Author

    How Do You Know What Size Insulin Needle To Use

    Insulin and GLP-1s need to be injected subcutaneously so you should choose a needle that allows you to do that the easiest.

    On average, human skin is 1.92.4 mm thick regardless of body size, gender, ethnicity, and BMI. This means that a short 4- or 5-mm needle should be effective for all body types.

    The International Scientific Advisory Board states that there is no medical reason to recommend a needle length longer than 8 mm. The board recommends 4-, 5-, and 6-mm needles for all adult patients regardless of their BMI.

    That doesnt mean you cant use a longer needle, but using a longer needle can increase the chances of bruising, bleeding, and pain.

    When using a longer needle, you also risk injecting your insulin into the muscle . If insulin is injected into the muscle instead of the fatty tissue, absorption can be too rapid which can lead to low blood sugars.

    Although shorter needles are generally recommended, there are certain circumstances where a longer needle may be a better option.

    For example, you may benefit from using a longer needle If you have coordination challenges from conditions such as arthritis or Parkinsons disease.

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