How to inject 

At-a-glance instructions:


Removing pen cap

Prepare your pen

Pull off the pen cap

Twist off the cartridge holder

The piston rod may stick out of your pen. If so, push it in until it stops

Inserting insulin cartridge

Insert an insulin cartridge if one isn’t already inserted

Take a new insulin cartridge and check that:




it contains the correct insulin, which looks as it should*



it has no cracks or damage

Slide the cartridge into the cartridge holder with the threaded end first

Twist the cartridge holder back on

Attaching needle

Attach a new needle

You must always use a new needle for each injection. This reduces the risk of blocked needles, contamination, infection and inaccurate dosing. Take a new needle, and tear off the paper tab

Push the needle straight onto the pen. Turn until it is on tight

Pull off the outer needle cap and save it

Pull off the inner needle cap and throw it away

Pushing button

Test the flow

ALWAYS test the flow before you inject

Keep testing until insulin squirts from the needle tip. This makes sure that any gap and air bubbles are removed and that insulin is getting through the needle

Pull out the dose button and select 2 units. Press the dose button until the dose counter shows “0”

If no insulin appears, repeat the insulin flow test. The insulin flow test is complete when you see insulin squirt from the needle tip

Turning dose selector

Select your dose

Pull out the dose button, if it is not already out

Make sure the dose counter shows “0” before you start

Turn the dose button to select the dose you need. You can turn forwards or backwards

Injecting insulin

Inject your dose

Insert the needle into your skin

Press the dose button down until the dose counter shows “0”

Then wait and count slowly to 6 before you remove the needle from your skin

Remove needle

Remove the needle from the pen

Carefully push the outer needle cap over the needle

Unscrew the needle and safely throw it away. Put the pen cap back on

Do not store your pen with a needle attached

*If you have been prescribed a premixed suspension such as biphasic insulin aspart, it will not be clear. You will then have to re-suspend your insulin: Hold the pen horizontally between your palms and roll it 10 times. Make sure that the insulin is uniformly white and cloudy.

If you have any concerns about injecting yourself/the person you care for, you can find more information about it in these sections:

Top tips to making your injections more comfortable

See what other patients have to say

Read our guide on successful self-injecting

Parent and kids packs

Do not share your NovoPen® 4 needles or Penfill® cartridges with other people. Sharing the pen can result in the spread of infections from one person to another even if the needle is changed.

If you use two types of insulin, it is highly recommended that you use a different coloured pen for each.

Correct needle disposal

To reduce the risk of injury to others, pen needles should be disposed of in a puncture-resistant container, such as a “sharps container”, according to local regulations. Check local recommendations for discarding medical waste.

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HQ19DN00010. March 2019.