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Insulin pen cleaning and care

Insulin pens, whether they are disposable or reusable, need to be used and stored properly to function safely and effectively. Learn how to care for your insulin pen. As well as the general advice below you should also refer to the manufacturers instructions for specific advice on your pen.


Tips on how to care for your disposable pen

Storing your disposable insulin pen1,2

  • Unopened, you can store your disposable pen at room temperature (not above 30°C) for a maximum of 4 weeks or in a fridge (2°C to 8°C) until the expiry date, but keep it away from the freezing element
  • Once open, your disposable pen will last for a maximum of 4 weeks, whether at room temperature (not above 30°C) or in a fridge (2°C to 8°C)
    • Don’t leave the pen in a car or any other place where it could get too hot or too cold
  • Always keep the cap on the pen to protect the medicine inside from light (opened or unopened)
  • Read our instructions for travelling

Handling your disposable insulin pen3,4

  • Treat your disposable pen with care. Rough handling or misuse could cause inaccurate dosing
  • Don’t drop your disposable pen against hard surfaces. If you drop it or suspect a problem, carefully inspect for damage, attach a new needle and check the insulin flow before you inject
  • Don’t try to refill your disposable pen. Once empty, throw the used pen in a bin or follow your local waste instructions (your package insert will have more information)
  • If your disposable pen is faulty, please don’t try to repair it or pull it apart. Throw it in a bin or follow your local waste instructions and open a new pen

Cleaning your disposable insulin pen3,4

  • Try not to expose your disposable pen to dust, dirt or liquid
  • Don’t try to pull your disposable pen apart to clean it
  • If necessary, clean your disposable pen with a damp cloth, but don’t wash, soak or lubricate it

Tips on how to care for your durable (reusable) pen

Storing and handling your durable (reusable) pen5

  • Your durable pen is tough, but it can still be damaged. Handle it with care and protect it against dust and dirt when it is not in its case
  • Avoid situations where your durable pen can be damaged and keep it in the case whenever possible

Cleaning your durable (reusable) pen

  • Your durable pen does not require any maintenance except cleaning5
    • Dirt and dust can be removed by using a soft, dry brush
    • Clean your durable pen by wiping it with a cloth moistened with a mild detergent
    • Don’t clean your durable pen with any solution containing alcohol, iodine (or similar) or detergent containing chlorine
    • Don’t submerge your durable pen in water as this may damage its mechanical system


  • Your durable pen must only be used in the way described in its instruction manual
  • Please contact your healthcare professional if you experience problems with your durable pen
  • Never try to repair a faulty durable pen yourself


  1. NHS. Storing and travelling with rapid-acting insulin. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/insulin/rapid-acting-insulin/storing-and-travelling-with-rapid-acting-insulin/. Last accessed: March 2024.
  2. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. How to use an insulin pen. Available from: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/how-use-insulin-pen#section-3. Last accessed: March 2024.
  3. EMA. NovoRapid FlexPen package leaflet: information for the user. Available from: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.7920.pdf. Last accessed: March 2024.
  4. EMA. Fiasp FlexTouch package leaflet: information for the patient. Available from: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.2447.pdf. Last accessed: March 2024.
  5. Novo Nordisk. Novo Pen Echo Instructions for Use. Available from: https://www.novonordisk.com/content/dam/nncorp/global/en/our-products/pdf/instructions-for-use/novopen-echo/NovoPenEcho-UK.pdf. Last accessed: March 2024.
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