How do I prepare my injection pen?
There are several steps to be taken to prepare your pen.
Here is a diagram of what your pen will look like. You can see the treatment through the pen window and scale.
There is a dose selector which you twist to find the correct dose. The dose button administers the treatment.
The pen is designed to be easy and accurate to use, so you can successfully administer the weight loss medication yourself.
1. Check the liquid
Always begin by checking the colour of the liquid inside your pen (this is visible through the pen window). The liquid should be clear and colourless.
If the liquid appears cloudy or coloured, do not use the injection pen as the medicine may be unsafe to take.
Also, make sure to check:
- that the label on the pen matches your weight loss treatment
- for any signs of damage
- that the medication is within its expiry date
2. Attach a needle
The first step to using your weight loss pen is to attach a needle. Remember, you must attach a brand new needle every time you inject yourself with the treatment.
Needles are packed with your order. They come inside 2 removable caps so you can safely attach them yourself.
To attach the needle, you need to:
- remove the paper tab from the needle package
- insert the needle directly onto the pen, screwing it on tightly
- remove the outer and inner needle caps
- keep hold of the biggest cap (to help with the removal process later on)
- dispose of the other needle cap
3. Check the flow
Next, you must check the flow before taking your first dose. This ensures that the treatment will flow through the needle and into your body when injected.
You only need to check the flow when starting a new pen. These weight loss pens contain multiple doses and are reused - only the needle is replaced with every dose.
To check the flow of your pen, turn the dose selector until you reach the ‘flow check’ symbol. This will appear as two dotted lines and a dash.
Then hold the pen vertically, with the needle pointing upwards. Press and hold the button until the dose selector reaches 0 again.
You should see a drop of liquid on the needle. This means that the pen’s flow is working correctly.
4. Select your dose
Now that your pen is prepared, you must select your dose. For Wegovy you will begin on a dose of 0.25mg, and for Saxenda you will start on a 0.6mg dose.
Semaglutide dosages are increased every 4 weeks of treatment, and liraglutide dosages are increased weekly.
Rotate the dose selector until you see the right number appear on the pen. You may hear several clicks as you are turning.
Always take the dose that has been prescribed by your doctor. Exceeding this dose could result in adverse side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
Once you have selected the correct dose, you are ready to inject yourself.
Where can I inject myself?
When taking weight loss injections, the aim is to inject yourself subcutaneously (into fatty tissue just beneath the skin).
You can choose any of these 3 injection sites:
- upper arm
- upper thighs
Stick to the upper region of your thighs and do not inject within 2 inches of your belly button. You can also pinch the area to aid with injecting into the fatty tissue.
Over the weeks you can change your injection site or keep it the same. However, you must not:
- inject yourself in the exact same spot more than once
- inject any bruised, red, or damaged skin
How do I administer my injection?
Clean the injection site with an alcohol wipe, to sanitise the area.
To administer your injection, hold the pen in one hand and use your other hand to stretch your skin flat.
Lightly push the pen into your skin at a 90-degree angle so that the needle is no longer exposed.
Press the dose button and let the dose counter go back down to 0.
Keep holding the button while counting slowly to 6.
Finally, remove the needle from your skin.
It is unlikely that you will bleed from the injection site. If you see a drop of blood, apply some pressure with a clean tissue or cotton ball.
How do I remove the needle?
To remove the needle, place the outer needle cap back on the needle and click into place.
This allows you to unscrew both the cap and needle safely, before disposing of them.
Remember, you must use a brand new needle every time you inject yourself with weight loss treatment.
Where can I dispose of my used needles and pens?
Needles and pens must be disposed of in a special container called a sharps bin.
This is a specially designed box that safely stores any sharp items that are too dangerous to put in your general waste.
Once you fill your sharps bin, contact your local council and they should see to its removal. Otherwise, you can drop it off at a nearby waste disposal centre.
The more you use your injection pen, the easier it will get. However, for those of you who are new to it, remember these 4 steps:
|1) Prepare your pen
||2) Choose your injection site
|Make sure the liquid is clear and check the flow of your pen. Select your dose.
||Choose either the upper arm, stomach, or front of thigh as your injection site.
|3) Administer your injection
|Insert the needle at a 90-degree angle. Hold the button till the dose reaches 0, then count slowly to 6.
||Remove the needle by using the outer cap and dispose of in a yellow sharps container.