The Spanish Public Healthcare System finances the insulin needles to insert in the pen. Necessary trips to monitor the glycemia are also financed.

Currently, many people complain that there is not enough resources, but above all else, they are complaining about the bad quality of what the healthcare system delivers. Patients will receive different brands or models depending on patient’s residence. Even in some healthcare centres where economic factor is scarce, they recommend to reuse needles. It is not the first time that a patient is heard complaining because a healthcare centre does not deliver enough needles, and tell him or her to reuse the needle.

It is forbidden by the Spanish law and by European regulation (explicitly written on the product packaging), needles cannot be used more than once, are not reusable. It must be used one new needle for every shot.

Having this into account and that needles quality is not optimum, least of all for their reuse.

Reusing needles causes bad adherence to treatment

Do you know what this symbol that appears in the boxes of needles and syringes means?



Is the symbol that indicates toDO NOT reuse.



According to BD (one of the favorite needle manufacturers for patients with diabetes) recommendations about the reuse of needles :

  • Needles are sterile single-use products and their sterility is only guaranteed when the needle is new.
  • After the injection, the needle loses its lubricant, making the following injections even more painful.
  • Reusing a needle can cause the break of the tip and may deposit metal particles in the injection areas.
  • Blunt needles lacerate the subcutaneous tissue and produce bruising and bleeding.
  • Needles reused are related to the appearance of lipodystrophies, and if the insulin is injected in this area, its absorption can be altered, so that glucose control can vary.
  • It can crystallize the insulin inside the needle, and thus obstruct the output of the dose in the next injection.

If you still do not like these recommendations, and you plan to keep reusing the needles, you’d better think twice. Better yet, when you go to inject insulin we want you to visualize and remember the following photographs .


Scanning electron microscope photographs (X 4000 magnification) made by University of Grenoble (Francia)

Interesting data:


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