BD Insulin Syringes & Pen Needles

By Roberta Kleinman|2024-02-20T13:34:20-05:00Updated: May 7th, 2019|Diabetic Supply Review|0 Comments

When patients are confronted with taking insulin injections for diabetes treatment, the choices can be overwhelming. You and your physician can choose from pre-loaded pens with disposable pen needles or bottles of insulin with disposable syringes. However, the choice usually depends on the cost, availability, ease of delivery as well as personal preference. But, if the bottle and syringe method is chosen, than you should be aware of certain differences in the supplies.

Each insulin delivery system brings different benefits. Above all, patient education should be offered since good insulin injection technique is an important aspect in reducing anxiety and pain. Talk to your physician about attending a diabetes management seminar to learn all the aspects of insulin therapy along with proper technique. This will help you control your diabetes and prevent complications in the future.

Becton Dickinson (BD)

have been world leaders in the production of insulin syringes and have pioneered many high-quality syringes in different sizes. They continue to innovate insulin pen needles and syringes for people living with diabetes. In 1924, they invented the first insulin syringe made of glass. It was heavy, difficult to hold and required sterilization between injections. After years in development, in 1961, BD created the first disposable Plastipak syringe. It was light weight, easy to use and great for people requiring multiple daily injections. They were also the first to develop the sharps disposal container which helped decrease the growing concern of medical waste for safety and used needles.

In 2002, BD was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Most Admired Companies” due to the quality of the products and its desire to assist hospitals in complying with certain mandates for medical devices. BD Ultra Fine Syringes are the most recommended syringes by diabetes educators and the number 1 selling brand in the US, because of multiple unique features.

BD Ultra-Fine Insulin Syringes Features:

  • These syringes come in various needle lengths of 6mm, 8mm or 12.7mm.
  • BD Insulin Syringe with ultra-fine needleThe 6mm is the shortest syringe needle which allows for reduced patient anxiety levels and the ability to inject into the subcutaneous fat layer, avoiding the deeper muscle layer.
  • The BD syringe needle is made of high-quality stainless steel.
  • The barrel offers easy to read clear scale numbers with wider unit spacing. This helps you draw up insulin with more accuracy.
  • The BD syringe has “easy flow” with thinner needle walls which allows the insulin to move freely.
  • It offers excellent needle sharpness due to the lubricant coating for a cleaner, painless stick.
  • The BD syringe has a larger flange allowing for a firm hold on the plunger to more efficiently draw up an insulin dose.
  • It is free of rubber latex which may cause severe allergies.
  • BD manufactures specific insulin syringes in unit measurements, in addition to various gauge and needle lengths.

BD Ultra-Fine Pen Needles

However, you have another option – use an insulin pen and attach disposable needles. Many people prefer the ease of insulin pens and pen needles compared to insulin syringes. The rate of patient  satisfaction and adherence is higher than using insulin syringes. You do not need to draw up insulin, pen needles are directly attached to the pen that holds the insulin. You just twist the dial on the pen for the needed amount of units. This is an added benefit for those who have reduced dexterity and or visual problems. BD makes high quality pen needles which can reduce injection anxiety and insulin leakage.

Benefits of BD Pen Needles:

  • BD pen needles are the most recommended pen needles in the US, and they are easy to use and well tolerated by patients.
  • They come in 4mm, 5mm and 8mm length. The 4mm needle can be used by everyone and “shows glycemic equivalence to longer needle length” in studies comparing the 4mm, 5mm and 8mm needle.
  • The BD pen needle fits all insulin pens, universally.
  • The BD pen needles are made of surgical high-grade steel with a patented 5 bevel Penta point BD Ultra-Fine Insulin Pen Needlescomfort design. This allows the needle tip to provide added comfort and easier needle insertion into the skin. The typical pen needle only has a 3-point bevel offering a less comfortable injection.
  • The BD Nano needle has “microbonded lubrication” which helps the needle glide more easily into the skin surface with no pain.
  • A process called “Electro-polishing” is done on the BD pen needle, and this prevents any rough edges or bumps, as well as possible skin pulling and tearing.
  • The BD pen needles are the smallest and thinnest ones available; 99.5% of the time they are injected only into the fat layer allowing more comfort and less chance of a low blood sugar.
  • “Easy flow” technology improves the insulin flow since the pen needle has a larger inner diameter compared to other leading pen needle brands.

Some common insulin syringe questions are:

  1. What are my barrel choices? Depending on the amount of insulin prescribed by your physician, you can use a 3/10cc or 30-unit size, a 1/2cc or 50-unit size or 1cc or 100-unit size. The smaller syringe is perfect for smaller doses of insulin. Please remember, these are one-time disposable syringes. Reusing the needle will not allow for a clean, painless stick since the steel tip will dull.
  2. What does the gauge of the needle indicate? The larger the gauge, the thinner the needle. For example, the 31 gauge is thinner than the 30 gauge and the 30 gauge is thinner than the 28 gauge. Speak to your physician about which gauge you should use depending on your body size and the viscosity of the medicine.
  3. What about the needle length? The 12.7mm or 1/2inch needle is 37% longer than 5/16-inch needle.
  4. Again, check to see what a good fit is for you depending on injection location and your body fat. Almost everyone can use the 6mm syringe needle without a problem and with less discomfort.
  5. What does u-100 indicate? U-100 is the concentration of the insulin which means, “there are 100 units of insulin in every 1 ml.”

Other BD products that are helpful with BD insulin syringes and pen needles

There are no national regulations to tell you how to get rid of sharps. Never share syringes or pen needles, and never throw loose syringes or pen needles into the regular trash. This country disposes billions od sharps every year. Some properly and others improperly. Find out from your health care provider, pharmacist or local health department how and where sharps can be properly disposed of. BD makes sharps disposal easier by providing certain worthwhile products for you to use.

BD Home Sharps ContainerBD Home Sharps Container

  • This FDA cleared and approved sharps container offers a safe and convenient way to dispose of used syringes and pen needles.
  • It is leak and puncture resistant and contains a snap on lid.
  • The sharps container can help prevent injury and infections to humans and pets.
  • The BD container holds up to 300 pen needles or 70-100 syringes.
  • Fill only to the line on the outside of the container-3/4 full. Never stuff in extra needles.
  • Either search at or contact your local health department for proper disposal of the container, when it is full. Never throw container into a recycling bin.

BD Safe Clip – needle clipping and storage deviceBD Safe Clip

  • Is a portable disposal system. Also, excellent to use when traveling.
  • It holds up to 1500 needles and can be used with syringes or pen needles.
  • The easy steps include: clip the needle after use, the device automatically and safely retains the needle inside.
  • Never place filled device in a recycling bin.
  • Contact your local health department about proper disposal of device when full.
  • Easy to use and no injury risk.
  • Compatible with 28-gauge, 30-gauge and 31-gauge needles.

BD Magni – guide insulin syringe magnifier

  • Works 2 ways- as a magnifier and stabilizer.Scale Magnifier & Needle Guide for Insulin Syringes
  • It magnifies up to 1.7 times for easier reading of the scale on the syringe for those who have difficulty with their vision.
  • Fits onto a 1 cc,1/2 cc and 3/10 cc BD insulin syringe.
  • Snaps onto the insulin vial.
  • The BD Magni guide helps those who require added dexterity to stabilize the insulin vial and syringe. (holds vial and syringe together for an easier pull up of insulin)
  • Works best with Eli Lilly vials.


Diabetes has become more manageable with the creation of well-made and affordable products to help with the delivery of insulin. After insulin delivery, there are also products available for proper disposal. BD remains one of the leading forces in the diabetes world to help you maintain control. Choose your insulin delivery products carefully and make only the best decision for you!

About the Author: Roberta Kleinman

Roberta Kleinman, RN, M. Ed., CDE, is a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator. She grew up in Long Island, NY. Her nursing training was done at the University of Vermont where she received a B.S. R.N. Robbie obtained her Master of Education degree, with a specialty in exercise physiology, from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a member of the American Diabetes Association as well as the South Florida Association of Diabetes Educators. She worked with the education department of NBMC to help educate the hospital's in-patient nurses about diabetes. She practices a healthy lifestyle and has worked as a personal fitness trainer in the past. She was one of the initiators of the North Broward Diabetes Center (NBMC) which started in 1990 and was one of the first American Diabetes Association (ADA) certified programs in Broward County, Florida for nearly two decades. Robbie has educated patients to care for themselves and has counseled them on healthy eating, heart disease, high lipids, use of glucometers, insulin and many other aspects of diabetes care. The NBMC Diabetes Center received the Valor Award from the American Diabetes Center for excellent care to their patients. Robbie has volunteered over the years as leader of many diabetes support groups. More about Nurse Robbie

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