Posted August 21, 2020 by Michael Chamberlain - See Editorial Guidelines

Syringes play an important role in the life of a diabetic patient. However, there are several syringes on the market for different purposes, and buying syringes for diabetes management can be a minefield.

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If it’s the first time you’re buying syringes for diabetes management, then not knowing the right things to ask the pharmacist can be difficult.

In this article, we’ll provide some hints, tips, and guidance around what to say when buying syringes for diabetes from a pharmacy.But first, here’s the quick guide list to answer your question, then we’ll get on to more information.

The following are things you should say to the pharmacist when buying syringes for Diabetes.

Be transparent about buying syringes for diabetesBe open to sharing your diabetes condition without shying awayTalk about preferences, problems, and experiences using syringesSpecify the syringe requirements in figures

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Be TransparentWhen Buying Syringes for Diabetes

Often in most cases, the pharmacist will ask about the insulin you’re using in order to verify if you’re a diabetic patient.



Although by law in many states, pharmacies are allowed to sell syringes over the counter, the pharmacist may still ask you about the syringe you’re using to find out the purpose. Pharmacists solely do this to avoid inadvertently catering to drug abuse.

So, if you have used syringes before for your diabetes management, then discuss your familiarity around syringes with the pharmacist.

It is important to note here that though many states do not require a prescription, a couple do require a prescription to purchase any amount of insulin syringes. Other states may ask that you have a prescription if you are buying a pack of more than 10 syringes.

Being able to get a larger pack of syringes can give diabetes patients the convenience of having syringe supplies at home for emergency purposes and avoids the need to go to the pharmacy and to go through the same long question-answer process to get a syringe.

Share Your Diabetes Condition

If you only have a rough idea about the syringe you want to buy or if it’s the first time you’ve asked, then it’s always good to just be open about your diabetes condition.

There is nothing to be shy about in talking about your diabetes journey to a pharmacist. On the contrary, it could help them provide a better recommendation than the one you had in mind.

Just be honest about what’s going on with your diabetes condition, it’s the pharmacist’s job not to be judgmental.

This also gives you a good time to explore the varieties of syringes available to best suit your needs and get information directly from the pharmacist as opposed to reading or researching everything about it online.

Discuss Your Preferences for Syringes

If you have an idea about syringes and how they work, then you can mention your preferences to the pharmacist.

Starting with your diabetes condition, mention how often you think you’ll need a syringe, your budget allocated, right through to the quality expected from a syringe. You can always discuss your preferences before asking for any recommendations.

Stating your preferences also makes it easier and timesaving for the pharmacist to provide or recommend the most suitable one for you.

Sharing your past experiences with syringes and what you liked or didn’t like can help the pharmacist make recommendations for you.Mentioning drawbacks with past syringes are important for making a feasible investment in the next set of syringes.

This will prevent the pharmacist from offering similar syringes like the ones you might have had before and perhaps had trouble with.

Specify Your Requirements

If you’re thoroughly aware of the ins and outs of the syringes you need, then make sure you specify and give details, so that the pharmacist can provide the exact syringe you need. This includes asking about what quantity you’re allowed to obtain on this visit.



Below are some points you can tell the pharmacist to make sure they give you the right syringe that suits your diabetes requirements.

But of course, this takes a lot of experience in buying, using, and getting to know about syringes thoroughly. You can also get recommendations by asking your doctor, health professional, or others who manage diabetes themselves

Either way, below are some specific details you can give to the pharmacist in regard to what to say when buying syringes for diabetes.

Needle Gauge

The gauge of the syringe needle specifies the thickness or width. Syringes range from 28 gauge to 31 gauge.

The higher the number of the gauge, the thinner the needle. For children, the smaller gauge needle is often said to work best. In contrast, older people and large children may find a larger needle better.

Needle Length

The most common needle lengthsare 12.7 mm (1/2″) and 8 mm (5/16″). The 8-mm needle is called “short,” and is the needle length that most diabetes patients prefer.

Barrel Size

The barrel size of a syringe determines how much insulin it can hold. Choosing a barrel size should be matched with your insulin dosage.

A 3/10-cc syringe works best for holding 30 units or less. On the other hand, a ½-cc syringe works best for 30-50 units. On the higher end, a 1-cc syringe works best for 50-100 units.

So, if you’re thoroughly aware of these factors and how it works, you can specify these to the pharmacist.

For example, “I’m looking for 100 insulin syringes, 1/2 cc, 28 gauge needle, 5/8 inch.”

If you’re unsure, then talk through your needs with the pharmacist, and they may be able to make a recommendation for you.

There’s plenty of reading available online for understanding these specifications. Still, it’s always best to ask the pharmacists’ opinions too, as often they’ve been dispensing these syringes for years and have come to understand what suits who.

To Close

We hope this has provided you with some confidence in what to say when buying syringes for diabetes.

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