Sometimes it's superior to be short. Especially if it's a needle.
Now, the company that makes some of the highest quality needles and lancets has gone even further. Becton, Dickson and Company, which many of us know simply as BD, announced a few days ago that it has produced a pen needle that is even smaller and thinner than anything available before.
BD says that it BD Ultra-Fine Nano is the "world's smallest pen needle" and is proven to be as effective as longer needles for anyone -- big or small, thin or fat. These new needles promise to be less painful for any one of the 5 million Americans who inject insulin or GLP-1 to manage their diabetes.
Please catch the reference to GLP-1. This means that not only insulin users but also those of us who use Byetta or Victoza. These are the newest class of diabetes drugs that people with type 2 diabetes can use to reduce their A1C and their weight at the same time.
This shorter needle is just 4 mm long and has a thin 32 gauge. It provided equivalent glycemic control compared to 31 gauge needles that are 5 mm or 8 mm long and had "reduced pain, no difference in insulin leakage and was preferred by patients," according to a study reported in Current Medical Research and Opinion. While five of the seven authors of this study work for BD, which raises a red flag, two of them are independent researchers. And one of them, Timothy Bailey, M.D., the director of the AMCR Institute in San Diego, I greatly respect and know personally.
Even though this needle is only 4 mm long, it reaches the subcutaneous tissue -- the layer of fat that all of us have below our skin -- that is the recommended site for injections of insulin and GLP-1s. And it's not too long to mean a risk of injecting into muscle, where we can absorb insulin too fast, increasing the risk of hypos. So this new needle promises better glycemic control.
With this needle we don't have to pinch-up the skin. And it fits all of the insulin pens and dosers sold here.
As I writer, I don't like to admit that pictures can sometimes be superior to words. Even photos that I have taken myself, like this one. They seldom are, but this is an exception.
Here is one of those new needles mounted on a saline pen. You can see for yourself how short it really is.
A BD Ultra-Fine Nano Pen Needle on a Saline Pen