Irish diabetics have been warned to exercise extreme caution with their medication at the moment as reports of the insulin cartridge holder used in certain insulin pens cracking or breaking have hit the news.
According to The Irish Sun, Novo Nordisk has revealed that certain batches of the NovoPen Echo and NovoPen 5 insulin pens distributed in Ireland have been affected – and could break if exposed to chemicals in commonly used cleaning agents.
Users of the above pieces are bring urged to contact the brand to get cartridge holders replaced immediately.
They are also told not to stop treatment without consulting their doctor prior, and to be attentive to their blood sugar levels.
Damage to these medical instruments could cause the pens to deliver a smaller dose of insulin than is required - leaving the patient at risk.
However, the risk of hyperglycemia as a result of an affected cartridge holder is estimated to affect a mere one in 1,000 patients.
Novo Nordisk spoke out about the risks involved:
“Using a device with a cracked/broken cartridge holder can result in the device delivering a smaller dose of insulin than expected leading to high blood sugar levels.
“The risk of experiencing high blood sugar levels with the use of a device with an affected cartridge holder is evaluated to be less than 0.1 per cent, i.e. less than one in 1000 patients will experience high blood sugar levels due to an affected cartridge holder.”
“The warning symptoms of high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) normally appear gradually and can be flushed, dry skin, feeling sleepy or tired, dry mouth, fruity (acetone) breath, urinating more often, feeling thirsty, losing your appetite, feeling or being sick (nausea or vomiting).
“You might not experience any physical signs of high blood sugar, but only notice this in your blood sugar measurements.”