Warning for diabetics over thousands of faulty insulin cartridge holders

insulin needle
Insulin is vital for millions of people living with diabetes.

Cracks and breaks caused by common household cleaning products have forced a Pharmaceutical company to recall thousands of insulin cartridge holders around the country.

Novo Nordisk issued a consumer level recall and advised pharmacists to cease sales of some batches of their NovoPen Echo and NovoPen 5 insulin cartridge holders after discovering some had cracked after being exposed to bleaching agents such as chlorine, iodine and alcohol.

There may be up to 7,438 units affected across all six batches in the market place.

The Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) says the cracks could result in the device delivering a smaller dose of insulin than expected, which can lead to serious health consequences including hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar).

The affected cartridges can be identified by their batch number, which is visible towards the top of the device.

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The NovoPen Echo. Image: Novo Nordisk
The NovoPen 5. Image: Novo Nordisk

The affected batch numbers are:

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People with the affected insulin cartridge holders are invited to contact Novo Nordisk to arrange to receive a replacement device. Image: TGA

The TGA has advised those who have used the device to monitor their blood sugar levels and be aware of the signs of hyperglycaemia.

Symptoms can present gradually and include:

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  • feeling flushed
  • dry skin
  • feeling sleepy or tired
  • dry mouth
  • ‘fruity’ breath
  • urinating more often
  • feeling thirsty
  • losing your appetite
  • nausea/vomiting.

If you experience any signs or symptoms of hyperglycaemia while using a NovoPen Echo or NovoPen 5 insulin cartridge holder, measure your blood sugar levels and take appropriate action, the TGA advises.

Do you have diabetes? Do you use a cartridge holder to administer your insulin?