Q:

9/7/2013  
Patient was tested for allergies in a primary care doctor's office. He will be getting allergy shots for cat, mold and dust allergies. The technician who is managing the program for the doctor ordered insulin syringes for the allergy shots instead of tb syringes. She claimed that 10 Units on an insuling syringe is equivalent to 0.1 cc on a tb syringe. Is this common practice to use insulin syringes for allergy shots? She said they are cheaper than tb syringes. Thank you

A:

Thank you for your inquiry.

There are differences between tuberculin and insulin syringes. The two links copied below will take you to websites that discuss these differences.

This does not preclude insulin syringes from being used to administer allergy injections, but one has to be very careful about the conversion units involved. In addition, syringes specially designed to administer allergy injections are also available for purchase at suppliers. These are designed specifically for that task.

It's All in the Syringe

What is the difference between a tuberculin syringe and an insulin syringe?

Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope this response is helpful to you.

Sincerely,
Phil Lieberman, M.D.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology