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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

Needle Clippers for People with MS

By November 30, 2012

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I am clearly behind on things. I recently wrote a piece for the National MS Society blog, entitled So Many Needles..., which was mainly my musings upon looking at my very full sharps container that held hundreds of syringes from my disease-modifying therapy.

Some of the feedback I got was empathetic and echoed my emotions. Other people wanted to share their experience with "needle clippers," which had greatly reduced or eliminated their need to get new sharps containers. Basically, a needle clipper does what it says - removes needles from used syringes, so that the syringes can then be disposed of in the regular trash.

I think this is a great idea and I'm going to get one of these for myself. Some people mentioned that you could get them from your patient support program of the medication that you use. I also searched "needle clippers" on the Internet and found several sources.

Do you use a needle clipper? Share any tips and advice you may have in the comments section below.

November 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm
(1) Bryan says:

I’m not currently on any MS meds until another medical problem is resolved. However, once that is resolved I’ll be going back on BetaSeron. With that, it’s very easy to just detach the needle from the syringe and drop it into a sharps container. Back when I was on Rebif, I had a rather risky trick for removing the needle. I had a small vice attached to my desk which doubled as an electronics workstation. I would pinch the plastic and rubber cap in that vice (to avoid accidentally sticking myself) and carefully insert the needle through the small hole in the end piercing the rubber. Once it was in all the way, I’d bend it back and forth and break the needle off in the cap. Then I’d drop the cap with the broken off needle into my sharps container. The same trick would work for Copaxone.

December 2, 2012 at 10:21 pm
(2) Steve says:

The needle clipper works like a charm! Makes things much simpler and much safer! I give myself the injection, clip the needle and throw the rest of the syringe, bottles and packaging straight into the trash. The clipper holds about 1,500 clipped needles so it lasts a long time.

Search for the Becton Dickinson BD Safe-Clip. It’s available on-line for roughly $5.00 + shipping.

These are very commonly used by people with diabetes taking insulin injections, so don’t be distracted when you see this mentioned! Those needles are the same type and size as the ones that we MSers use for most of our injected MS drugs.

EXCEPT don’t use the clipper for the long(er) stronger needles used for Avonex and any other inter muscular injections (flu shot as another example) Those needles are much more robust.

Cheap and simple solution! Try it! You’ll like it and it won’t break the bank!

December 12, 2012 at 11:06 am
(3) Meridith says:

Great post! Steve, thank you for the info. I just ordered the clippers from drugstore.com.

This just made my life sooooo much easier!

December 12, 2012 at 11:27 am
(4) Julie says:

I have used a needle clipper since I began daily injections (June 2010) — it works great! When it does “get full” — doing the math I figure in about 2 – 3 years from now I will take it to the police on national “turn in your unused drugs” day rather than put it in a sharps container, I think….

December 12, 2012 at 11:36 am
(5) Mick says:

Hi guys

Useful comments for me as a just started Copaxone user in the UK. In April/May 2013 I will be on holiday in and around Florida for 5 weeks and clearly I will be bringing 35+ injection doses with me. My question is, where can I dispose of my sharps whilst in Florida? Will a pharmacy take them? I will have a portable sharps case with me but it won’t hold 35+ syringes and I certainly do not want to bring a mini bucket with me.

Any helps, hints etc would be gratefully received

December 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm
(6) Audrey says:

I love mine it came with my copaxone kit. I feel it is more safe with kids in the house and for the trash there is no way a junky can get and reuse.

December 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm
(7) Pip Allon says:

Yes, Copaxone gave me a needle clipper too, I assumed that everyone had one….. it’s an easy and efficient way of dealing with needles.

December 12, 2012 at 7:09 pm
(8) Patrick says:

I have a needle clipper given to me by the company who sends the nurse out at the begining of the copaxone therapy. I find it handy when travelling and dispose of the glass syringe at a public health centre. Clipping the nail gives me a piece of mind that no one else could get pricked by the needle.

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