Diabetes Home > Insulin Pump Disadvantages

Not everyone with diabetes should use an insulin pump. Disadvantages of this device may outweigh the potential advantages. Insulin pumps require a certain degree of technical sophistication and are worn continuously, which can interfere with some activities. Since there are certain disadvantages, you should not switch to an insulin pump if you are happy with your current injection regimen.

What Are Possible Disadvantages of Insulin Pumps?

Insulin pumps are not ideal for every person or every situation. While there are several important insulin pump advantages, there are also many different disadvantages with insulin pumps. For many people, the disadvantages may outweigh the potential advantages.

Specific Disadvantages

Insulin pumps are not a good option for some people due to the following reasons:
  • They require a certain degree of technical sophistication. People unaccustomed to using computers or portable electronic devices may have difficulty understanding how to use insulin pumps.
  • You must still check your blood sugar often.
  • You must still count carbohydrates or use some other method to adjust your insulin dose in regard to meals.
  • Inserting the needle or cannula can be more painful than insulin injections, although you need to change it only every two or three days.
  • The pump is worn continuously and may interfere with certain activities.
  • Insulin pumps and infusion sets (the tubing plus the needle or cannula) are expensive.
  • The pumps can malfunction and deliver too much or too little insulin, although this is probably rare if you take care of your pump properly and keep an eye out for problems.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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