Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Humulin R
  2. Humulin R U-100
  3. Novolin R

Descriptions


Insulin human regular is a short-acting type of insulin. Insulin is used by people with diabetes to help keep blood sugar levels under control. If you have diabetes, your body cannot make enough or does not use insulin properly. So, you must take additional insulin to regulate your blood sugar and keep your body healthy. This is very important as too much sugar in your blood can be harmful to your health.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Solution

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of insulin human regular in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of insulin human regular have not been performed in the geriatric population, geriatric-specific problems are not expected to limit the usefulness of this medicine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related heart, liver, or kidney problems which may require an adjustment of dose in patients receiving this medicine.

Pregnancy

Information about this insulin-human-regular-injection-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters B Animal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breastfeeding

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)—Should not be used in patients with this condition. If you have low blood sugar and take insulin, your blood sugar may reach dangerously low levels.
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood)—May make this condition worse and increase your chance of having serious side effects.
  • Infection or any illness or
  • Stress (eg, physical or emotional)—These conditions increase blood sugar and may increase the amount of insulin you need.
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease—Effects of insulin human regular may be increased because of the slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use

A nurse or other trained health professional may give you this medicine. You may also be taught how to give your medicine at home. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin.

Each package of insulin human regular contains a patient information sheet. Read this sheet carefully before beginning your treatment and each time you refill for any new information, and make sure you understand:

  • How to prepare the medicine.
  • How to inject the medicine.
  • How to dispose of syringes, needles, and injection devices.

It is best to use a different place on the body for each injection (eg, under the skin of your abdomen or stomach, thigh, upper arm). If you have questions about this, contact a member of your health care team.

If you use Humulin® R Concentrated U-500 insulin, be very careful when you measure the dose. This form is more concentrated (has more medicine in the same amount of solution) than the U-100 form of insulin. You will need to use less of the solution for each dose. You should eat a meal within 30 minutes of injecting Humulin® R Concentrated U-500.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For diabetes mellitus:
      • Adults—The dose is based on your blood sugar and must be determined by your doctor.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Store insulin vials that have not been opened in the refrigerator in the original carton. Do not freeze. Do not use the insulin if it has been frozen.

Store the opened vial of insulin in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. If you cannot keep your vial of insulin in the refrigerator, you may store it at room temperature for up to 31 days. Keep the vial as cool as possible and away from heat and light.

Precautions

Never share insulin needles or syringes with others under any circumstances. Sharing needles can result in transmission of hepatitis viruses, HIV, or other blood-borne illnesses.

Your doctor will want to check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few weeks you take this medicine. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

It is very important to follow carefully any instructions from your health care team about:

  • Alcohol—Drinking alcohol (including beer and wine) may cause severe low blood sugar. Discuss this with your health care team.
  • Other medicines—Do not take other medicines during the time you are taking this medicine unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes nonprescription medicines such as aspirin, and medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems.
  • Counseling—Other family members need to learn how to prevent side effects or help with side effects if they occur. Also, patients with diabetes may need special counseling about diabetes medicine dosing changes that might occur because of lifestyle changes, such as changes in exercise and diet. Furthermore, counseling on contraception and pregnancy may be needed because of the problems that can occur in patients with diabetes during pregnancy.
  • Travel—Keep a recent prescription and your medical history with you. Be prepared for an emergency as you would normally. Make allowances for changing time zones and keep your meal times as close as possible to your usual meal times.

In case of emergency—There may be a time when you need emergency help for a problem caused by your diabetes. You need to be prepared for these emergencies. It is a good idea to:

  • Wear a medical identification (ID) bracelet or neck chain at all times. Also, carry an ID card in your wallet or purse that says that you have diabetes and a list of all of your medicines.
  • Keep an extra supply of insulin and syringes with needles or injection devices on hand in case high blood sugar occurs.
  • Keep some kind of quick-acting sugar handy to treat low blood sugar.
  • Have a glucagon kit and a syringe and needle available in case severe low blood sugar occurs. Check and replace any expired kits regularly.

This medicine may cause a serious allergic reaction, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, shortness of breath, swelling of the face, tongue, and throat, trouble breathing, or chest pain after you get the injection.

Using this medicine together with other diabetes medicine (such as pioglitazone, rosiglitazone, Actos®, Actoplus Met®, Avandia®) may cause serious heart problem or edema (fluid retention). Check with your doctor immediately if you are rapidly gaining weight, having shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, extreme tiredness or weakness, trouble breathing, uneven heartbeat, or excessive swelling of the hands, wrist, ankles, or feet.

You may have some skin redness, rash, itching, or swelling at the injection site. If this irritation is severe or does not go away, call your doctor. Do not inject this medicine into a skin area that is red, swollen, or itchy.

Too much insulin human regular can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms of low blood sugar include anxiety; behavior change similar to being drunk, blurred vision, cold sweats, confusion, depression, difficulty in thinking, dizziness or lightheadedness, drowsiness, excessive hunger, fast heartbeat, headache, irritability or abnormal behavior, nervousness, nightmares, restless sleep, shakiness, slurred speech, and tingling in the hands, feet, lips, or tongue.

If symptoms of low blood sugar occur, eat glucose tablets or gel to relieve the symptoms. Also, check your blood for low blood sugar. Get to a doctor or a hospital right away if the symptoms do not improve. Someone should call for emergency help immediately if severe symptoms such as convulsions (seizures) or unconsciousness occur. Have a glucagon kit available, along with a syringe and needle, and know how to use it. Members of your household also should know how to use it.

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur if you do not take enough or skip a dose of your antidiabetic medicine, overeat or do not follow your meal plan, have a fever or infection, or do not exercise as much as usual.

Symptoms of high blood sugar include blurred vision, drowsiness, dry mouth, flushed, dry skin, fruit-like breath odor, increased urination, ketones in the urine, loss of appetite, stomachache, nausea, or vomiting, tiredness, troubled breathing (rapid and deep), unconsciousness, or unusual thirst.

If symptoms of high blood sugar occur, check your blood sugar level and then call your doctor for instructions.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Incidence not known

  1. Anxiety
  2. blurred vision
  3. chills
  4. cold sweats
  5. coma
  6. confusion
  7. convulsions
  8. cool, pale skin
  9. cough
  10. decreased urine
  11. depression
  12. difficulty swallowing
  13. dizziness
  14. dry mouth
  15. fast heartbeat
  16. flushing or redness of the skin
  17. headache
  18. hives
  19. increased hunger
  20. increased thirst
  21. irregular heartbeat
  22. itching
  23. loss of appetite
  24. muscle pain or cramps
  25. nausea
  26. nightmares
  27. numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  28. puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  29. seizures
  30. shakiness
  31. shortness of breath
  32. skin rash
  33. slurred speech
  34. sweating
  35. swelling
  36. tightness in the chest
  37. unusual tiredness or weakness
  38. unusually warm skin
  39. wheezing

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known

  1. Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
  2. redistribution or accumulation of body fat

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.