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Insulin human regular (Injection route)

Pronunciation:

IN-su-lin HUE-man REG-yoo-lar

Brand Names:

  • Humulin R
  • Humulin R U-100
  • Novolin R

Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Antidiabetic

Pharmacologic—

Insulin, Regular

Uses of This Medicine:

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.

Before Using This Medicine:

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.

Children—

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.

Older adults—

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—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersBAnimal 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.

Breast-feeding—

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

Other medicines—

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. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Metreleptin

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 of This Medicine:

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 While Using This Medicine:

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 of This Medicine:

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
Anxiety
blurred vision
chills
cold sweats
coma
confusion
convulsions
cool, pale skin
cough
decreased urine
depression
difficulty swallowing
dizziness
dry mouth
fast heartbeat
flushing or redness of the skin
headache
hives
increased hunger
increased thirst
irregular heartbeat
itching
loss of appetite
muscle pain or cramps
nausea
nightmares
numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
seizures
shakiness
shortness of breath
skin rash
slurred speech
sweating
swelling
tightness in the chest
unusual tiredness or weakness
unusually warm skin
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
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
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.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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