Humulin N (insulin isophane) is a manufactured form of insulin that helps adults and children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes manage blood sugar levels. Human insulin is produced by recombinant DNA technology utilizing a non-pathogenic laboratory strain of Escherichia coli.
Insulin isophane is an intermediate-acting insulin that begins working within 2-4 hours after administration. It peaks at approximately 4-12 hours and continues to work up to 12-18 hours.
Humulin N is available also available through a KwikPens. Humulin N is also a part of Humulin’s 70/30 vials and cartridges.
This medication is a suspension of crystals produced from combining human insulin and protamine sulfate under appropriate conditions for crystal formation and is injected underneath the skin (subcutaneously).
It is essential to control your diabetes if you are pregnant, as having high blood sugar can cause complications for both you and the baby.
Humulin N should be part of a treatment program and a proper diet, exercises, weight control, and blood sugar testing. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
Please read the label carefully, as many patients mix up Humulin and Humalog together, due to their names being similar.
Before Taking Humulin N
Before Taking Humulin N
Before taking Humulin, be sure to tell your doctor if:
– You have had heart, liver, or kidney disease
– You have low levels of potassium (hypokalemia)
– You are pregnant or breastfeeding
– You are taking prescription or over-the-counter medications or supplements
Warnings and Precautions
Warnings and Precautions
If you are having an episode of low blood sugar, you should suspend the use of Humulin N and consult with your doctor.
Do not inject directly into a vein or muscle.
Do not use if the insulin substance remains at the bottom or contains clumps at the bottom of the vial after mixing.
Do not share pens and needles with others even if the hand has been changed. These should be single-patient only, and sharing pens and needles can lead to spreading infection and disease.
If you overdose on your insulin, contact medical attention immediately, as this can lead to life-threatening hypoglycemia.
Get your Humulin N prescription refilled before you run out of medicine entirely.
Do not give Humulin to a child unless under the direction of a doctor.
Humulin N should not be administered using an insulin pump or mixed with other insulin.
Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency kit if you experience severe hypoglycemia, which may affect your eating habits. Instruct your family and friends on how to inject the emergency injection kit in case of emergency.
Be aware of signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) that can cause increased thirst and urination.
Speak to your doctor about adjusting your medication schedule as blood sugar levels can be affected by surgery, illness, exercise, stress, skipping meals, and alcohol.
Avoid drinking as it can lower blood sugar levels and may interfere with your diabetes treatment. If you do so, please know how to consume alcohol safely.
Do not double up if you miss a dose and it is almost time for your next dose. Continue with your regular dosage.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using insulin isophane and get a refill each time. If you have any questions, ask your doctor, diabetes educator, or pharmacist.
Learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional and the product package.
Before using, gently roll the vial or cartridge, turning it upside down and right side up ten times to mix the medication. Do not shake the container. Check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the insulin. Insulin isophane should look evenly cloudy/milky after mixing. Do not use if you see clumps of white material, a “frosty” appearance, or particles stuck to the sides of the vial or cartridge.
Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Change where you inject each time to lessen the risk of problems or damage under the skin (pits/lumps or thickened skin). Inject this medication under the skin as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice a day. This insulin product may be injected into the stomach area, the thigh, the buttocks, or the back of the upper arm. Do not inject into a vein or muscle because very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) may occur. Do not rub the area after the injection. Do not inject into skin that is red, swollen, itchy, or damaged. Do not inject cold insulin because this can be painful. The insulin container you are currently using can be kept at room temperature.
This product may be mixed only with certain other insulin products, such as insulin regular. Always draw the insulin regular into the syringe first, then follow with the longer-acting insulin. Never inject a mixture of different insulins into a vein. Consult your health care professional about which products may be mixed, the proper method for mixing insulin, and the proper way to inject mixtures of insulin. Do not mix insulins if you are using an insulin pump.
Do not change brands or types of insulin without directions on how to do so from your doctor.
Do not share your pen device with another person, even if the needle is changed. You may give other people a severe infection or get a severe illness from them. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Measure each dose very carefully because even small changes in the amount of insulin may significantly affect your blood sugar.
Check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your doctor. Please keep track of your results and share them with your doctor. This is very important to determine the correct insulin dose.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or worsen (your blood sugar is too high or low).
This is not a complete guide to the side effects of Humulin N. Some of the side effects include low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), weight gain, swelling of hands and feet, mild skin rash and itching, hollowing of skin, or thickening at the site of injection.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is the most common side effect with insulin medication such as Humulin N. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include: headache, sweating, hunger, pale skin, irritability, dizziness, trouble concentrating, feeling shaky, seizure (convulsions), difficulty speaking, loss of consciousness, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling in the mouth, blurred vision and drowsiness.
To avoid experiencing these symptoms, carry a piece of non-diabetic candy, glucose tablet, or sugary drink (not diet) if your blood sugar levels drop.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately allergic reaction over the entire body, trouble breathing, feeling you might pass out, swelling of tongue and throat, low potassium (hyperkalemia), swelling in hands and feet, and fluid retention.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.
Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include repaglinide, rosiglitazone. Many drugs can affect your blood sugar levels, making it more difficult to control your blood sugar. Before starting, stopping, or changing any medication, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how the medication may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor about the results and any symptoms of high or low blood sugar. (See also the side effects tab.) Your doctor may need to adjust your anti-diabetic medication, exercise program, or diet.
Beta-blocker medications (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol, glaucoma eye drops such as timolol) may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar level falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar such as dizziness, hunger, or sweating are unaffected by these drugs.
Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that affect your blood sugar. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.
Insulin is usually stored in the refrigerator, but because different types of insulin have additional storage requirements, it is essential to learn and follow storage directions for your particular product. In general, store the unopened vial/cartridge/pen in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C). Some devices for giving insulin should not be refrigerated. You can consult one of our pharmacists about how to store your brand of insulin.
Once opened, the vial may be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C). Store in the carton to protect from light. Depending on your brand, discard the vial either 31 days or 42 days after opening. Check with your healthcare provider regarding your specific brand. Check the labeling on the cartridge or pen for storage after opening and while in use. Most of these products are stored at room temperature for different lengths of time (e.g., 7-14 days).
Do not freeze. Discard the insulin if it has been frozen or if it is past the expiration date. Protect insulin from light, heat, and moisture. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Keep extra supplies of insulin, syringes, and needles on hand.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to discard your product safely.