Humulin R is a polypeptide hormone that is structurally similar to human insulin produced in the body. It effectively helps manage blood sugar levels for both adults and children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Humulin uses similar insulin as Novolin, that can also be found in pens, vials and cartridges.
Insulin is a hormone produced by an organ in the body called the pancreas. Insulin is necessary for managing glucose (sugar) in the blood.
For those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, their bodies either do not produce enough or any insulin, which requires insulin injections.
Humulin R U-100 is injected under the skin (subcutaneously). Insulin should not be injected into a vein or muscle. Make sure you are using a syringe marked U-100. Humulin R can also be found in the 70/30 mixture.
This short-acting insulin starts working within 30 minutes, peaks in 2-3 hours and works up to 8 hours.
Through the use of insulin, patients can effectively break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. With proper carbohydrate metabolism, patients can avoid the production of ketone bodies in the liver and other complications associated with diabetes.
Humulin R (insulin human recombinant) U-100 is a transparent, sterile, colorless solution containing human insulin at 100 units/mL, endogenous zinc, metacresol, and water. Hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide may be added to adjust the pH levels during the manufacturing of this medication.
Insulin isophane is also available through Humulin N vials and KwikPens.
Please read and order your prescription carefully. Many patients mix up Humulin and Humalog, as they both are diabetic medications with similar names.
Warnings and Precautions
Warnings and Precautions
Humulin R should not be used to treat children under two years old or children with type 2 diabetes of any age.
Do not use Humulin R if the substance appears cloudy, slightly colored, contains particles or thickens. Do not use the medication if it was previously frozen. Ensure the drug has not passed its expiration date.
Syringes and pens should not be shared as they are meant to be single-patient only. Sharing pens and needles can lead to the spread of infection and disease.
Make sure you are following your doctor’s instructions for your specific needs. Read the patient leaflet, especially after refills, provided by the pharmacy to ensure you understand instructions and preparation. If you have questions regarding Humulin R, speak to your doctor, pharmacist, or medical expert.
Before administering a dose of insulin, clear the injection area with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol.
Rotate injection sites to avoid skin problems such as lumps, pits, or thickened skin.
Insulin regular should be injected under the skin in the abdomen, upper thigh, upper arm, or buttocks as instructed by your doctor or nurse.
Do not rub the injection site after injecting.
Do not inject into skin that appears red, itchy, swollen, or damaged.
Do not inject into a muscle or vein, resulting in low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Insulin should be taken 30 minutes before meals. Since Humulin R is fast-acting, you should not start eating directly after injection as this can result in hypoglycemia.
Do not use insulin regularly with an insulin pump.
Speak with your doctor if your condition worsens or does not improve from this diabetes medication.
Humulin R may be mixed with other medications, such as longer-acting insulin (see drug interactions tab for more information). Your doctor will provide direction as to which products can be combined with your treatment.
Follow your treatment plan provided by your doctor and measure each dose carefully. By modifying the amount of insulin dose can drastically affect blood sugar levels.
Speak to your pharmacist on how to dispose of unused needles and pens safely properly.
Check blood sugar levels regularly using tools for blood sugar monitoring. Please keep track of results and share them with your doctor as the information is essential in determining dosage requirements.
Blood sugar levels may be affected by surgery, exercise, stress, illness, and alcohol. Skipping meals can also lead to low blood sugar levels. Speak to your doctor about how to proceed if you miss a meal or dose.
Wear or carry identification that lets others know you have diabetes.
You should not take this medication if you are allergic to insulin or are experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia.
Tell your doctor if you have any pre-existing liver, kidney, or heart conditions.
Notify your doctor if you are taking any medications such as rosiglitazone, pioglitazone or Ozempic. Taking certain medications can increase the risk of heart problems.
Tell your doctor if you are currently breastfeeding or pregnant.
If you are pregnant, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. It’s essential to manage diabetes during pregnancy, and high blood sugar can affect both mother and baby.
How is Humulin R insulin used?
Your doctor or nurse should instruct you on properly injecting insulin that should not be into a vein or muscle. Use a different injection site every time to avoid damaging skin.
Do not inject into skin that is damaged, bruised, pitted, scaly, thickened, has scarring or lumps.
Only prepare your Humulin R injection when you are ready to administer. Do not use Humulin R insulin if it appears cloudy or has particles. If your medication seems compromised, contact your pharmacist for a new one.
You should eat a meal within 30 minutes of using Humulin R.
Symptoms associated with using insulin can differ depending on a patient’s health, treatment, and condition.
Most people do not experience side effects with insulin treatment. If you do experience side effects that worsen and persist, contact your doctor immediately, especially if you see signs of low potassium levels in the blood, irregular heartbeats, cramps, and weakness.
Injection site reactions may occur. This can include redness, irritation, and pain at injection sites.
Insulin can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), showing symptoms of cold sweats, shaking, hunger, blurred vision, increased heartbeat, dizziness, or tingling feet/hands.
You are carrying a diabetic candy, glucose tablets, or a sugary drink (non-diet) in case of hypoglycemic side effects. To prevent hypoglycemia from occurring, be sure to eat meals regularly and do not skip meals. Consult your doctor for instruction in the event you miss a meal.
Hyperglycemia is another side effect that also may occur. Symptoms include increased thirst, increased urination, flushing, rapid breathing, drowsiness, confusion, and fruity breath. Speak with your doctor if you experience symptoms, as your dosage may need to be adjusted.
Severe allergic reactions when taking insulin are rare. If you experience itching/swelling, body rash, trouble breathing, or dizziness, seek medical attention immediately.
All Humulin R insulin side effects listed above are not complete. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects.
Drugs that may increase the risk of hypoglycemia: antidiabetic agents, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blocking agents, disopyramide, fibrates, fluoxetine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, pentoxifylline, pramlintide, propoxyphene, salicylates, somatostatin analog (e.g., octreotide), and sulfonamide antibiotics.
Drugs that may decrease the blood-glucose-lowering effect: atypical antipsychotics, corticosteroids, danazol, diuretics, estrogens, glucagon, isoniazid, niacin, oral contraceptives, phenothiazines, progestogens (e.g., in oral contraceptives), protease inhibitors, somatropin, sympathomimetic agents (e.g., albuterol, epinephrine, terbutaline), and thyroid hormones.
Drugs that may increase or decrease the blood-glucose-lowering effect: alcohol, beta-blockers, clonidine, lithium salts, and pentamidine.
Drugs that may blunt the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia: beta-blockers, clonidine, guanethidine, and reserpine.
Over decades, available data from published studies have not established an association with human insulin use during pregnancy and major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. There are risks to the mother and fetus associated with poorly controlled diabetes in pregnancy. Animal reproduction studies were not performed.
The estimated background risk of significant congenital disabilities is 6-10% in women with pre-gestational diabetes with an HbA1c >7% and has been reported to be as high as 20-25% in women with an HbA1c >10%. The estimated background risk of miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively.
Excess insulin administration may cause hypoglycemia and hypokalemia. Mild episodes of hypoglycemia usually can be treated with oral glucose. Adjustments in drug dosage, meal patterns, or exercise may be needed. More severe episodes with coma, seizure, or neurologic impairment may be treated with intramuscular or subcutaneous glucagon or intravenous glucose. Sustained carbohydrate intake and observation may be necessary because hypoglycemia may recur after apparent clinical recovery. Hypokalemia must be corrected appropriately.
Keep away from heat or light.
Do not freeze insulin or store near cooling elements. Throw away if previously frozen.
Keep insulin refrigerated and use until expiration date or store at room temperature if in use.
Throw away expired insulin. Any needles or syringes should be placed in a puncture-proof “sharps” contains. Speak to your pharmacist about properly disposing of needles and medication.
Keep the medication away from children or pets.