Novolin NPH is used to treat diabetes mellitus who require insulin to manage high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). It is often prescribed in combination with fast-acting insulin medications.
Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone made by the pancreas that helps our body use or stores the glucose (sugar) it gets from food. For people with diabetes, either the pancreas does not make enough insulin to meet the body’s requirements, or the body cannot correctly use the produced insulin. As a result, glucose cannot be used or stored properly and accumulates in the bloodstream. Insulin injected under the skin helps to lower blood glucose levels.
Your insulin dosage should be measured in international units (IU). Each ml contains 100 IU.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other drugs. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones given here, do not change how you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
Novolin NPH is produced by recombinant DNA method using a combination of unique purification and S. cerevisiae (baker’s yeast). Structurally, it is identical to human insulin, which occurs naturally in the body.
There are many different types of insulin, and they are absorbed at various rates and work for varying periods. NPH is an intermediate-acting insulin. It takes 1 to 3 hours to begin working after injection, reaches its maximum effect between 5 and 8 hours, and stops working after about 18 to 24 hours.
It is essential to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The timing of insulin concerning your meals is crucial to keeping blood glucose under control and preventing unwanted side effects.
Novolin NPH should not be used by anyone who is allergic to NPH insulin or any of the medication’s ingredients, has a diabetic coma, or has low blood glucose (hypoglycemia).
Novolin NPH is also available in Penfill cartridges. Ensure you are ordering the correct Novolin mixture, as there a wide variety of them on the market, including: 30/70, 50/50 and 40/60.
Warnings and Precautions
Warnings and Precautions
Before starting Novolin NPH, inform your doctor if you have any allergies, existing medical conditions, are taking any other medications, whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or of any significant facts about your health. This includes weight loss medications such as Ozempic and Trulicity. This will impact how your doctor may adjust your insulin dosage.
Do not modify your dosage unless under the direction of your doctor. Rationing insulin can have serious side effects. Consult your doctor first if you plan on adjusting your dosage.
Do not inject insulin into a muscle or vein.
Your doctor may prescribe your dosage based on your individual needs. This is determined based on blood sugar levels, body weight, existing medical conditions, other medications, lifestyle, and how much insulin your pancreas produces.
This insulin should be injected (under the skin). Your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist will provide instructions on how to inject insulin properly.
Novolin NPH is commonly injected once or twice daily. Fast-acting insulin is often accompanied to help manage the impact of blood glucose levels during the day.
Insulin is mixed by slowly rolling the vial between your hands until it becomes cloudy and uniformly white. If insulin appears grainy, unusually thick, seems to be discolored, or sticks to the vial. Do not use if the vial appears frosted, contains crystals or if the suspension remains clear after rolling between hands.
As with any medication side, effects may occur. These are unwanted responses that result from average doses. Side effects are usually temporary and can range from mild to severe. They are not familiar with everyone taking this insulin. Speak to your doctor about the risks associated with taking this medication.
At least 1% of people taking insulin NPH have reported the following side effects. Typically side effects go away over time.
Some of the side effects include itching, redness, swelling at the injection site, anxiety, blurred vision, confusion, difficulty concentrating, difficulty speaking, dizziness, drowsiness, fast heartbeat, headache, hunger, nausea, nervousness, numbness, or tingling of the lips, fingers, or tongue, sweating, tiredness, trembling, weakness.
Consult your doctor if you experience any signs of low blood glucose, anxiety, blurred vision, or confusion.
Stop taking this medication and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any blisters or rash all over your body, seizures, symptoms of a severe allergic reaction (swelling of throat or face, Wheezing, itchy skin rash, difficulty breathing), and unconsciousness.
Some patients may experience side effects other than those listed above, are severe or bothersome. Consult your doctor if you notice any symptoms that are concerning while taking this medication.
Your pharmacist should advise you about possible side effects and management. If unchecked, side effects can lead to severe complications if you do not consult your doctor or seek medical attention.
The active ingredient is Insulin Isophane, Human Biosynthetic. Each mL contains 100 units of insulin NPH. Other non-medical ingredients include glycerol, hydrochloric acid, and sodium hydroxide, disodium phosphate, metacresol, protamine sulfate, dihydrate, zinc chloride, and water for injection.
Keep unopened bottles of insulin in the refrigerator until needed. They may be used until the expiry date on the label. Never allow insulin to freeze. Insulin that is currently in use may be kept at room temperature for no more than 28 days and then discarded. Insulin must not be exposed to extremely hot temperatures or to sunlight. Keep insulin out of reach of children.
When taking insulin, it’s crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions. This can include dosage and timing to ensure that blood glucose is managed to prevent unwanted side effects.
Do not dispose of medication in wastewater (i.e., sink, toilet) or household trash. Your pharmacist should provide instructions on properly disposing of expired or no longer needed medication.