insulin regular (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using insulin regular (Humulin R, Novolin R, Novolin R Innolet, Novolin R PenFill, ReliOn/Novolin R)?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to insulin, or if you are having an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
To make sure you can safely use insulin, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including any oral (by mouth) diabetes medications.
Insulin regular is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, foot care, eye care, dental care, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.
FDA pregnancy category B. Insulin is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether insulin regular passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I use insulin regular (Humulin R, Novolin R, Novolin R Innolet, Novolin R PenFill, ReliOn/Novolin R)?
Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.
Insulin regular is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
Choose a different place in your injection skin area each time you use this medication. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.
Insulin regular should look as clear as water. Do not use the medication if has changed colors, looks cloudy, or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.
Use a disposable needle only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
Some types of insulin needles can be used more than once. But reusing needles increases your risk of infection. Used needles must be properly cleaned and inspected for bending or breakage. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you can reuse your insulin needles.
Never share an injection pen or cartridge with another person. Sharing injection pens or cartridges can allow disease such as hepatitis or HIV to pass from one person to another.
Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them: headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating.
Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Sugar sources include orange juice, glucose gel, candy, or milk. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use an injection of glucagon. Your doctor can give you a prescription for a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to give the injection.
Also watch for signs of blood sugar that is too high (hyperglycemia). These symptoms include increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, and weight loss.
Check your blood sugar carefully during a time of stress or illness, if you travel, exercise more than usual, drink alcohol, or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change.
Your doctor may want you to stop taking insulin for a short time if you become ill, have a fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency.
Ask your doctor how to adjust your insulin dose if needed. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.
If your doctor changes your brand, strength, or type of insulin, your dosage needs may change. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the new kind of insulin you receive at the pharmacy.
Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you have diabetes, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are diabetic.
Insulin is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, foot care, eye care, dental care, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.
Storing unopened vials and cartridges: Keep in the carton and store in a refrigerator, protected from light.
Unopened vials may also be stored at room temperature, away from heat and bright light.
Storing after your first use: Keep the "in-use" vials or cartridges at room temperature.
Do not freeze insulin regular, and throw away the medication if it has become frozen.
Throw away any insulin not used before the expiration date on the medicine label.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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