Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin.
A doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will teach you how to give your insulin shots. Make sure you understand how to use the medicine before giving yourself a shot.
It is usually best to use this medicine about 15 minutes before eating. Talk with your doctor about your personal schedule, because your needs may be different.
Use a new needle each time you inject your medicine. You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given (often your stomach area, thigh, or upper arm). Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
Before using, mix the insulin by rolling the cartridge, FlexPen® syringe, or vial between your palms 10 times. Turn the cartridge or FlexPen® upside down at least 10 times, so the glass ball moves from one end to the other. You do not need to turn the vial upside down before using. The insulin should look cloudy or milky after mixing. Use your dose of insulin right away after mixing it.
Do not change the brand of your insulin unless your doctor tells you to. When you get a new supply of insulin, check the label to be sure it is the correct type of insulin.
Do not mix NovoLog® 70/30 or 50/50 with any other insulin.
Store insulin containers 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 28 days. Keep the vial as cool as possible and away from heat and light.
Store the opened cartridge or FlexPen® at room temperature for up to 14 days. Do not store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are using aspirin, clonidine (Catapres®), danazol (Danocrine®), disopyramide (Norpace®), epinephrine, fluoxetine (Prozac®), guanethidine (Ismelin®), isoniazid (Nydrazid®), lithium, niacin (vitamin B3), octreotide (Sandostatin®), pentamidine (NebuPent®), propoxyphene (Darvon®), reserpine (Harmonyl®), phenothiazine (Compazine®), pramlintide (Symlin®), salbutamol (Ventolin®), somatropin (Nutropin®), terbutaline (Bricanyl®), thyroid replacement hormone, estrogen hormone, or birth control pills. Tell your doctor if you are also using a sulfa drug (Bactrim® or Septra®), oral diabetes medicine (such as glyburide, Avandia®, Glucotrol®, or Glucophage®), a steroid (such as cortisone, prednisone, or methylprednisolone), an MAO inhibitor (Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®), a quinolone antibiotic (such as Cipro®), blood pressure medicine (such as atenolol, metoprolol, enalapril, Inderal®, Toprol®, or Vasotec®), or medicine to lower cholesterol (such as gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, Lopid®, or Tricor®).
Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using any medicines that can lower the potassium levels in your blood. One kind of medicine that can affect blood potassium is a diuretic or "water pill" (such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, or Lasix®).
Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you smoke.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, neuropathy (nerve problems), hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood), or if you have any kind of infection or stress.
Never share insulin pens or cartridges with others under any circumstances. It is not safe for one pen to be used for more than one person. Sharing needles or pens can result in transmission of hepatitis viruses, HIV, or other blood-borne illnesses.
You may have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) while you are using insulin. Low blood sugar is more likely to happen if you are sick, miss a meal, drink alcohol, or change the amount of time you exercise.
If your blood sugar gets too low, you may feel weak, drowsy, confused, anxious, or very hungry. You may also sweat, shake, or have blurred vision, a fast heartbeat, or a headache that will not go away. If you have symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) or below, do one of the following: Drink 4 ounces (one-half cup) of fruit juice, or eat 5 to 6 pieces of hard candy, or take 2 to 3 glucose tablets. Re-check your blood sugar 15 minutes later. If your blood sugar is above 70 mg/dL, eat a snack or a meal. If your blood sugar is still below 70 mg/dL, drink one-half cup juice, or eat 5 to 6 pieces of candy, or take 2 to 3 glucose tablets. Carry candy or some type of sugar with you at all times, especially if you are away from home. You can take this if you feel that your blood sugar is too low, even if you do not have a blood glucose meter. Always carefully follow your doctor's instructions about how to treat your low blood sugar. Learn what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. Teach friends, co-workers, and family members what they can do to help if you have low blood sugar.
Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
This medicine is only part of a complete program for controlling diabetes. You can also help yourself through diet, exercise, and checking your blood sugar.