Insulin nph (By injection)
Insulin Human Isophane (NPH) (IN-su-lin HUE-man EYE-soe-fane (NPH))
HumuLIN N (NPH), HumuLIN N (NPH) Kwikpen, NovoLIN N (NPH)
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- Your healthcare provider will work with you to personalize your dose and treatment based on your insulin needs and lifestyle. You will be taught how to give yourself the injections. Make sure you understand all instructions. Ask the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you have questions.
- Always double-check both the concentration (strength) of your insulin and your dose. Concentration and dose are not the same. The dose is how many units of insulin you will use. The concentration tells how many units of insulin are in each milliliter (mL), such as 100 units/mL (U-100), but this does not mean you will use 100 units at a time.
- Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. 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.
- Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine. If you use a syringe, use only the kind that is made for insulin injections. Some insulin must be given with a specific type of syringe or needle. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure which one to use.
- Always check the label before use, to make sure you have the correct type of insulin. Do not change the brand, type, or concentration unless your doctor tells you to. If you use a pump or other device, make sure the insulin is made for that device.
- The insulin should look cloudy after you mix it. Do not use it if it has particles floating in it.
- Unopened medicine:
- Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Never use insulin that has been frozen.
- If you must store the insulin at room temperature, the vial will be good for only 31 days and the KwikPen will be good for only 14 days.
- Opened medicine:
- Vial: Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Do not freeze. Throw away the vial 31 days after you open it, even if there is still insulin in it.
- KwikPen: Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate. Throw away the pen 14 days after you open it, even if there is still insulin in it.
- Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Some medicines can change the amount of insulin you need to use and make it harder for you to control your diabetes. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, or heart failure.
- This medicine may cause the following problems:
- Low blood sugar or low potassium levels in the blood
- Fluid retention or heart failure (when used together with a thiazolidinedione [TZD] medicine)
- Never share insulin pens or needles with anyone. Sharing these can pass hepatitis viruses, HIV, and other illnesses from one person to another.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, uneven heartbeat
- Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet, trouble breathing, tiredness
- Shaking, trembling, sweating, fast or pounding heartbeat, lightheadedness, hunger, confusion
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Redness, pain, itching, swelling, or skin changes where the shot is given
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last reviewed on 10/4/2017
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