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Brand & Generic Names

Humulin BR NPH Insulin
Humulin L Protamine Zinc & Iletin
Humulin N Protamine Zinc & Iletin I
Humulin R Protamine Zinc & Iletin II
Humulin U PZI
Insulatard NPH Regular
Insulatard NPH Human Regular (Concentrated)
Lente Iletin
Lente Iletin I Regular (Concentrated)
Lente Iletin II Iletin II, U-500
Lente Insulin Regular Iletin I
Mixtard Regular Iletin II
Mixtard Human Regular Insulin
Novolin 70/30 Semilente
Novolin L Semilente Iletin
Novolin N Semilente Iletin I
Novolin R Ultralente
NPH Ultralente Iletin I
NPH Iletin I Velosulin
NPH Iletin II Velosulin Human

Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? No
  • Available as generic? No
  • Drug class: Antidiabetic


    Controls diabetes, a complex metabolic disorder, in which the body does not manufacture insulin.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Must be taken by injection under the skin. Use disposable, sterile needles. Rotate injection sites.

When to take:
At the same time each day.

If you forget a dose:
Take as soon as you remember. Wait at least 4 hours for next dose. Resume regular schedule.

What drug does:
Facilitates passage of blood sugar through cell membranes so sugar is usable.

Time lapse before drug works:
30 minutes to 8 hours, depending on type of insulin used.

Don't take with:
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)--Anxiety; chills, cold sweats, pale skin; drowsiness; excess hunger; headache; nausea; nervousness; fast heartbeat; shakiness; unusual tiredness or weakness.


  • Eat some type of sugar immediately, such as orange juice, honey, sugar cubes, crackers, sandwich.
  • If patient loses consciousness, give glucagon if you have it and know how to use it.
  • Otherwise, dial 0 (operator) or 911 (emergency) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • See EMERGENCY Information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    Hives, rash, intense Seek emergency itching, faintness treatment immediately. soon after a dose (anaphylaxis).


    Symptoms of low blood sugar--Nervousness, hunger (excessive), cold sweats, rapid pulse, anxiety, cold skin, chills, confusion, concentration loss, drowsiness, headache, nausea, weakness, shakiness, vision changes.


  • Hives.
  • Swelling, redness, itch at injection site.


    None expected.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:

  • Your diagnosis and dose schedule is not established.
  • You don't know how to deal with overdose emergencies.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to insulin.
  • If you take MAO inhibitors.
  • If you have liver or kidney disease or low thyroid function.

Over age 60:
Guard against hypoglycemia. Repeated episodes can cause permanent confusion and abnormal behavior.

Possible drug benefits outweigh risk to unborn child. Adhere rigidly to diabetes treatment program.

No problems expected. Consult doctor.

Infants & children:
Use only under medical supervision.

Prolonged use:
Talk to your doctor about the need for follow-up medical examinations or laboratory studies to check blood sugar, serum potassium, urine.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
No problems expected after dose is established.

Don't discontinue without doctor's advice until you complete prescribed dose, even though symptoms diminish or disappear.


  • Diet and exercise affect how much insulin you need. Work with your doctor to determine accurate dose.
  • Notify your doctor if you skip a dose, overeat, have fever or infection.
  • Notify doctor if you develop symptoms of high blood sugar: drowsiness, dry skin, orange fruit-like odor to breath, increased urination, appetite loss, unusual thirst.
  • Never freeze insulin.
  • May interfere with the accuracy of some medical tests.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
Anticonvulsants, Decreased insulin
hydantoin* effect.
Antidiabetics*, Increased antibiabetic
oral effect.
Beta-adrenergic Possible increased difficulty
blockers* in regulating blood sugar levels.
Bismuth Increased insulin effect. May
subsalicylate require dosage adjustment.
Carteolol Hypoglycemic effects may be
Contraceptives*, Decreased insulin
oral effect.
Cortisone drugs* Decreased insulin effect.
Diuretics* Decreased insulin effect.
Furosemide Decreased insulin effect.
MAO inhibitors* Increased insulin effect.
Nicotine gum Increased insulin
and other smoking effect.
Oxyphenbutazone Increased insulin effect.
Phenylbutazone Increased insulin effect.
Salicylates* Increased insulin effect.
Smoking deterrents May require insulin dosage adjustment.
Sotalol Hypoglycemic effects may be
Sulfa drugs* Increased insulin effect.
Tetracyclines* Increased insulin effect.
Thyroid hormones* Decreased insulin effect.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Increased insulin effect. May cause
hypoglycemia and brain damage.
Beverages: None expected.
Cocaine: May cause brain damage.
Foods: None expected.
Marijuana: Possible increase in blood sugar.
Tobacco: None expected.

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