What is Humulin N?
Humalin N (insulin isophane) is a man-made form of insulin that helps adults and children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes better manage blood sugar levels.
Insulin isophane is an intermediate-acting insulin that begins working within 2-4 hours after administration, peaks in 4-12 hours and continues to work up to 12-18 hours.
Humulin N is available in both Humulin N U-100 vials and as the prefilled Humilin N KwikPen.
Humulin N is injected underneath the skin (subcutaneously).
Before taking Humulin, be sure to tell your doctor if:
- You have had heart, liver or kidney disease
- Have low levels of potassium (hypokalemia)
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Taking prescription or over-the-counter medications or supplements
If you are pregnant, it’s important to control your diabetes as having high blood sugar can cause complications for both you and the baby.
Humulin N should be part of a treatment program along with a proper diet, exercises, weight control and blood sugar testing. Follow your doctors instructions carefully.
Follow directions according to the prescription label and medical direction. Familiarize yourself with instruction sheets and medical guides. Consult your doctor if you have any questions.
It is important to use a syringe marked for U-100 insulin preparations for the Humulin N U-100 vials.
Humulin N is injected under the skin. Your doctor or nurse should instruct you how to properly administer the medication yourself.
When injecting insulin, you should rotate injection sites. Do not inject in the same place twice in a row.
Do not inject into skin that is tender, damaged, bruised, scaly, pitted, thickened or has a scar or lump.
Humulin N should appear cloudy after mixing. Do not use if the mixture appears clear or has particles inside. If this is the case, contact your pharmacist for new medication.
Never share syringes or injection pens with others as this can lead to spreading infections and diseases from one person to another.
Storing Humulin N
Keep this medication in its original packaging away from heat or light.
Unless you are ready to inject, do not draw insulin from the vial.
Do not store near cooling element or freeze. If insulin has been previously frozen, throw it out.
Store insulin at room temperature or in a refrigerator and use until expiration date. Do not refrigerate an injection pen that is in use.
Throw away any medication that is not used past the expiry date.
Used needles and syringes should go into a puncture-proof “sharps” container. Your pharmacist should instruct you on how to properly dispose of insulin pens and needles.
Wear or carry medical identification that lets others know you are diabetic.
This is not a complete list of side effects related to Humulin N but include:
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Weight gain
- Swelling of hands and feet
- Mild skin rash and itching
- Hollowing of skin or thickening at site of injection
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is the most common side effect with insulin medication such as Humulin N. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
- pale skin
- trouble concentrating
- feeling shaky
- seizure (convulsions)
- trouble speaking
- loss of consciousness
- muscle weakness
- numbness or tingling in mouth
- blurred vision
To avoid experiencing these symptoms, carry a piece of non-diabetic candy, glucose tablet or sugary drink (not diet) in case you blood sugar levels drop.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:
- allergic reaction over entire body
- trouble breathing
- feeling you might pass out
- swelling of tongue and throat
- low potassium (hyperkalemia)
- swelling in hands and feet
- fluid retention
Warnings & Precautions
If you hare having an episode of low blood sugar you should suspend use of Humulin N and consult with your doctor.
Do not inject directly into a vein or muscle.
Do not use if the insulin substance remains at the bottom or contains clumps at the bottom of the vial after mixing.
Do not share pens and needles with others even if the needle has been changed. These should be single-patient only and sharing pens and needles can lead to spreading of infection and disease.
If you overdose on your insulin contact medical attention immediately as this can lead to life-threatening hypoglycemia.
Get your Humulin N prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Do not give Humulin to a child unless under the direction of a doctor.
Humulin N should not be administered using an insulin pump or mixed with other insulin.
Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency kit in case you experience severe hypoglycemia which may affect your eating habits. Instruct your family and friends how to inject the emergency injection kit in case of emergency.
Be aware of sings of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) that can cause increased thirst and urination.
Speak to your doctor about adjusting your medication schedule as blood sugar levels can be affected by surgery, illness, exercise, stress, skipping meals and alcohol.
If you can, avoid drinking as it can lower blood sugar levels and may interfere with your diabetes treatment.
If you miss a dose and it is almost time for your next dose, do not double up. Continue with your regular dosage.