Humulin R U-500

Generic Name: Insulin, Human Regular

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Humulin R U-500 is used to control high blood sugar in people with diabetes.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Your body needs insulin to turn sugar into energy. Diabetes develops when your body does not make enough insulin or does not properly use the insulin it makes. Humulin R U-500 may help control your blood sugar levels by allowing blood sugar to move from your bloodstream into your cells for energy.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Lowering your blood sugar to a normal level may prevent or delay potential complications associated with diabetes, such as blindness, kidney failure, or heart problems. Humulin R U-500 is helpful in treating diabetes for people who require daily insulin doses of more than 200 units, since a large dose may be given without the need for multiple injections.

    When: Humulin R U-500 starts working 30 minutes after injection and the effects may last up to 24 hours.

    How do I know it is working?

    Check your blood sugar regularly and as your healthcare provider tells you to. Your healthcare provider will also do regular blood tests to measure your blood sugar levels and your hemoglobin A1C (measures your average blood sugar levels over a 2- to 3-month period). Stay on your prescribed diet and exercise program, as this will also affect the results of your blood tests.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: low blood sugar, injection-site reactions (including redness, pain, itching, hives, or swelling).

    Symptoms of low blood sugar include: anxiety, restlessness, trouble concentrating, changes in your personality or mood, blurred vision, dizziness, shakiness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, nightmares or trouble sleeping, sweating, irritability, headache, slurred speech, fast heartbeat, unsteady walking, or tingling in your hands, feet, lips, or tongue.

    Less common side effects may include: low potassium levels in your blood, weight gain, swelling of your hands and feet, skin thickening at the injection-site.

    Serious allergic reactions with symptoms such as a rash all over your body, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, fast heartbeat, sweating, or lightheadedness.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not use Humulin R U-500 if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Humulin R U-500. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or liver problems, are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The usual dose is given 2-3 times a day before meals. Your healthcare provider will adjust your dose according to your individual response to the medication and your blood sugar levels.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Use Humulin R U-500 exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change the amount of Humulin R U-500 you inject or stop using it without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Use the proper injection technique taught to you by your healthcare provider. Read the Patient Information that comes with your medicine for detailed instructions.

    Inject Humulin R U-500 under the skin of your abdomen (stomach area), upper arm, or upper leg. Never inject it into a vein or muscle.

    You should eat a meal within 30 minutes of injecting this medication.

    Change your injection site each time you inject Humulin R U-500 to reduce the chance of getting an injection-site reaction.

    There are no special syringes to measure Humulin R U-500. It is important that you use only the syringes that your healthcare provider tells you to use.

    Humulin R U-500 should look clear and colorless. Do not use it if it does not look clear and colorless, or if it has particles in it.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drink alcohol while you are using Humulin R U-500. Alcohol can affect your blood sugar.

    Do not drive or operate machinery. You may have trouble paying attention or reacting if you have low blood sugar.

    Do not mix Humulin R U-500 with other insulins. It will not work as intended and you may lose control of your blood sugar levels.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Humulin R U-500 is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Humulin R U-500 may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Humulin R U-500 during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    It is very important to follow your insulin regimen exactly as prescribed. Do not miss any doses. Ask your healthcare provider for specific instructions to follow in case you ever miss a dose of insulin.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store unopened Humulin R U-500 in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

    After opening Humulin R U-500, store the vials in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 31 days. Keep away from heat and direct sunlight. Throw away any opened vial after 31 days of use, even if there is insulin left in the vial.