Novolin

Generic Name: Insulin, Human Regular

  • What is Novolin?

    Novolin is an insulin used to control blood sugar in people with diabetes. It comes in three forms: Novolin R, Novolin N, and Novolin 70/30.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Novolin?

    To avoid possible transmission of disease, the PenFill cartridge should not be shared. Before use, check that the PenFill cartridge is intact and has no cracks. Do not use it if any damage is visible, or if the part of the rubber piston that you see is wider than the white bar code band.

    It is important to check your blood sugar regularly and to record the results for review with your doctor or nurse educator. If you have an acute (short-term) illness, especially with vomiting or fever, continue taking your insulin. If possible, stay on your regular diet. If you have trouble eating, drink fruit juices, regular soft drinks, or clear soups; if you can, eat small amounts of bland foods. If you have severe and prolonged vomiting, seek emergency medical care.

    Low blood sugar can happen if you take too much insulin, miss or delay a meal, exercise more than usual, or work too hard without eating, or become ill (especially with vomiting and fever).

    You should always carry identification that states that you have diabetes.

  • Who should not take Novolin?

    Do not use Novolin if you are sensitive to or allergic to any of its ingredients. Do not take this medication if your blood sugar is low.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Novolin?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Novolin. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history.

  • What is the usual dosage?

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

    Adults and children: Your doctor will determine your correct dose based on the severity of your condition and your lifestyle.

  • How should I take Novolin?

    Preparing the Injection: Follow the directions in the instruction manual for your insulin delivery device. PenFill cartridges may contain a small amount of air bubbles. To prevent an injection of air and to make certain a full dose of insulin is injected, an air shot must be done before each injection. Directions for performing an air shot are provided in your insulin delivery device instruction manual.

    Giving the Injection: The following areas are suitable for insulin injection: thighs, upper arms, buttocks, and abdomen. Do not change areas without consulting your doctor. The actual point of injection should be changed each time; injection sites should be about an inch apart.

    The injection site should be clean and dry. Pinch up the skin area to be injected and hold it firmly. Hold the device like a pencil and push the needle quickly and firmly into the pinched-up area. Release the skin and depress the push-button all the way in to inject insulin beneath the skin. After the injection, the needle should remain under the skin for at least 6 seconds. Keep the push button fully depressed until the needle is withdrawn from the skin. This will ensure that the full dose has been injected.

    Do not inject into a muscle unless your doctor has advised it. You should never inject insulin into a vein.

    Remove the needle. If slight bleeding occurs, press lightly with a dry cotton swab for a few seconds; do not rub.

  • What should I avoid while taking Novolin?

    Avoid injecting Novolin into areas other than the ones indicated by your doctor. Also, avoid injecting in the same area twice. The actual injection points should be changed each time, and should be at least 1 inch apart.

    Avoid alcohol. Alcohol, including beer and wine, may affect your blood sugar when you take Novolin.

    Avoid driving and operating machinery. You may have difficulty concentrating or reacting if you have low blood sugar. Be careful when you drive a car or operate machinery. Ask your doctor if it is alright to drive if you often have low blood sugar, or no warning signs of low blood sugar.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Novolin?

    If Novolin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Novolin with any of the following: ACE inhibitors such as the blood pressure medications benazepril and quinapril, appetite suppressants such as diethylpropion, asparaginase, aspirin, beta-blocking blood pressure medicines such as atenolol and metoprolol, diazoxide, diuretics (water pills) such as furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide, epinephrine, estrogens, growth hormone, MAO inhibitors (drugs such as the antidepressants phenelzine and tranylcypromine), nicotinic acid, octreotide, birth control pills, oral drugs for diabetes such as chlorpropamide and tolbutamide, quinidine, quinine, steroid medications such as prednisone, and sulfa antibiotics such as sulfamethoxazole.

  • What are the possible side effects of Novolin?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), serious allergic reactions (whole body reaction), reactions at the injection site (local allergic reaction), skin thickening or pits at the injection site, swelling of hands and feet, vision changes, low potassium in the blood

    Although rare, if after injecting insulin you experience rash all over the body, shortness of breath, fast pulse, sweating, and low blood pressure, seek immediate emergency medical care.

  • Can I receive Novolin if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    You can take Novolin if you are pregnant. However, it is particularly important to maintain good control of your diabetes during pregnancy. Special attention must be paid to your diet, exercise and insulin regimens. If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, consult your physician or nurse educator.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Novolin?

    Contact your doctor for advice if you miss an insulin injection or a meal.

  • How should I store Novolin?

    All unopened insulin should be stored in a cold place, preferably in a refrigerator, but not in the freezer. Do not let it freeze. Do not use it if it has been frozen. If refrigeration is not possible, the unopened vials may be kept at room temperature for up to 6 weeks (42 days).

    Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about storing your medication.

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I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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