Novolin R

Generic Name: Insulin, Human Regular

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Novolin R is a short-acting insulin used to control 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. Novolin R 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. Novolin R works by covering your meal time insulin needs, when you blood sugar level rises quickly. Using mealtime insulin in combination with a long- or intermediate-acting insulin will help you to balance out your blood sugar throughout the day.

    When: Novolin R may start working about 30 minutes after you inject it and may continue working for up to 8 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 may 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 in your blood, swelling of your hands and feet, weight gain, 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 Novolin R if you are sensitive to or allergic to 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 Novolin R. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or liver problems, or 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 and children: Your healthcare provider will determine your correct dose based on the severity of your condition and your lifestyle.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Inject Novolin R exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change the amount of Novolin R you inject or stop using it without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Inject Novolin R 30 minutes before you eat. Inject it under the skin of your stomach area, upper arm, thigh, or buttocks. Never inject Novolin R into a muscle or vein.

    Change your injection site with each time you inject Novolin R to reduce the chance of getting an injection-site reaction.

    Only use Novolin R that is clear and colorless. Do not use Novolin R that is thick or cloudy.

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

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not mix Novolin R with any other insulins other than NPH in the same syringe and do not use Novolin R in an insulin pump.

    Do not drink alcohol while using Novolin R. Alcohol may affect your blood sugar.

    Do not drive or operate machinery if you have trouble paying attention or have slower reaction times if you have low blood sugar.

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

    If Novolin R is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Novolin R 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?

    You can use Novolin R 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 healthcare provider.

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

    It is very important to follow your insulin regimen exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. 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?

    All unopened insulin should be stored in a cold place, preferably in a refrigerator (not the freezer). 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).