June 23, 2022

How it is used, side effects and more

If you are looking for treatment options for diabetes, your doctor may suggest Humulin N (human isophane insulin).

Humulin N is an over-the-counter medicine used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults and children. The drug helps manage blood sugar. To learn more about diabetes, see “What is diabetes?” »Section below.

The active ingredient in Humulin N is human insulin isophane, which is a biological. Humulin N belongs to a group of medicines called intermediate-acting insulins.

Humulin N comes as a suspension (a type of liquid mixture). It is available in single-use pre-filled vials and pen injectors called KwikPens. You will give yourself Humulin N as an injection under your skin.

This article provides details about Humulin N and its use in the treatment of diabetes. For more information about Humulin N, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Your doctor will explain how you should use Humulin N. He will also tell you how much to use and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Humulin N comes as a suspension (a type of liquid mixture). It is available in two forms:

What is the typical dosage for Humulin N?

The typical dosage for Humulin N depends on a few factors. These include:

  • if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • the form of Humulin N you are using
  • your blood sugar level
  • your weight
  • your eating habits
  • when and how often you exercise
  • other medicines you are taking, including other types of insulin
  • other medical conditions you have

Your doctor will tell you exactly how much Humulin N to use for each dose.

How do you use Humulin N?

You will inject Humulin N under your skin. Your doctor will show you how to give yourself injections of Humulin N using insulin syringes or Kwikpen. You can inject it into the stomach, upper arm, thigh, or buttocks.

Be sure to inject Humulin N into a different area for each dose. For example, you can give each injection into your thigh, but be sure to use a different part of your thigh for each dose. This reduces your risk of reactions around your injection sites. (For details, see “What are the side effects of Humulin N?” Below.)

Detailed instructions on how to use Humulin N can be found in the prescribing information.

How often should I use Humulin N?

How often you use Humulin N may vary from person to person. Specifically, it depends on how often you need to use the medicine to help manage your blood sugar. You can inject Humulin N two or more times a day. But be sure to follow your doctor’s dosage instructions.

Using Humulin N for diabetes (its only approved use) may cause side effects in some people. These side effects can be mild or severe.

The lists below include some of the main side effects that have been reported in people using Humulin N. For information about other possible side effects of the medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. You can also read more about the Humulin N prescribing information.

What are the mild side effects of Humulin N?

Humulin N may cause mild side effects in some people.

Mild side effects that have been reported with Humulin N include:

  • swelling of the arms, feet, hands, or legs
  • reactions around your injection sites, such as itching, rash, and swelling
  • weight gain

In many cases, the mild side effects of the medication can be temporary. Some side effects can also be easily managed. But if the side effects last longer, or if they bother you or get worse, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

What are the serious side effects of Humulin N?

Serious side effects of Humulin N can occur. Hypoglycemia is the most common serious side effect of all insulins. This includes Humulin N.

Other serious side effects that have been reported with Humulin N include low level of potassium in the blood and an allergic reaction.

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any serious side effects while using Humulin N. If the side effects seem to be life threatening or if you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 or your emergency number immediately. local.

Read on for answers to some frequently asked questions about using Humulin N for diabetes.

Can I use Humulin N to treat my gestational diabetes?

Yes, Humulin N can be used to treat gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. The American Diabetes Association recommends insulins (such as Humulin N) to help manage blood sugar levels during pregnancy. This includes gestational diabetes.

If you have any questions about using Humulin N to treat gestational diabetes, talk to your doctor. They can suggest the best treatment option for your condition.

What type of insulin is Humulin N?

Humulin N is an intermediate-acting insulin. It is considered “intermediate-acting” because it takes about 4 hours to start working after it is injected.

Humulin N is not a type of regular insulin. Regular insulins are usually short-acting insulins, which take about 30 minutes to start working after they are injected. Your pharmacist or doctor can give you details on this, if you wish.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood sugar levels are too high.

Your body uses blood sugar as its main source of energy. Normally, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin to help cells in your body absorb blood sugar.

With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin. With type 2 diabetes, your pancreas makes enough insulin, but your body cannot use insulin effectively. Both conditions cause a high blood sugar.

Over time, high blood sugar can lead to serious problems. This includes heart disease and kidney disease.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Symptoms of diabetes can include:

Who can use Humulin N?

Humulin N can be used by adults and children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The medicine helps manage blood sugar.

Humulin N is used in adults and children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The medicine helps manage blood sugar.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood sugar levels are too high. Normally, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin to help cells in your body absorb blood sugar.

But with diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it does.

How does Humulin N work?

Humulin N helps manage your blood sugar. It works by adding or replacing the insulin that your body naturally produces.

Humulin N lowers your blood sugar level by:

  • help your muscle and fat cells absorb sugar from your blood
  • stop your liver from making more sugar in the blood
  • preventing your body from breaking down certain fats and proteins so that it can instead break down blood sugar

Before using Humulin N there is some important information to keep in mind. The drug may not be a safe option for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Some of them are mentioned below.

If any of the following medical conditions or other health factors apply to you, talk to your doctor before using Humulin N.

Humulin N is available over the counter. You can buy Humulin N without a prescription from your doctor. But keep in mind that your insurance plan may cover part of the cost of Humulin N if your doctor prescribes it for you.

The price of Humulin N depends on several other factors. These can include your treatment plan, your insurance plan, the pharmacy you use, and your location. You may also need to purchase other supplies, such as syringes and needles.

For an estimate of the cost of Humulin N, visit GoodRx.com.

Humulin N is a brand name biologic drug that is not available as a biosimilar. (Biosimilars are like generic drugs. But unlike generics, which are made for non-biologic drugs, biosimilars are made for biologic drugs.)

Talk to your doctor about the use of Humulin N for diabetes. They can help you determine if this might be right for you.

Here are some examples of questions you might want to ask your doctor:

  • Should I use Humulin N with diet and exercise to help manage my blood sugar?
  • How often should I check my blood sugar level while using Humulin N?
  • How will I know if Humulin N is working to treat my diabetes?

If you have type 2 diabetes and want helpful tips for managing your condition, sign up for Healthline’s diabetes newsletter.

Disclaimer: Healthline has done everything possible to ensure that all information is accurate, complete and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare practitioner. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medicine. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or possible side effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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