Humulin R

Lowers blood sugar in patients with diabetes. Your dose will depend on your meal times and eating habits.

Humulin R Overview

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Humulin R is an injectable medication used to control hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in patients with diabetes mellitus.

Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the pancreas. Humulin R is in a class of medications called hormones. Humulin R  is used to take the place of insulin that is normally produced by the body. It works by helping move sugar from the blood into other body tissues where it is used for energy. It also stops the liver from producing more sugar. 

This medication comes as an injection. The dose and frequency of administration will depend on many factors, including diet, lifestyle, and other conditions you have.

The most common side effect of Humulin R is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).                                                                                  

Hypoglycemia related to insulin can also cause dizziness, drowsiness, and blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

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  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hyperkalemia
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Humulin R Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Humulin R

Humulin R is a medication used to control hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in patients with diabetes mellitus.

Humulin R is typically administered several times daily, depending on your condition and meal times.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Humulin R Drug Class

Humulin R is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Humulin R

Serious side effects have been reported with Humulin R. See the “Insulin (human) Precautions” section.

The most common side effect of Humulin R is hypoglycemia, which can include the following symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitation
  • Tremor
  • Hunger
  • Restlessness
  • Tingling in the hands, feet, lips, or tongue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Decreased concentration
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Depressed mood
  • Irritability
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Unsteady movement
  • Personality changes

This is not a complete list of Humulin R side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Humulin R Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Many medicines alter glucose metabolism and may require insulin dose adjustment or close monitoring. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and trandolapril (Mavik)
  • Beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Normodyne), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), and propranolol (Inderal)
  • Certain cholesterol-lowering medications such as fenofibrate (Antara, Lofibra, TriCor, Triglide), gemfibrozil (Lopid), and niacin (Niacor, Niaspan, in Advicor)
  • Clonidine (Catapres, Catapres-TTS, in Clorpres)
  • Danazol
  • Digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxin)
  • Disopyramide (Norpace, Norpace CR)
  • Diuretics
  • Fuoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, in Symbyax)
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid)
  • Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
  • Medications for asthma and colds
  • Medications for mental illness
  • Medications for nausea
  • Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, including isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl) and Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Octreotide (Sandostatin)
  • Oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
  • Oral medications for diabetes such as pioglitazone (Actos, in Actoplus Met and others) and rosiglitazone (Avandia, in Avandamet and others)
  • Oral steroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Deltasone); Pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam)
  • Reserpine
  • Salicylate pain relievers such as aspirin, choline magnesium trisalicylate (Tricosal, Trilisate), choline salicylate (Arthropan), diflunisal (Dolobid), magnesium salicylate (Doan's, others), and salsalate (Argesic, Disalcid, Salgesic)
  • Somatropin (Nutropin, Serostim, others)
  • Sulfa antibiotics
  • Thyroid medications

This is not a complete list of Humulin R drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Humulin R Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with injectable Humulin R including the following:

Hypoglycemia. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of hypoglycemia.

  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitation
  • Tremor
  • Hunger
  • Restlessness
  • Tingling in the hands, feet, lips, or tongue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Decreased concentration
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Depressed mood
  • Irritability
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Unsteady movement
  • Personality changes
  • Peripheral edema
  • Weight gain
  • Local redness and itching at the site of injection

Hypoglycemia related to insulin can also cause dizziness, drowsiness, and blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Humulin R affects you.

Do not take Humulin R if you:

  • are allergic to Humulin R or to any of its ingredients
  • are experiencing hypoglycemia

Humulin R Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Humulin R, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking Humulin R, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to insulin (human) or to any of its ingredients
  • have nerve damage related to diabetes mellitus
  • have heart failure or other heart disease
  • have liver disease
  • have kidney disease
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Humulin R and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Insulin falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans or animals with Humulin R. Extensive literature demonstrates that blood glucose control is important for mother and baby during pregnancy.

Humulin R and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Humulin R is naturally present in human breast milk. No adverse reactions have been associated with infant exposure to insulin in human breast milk. Glucose control supports lactation for nursing mothers.

Humulin R Usage

Use Humulin R exactly as directed by your health care provider.

Do not share your syringes with other people, even if the needle has been changed. You may give other people a serious infection or get a serious infection from them.

Correct Syringe Type

Doses of insulin are measured in units. U-100 insulin contains 100 units/mL (1 mL=1 cc). With Humulin R, it is important to use a syringe that is marked for U-100 insulin preparations. Failure to use the proper syringe can lead to a mistake in dosage, causing serious problems for you, such as a blood glucose level that is too low or too high. 

Syringe Use

To help avoid contamination and possible infection, follow these instructions exactly. 

Disposable syringes and needles should be used only once and then discarded by placing the used needle in a puncture-resistant disposable container. Properly dispose of the puncture-resistant container as directed by your Health Care Professional. 

Preparing the Dose

  1. Wash your hands. 
  2. Inspect the insulin. Humulin R solution should look clear and colorless. Do not use Humulin R if it appears cloudy, thickened, or slightly colored, or if you see particles in the solution. Do not use Humulin R if you notice anything unusual in its appearance. 
  3. If using a new Humulin R bottle, flip off the plastic protective cap, but do not remove the stopper. Wipe the top of the bottle with an alcohol swab. 
  4. If you are mixing insulins, refer to the “Mixing Humulin R with Longer-Acting Human Insulins” section below. 
  5. Always use a new syringe or needle for each injection to help ensure sterility and prevent blocked needles. Do not reuse or share your syringes or needles with other people. You may give other people a serious infection or get a serious infection from them. 
  6. Draw an amount of air into the syringe that is equal to the Humulin R dose. Put the needle through rubber top of the Humulin R bottle and inject the air into the bottle. 
  7. Turn the Humulin R bottle and syringe upside down. Hold the bottle and syringe firmly in one hand. 
  8. Making sure the tip of the needle is in the Humulin R solution, withdraw the correct dose of Humulin R into the syringe. 
  9. Before removing the needle from the Humulin R bottle, check the syringe for air bubbles. If bubbles are present, hold the syringe straight up and tap its side until the bubbles float to the top. Push the bubbles out with the plunger and then withdraw the correct dose. 
  10. Remove the needle from the bottle and lay the syringe down so that the needle does not touch anything. 
  11. If you do not need to mix your Humulin R with a longer-acting insulin, go to the “Injection Instructions” section below and follow the directions. 

Mixing Humulin R with Longer-Acting Human Insulins

  1. Humulin R should be mixed with longer-acting human insulins only on the advice of your doctor. 
  2. Draw an amount of air into the syringe that is equal to the amount of longer-acting insulin you are taking. Insert the needle into the longer-acting insulin bottle and inject the air. Withdraw the needle. 
  3. Draw an amount of air into the syringe that is equal to the amount of Humulin R you are taking. Insert the needle into the Humulin R bottle and inject the air, but do not withdraw the needle. 
  4. Turn the Humulin R bottle and syringe upside down. 
  5. Making sure the tip of the needle is in the Humulin R solution, withdraw the correct dose of Humulin R into the syringe. 
  6. Before removing the needle from the Humulin R bottle, check the syringe for air bubbles. If bubbles are present, hold the syringe straight up and tap its side until the bubbles float to the top. Push the bubbles out with the plunger and then withdraw the correct dose. 
  7. Remove the syringe with the needle from the Humulin R bottle and insert it into the longer-acting insulin bottle. Turn the longer-acting insulin bottle and syringe upside down. Hold the bottle and syringe firmly in one hand and shake gently. Making sure the tip of the needle is in the longer-acting insulin, withdraw the correct dose of longer-acting insulin. 
  8. Remove the needle from the bottle and lay the syringe down so that the needle does not touch anything. 
  9. Follow the directions under “Injection Instructions” section below. 

Follow your doctor's instructions on whether to mix your insulins ahead of time or just before giving your injection. It is important to be consistent in your method. 

Syringes from different manufacturers may vary in the amount of space between the bottom line and the needle. Because of this, do not change: 

  • the sequence of mixing, or 
  • the model and brand of syringe or needle that your doctor has prescribed. 

Injection Instructions

  1. To avoid tissue damage, choose a site for each injection that is at least 1/2 inch from the previous injection site. The usual sites of injection are abdomen, thighs, and arms. 
  2. Cleanse the skin with alcohol where the injection is to be made. 
  3. With one hand, stabilize the skin by spreading it or pinching up a large area. 
  4. Insert the needle as instructed by your doctor. 
  5. Push the plunger in as far as it will go. 
  6. Pull the needle out and apply gentle pressure over the injection site for several seconds. Do not rub the area.
  7. Do not reuse or share your syringes or needles with other people. You may give other people a serious infection or get a serious infection from them. Place used syringes and needles in a puncture-resistant disposable container and properly dispose of the puncture-resistant container as directed by your Health Care Professional.

Humulin R Dosage

Use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your level of physical activity
  • your meal times and eating habits

For most patients, the average range of total daily insulin requirement for maintenance therapy lies between 0.5 and 1 unit/kg/day. In situations of insulin resistance, e.g. during puberty or due to obesity, the daily insulin requirement may be substantially higher. Initial dosages for patients with diabetes are often lower, e.g., 0.2 to 0.4 units/kg/day.

Humulin R Overdose

If you take too much Humulin R, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

Unopened vials of Humulin R should be stored in the refrigerator.

Opened bottles of Humulin R may be stored out of the refrigerator, as long as it is kept cool (below 86°F) and away from heat and light. Opened vials must be discarded after 31 days.