Humulin N: How it’s used to treat diabetes
If you’re looking at treatment options for diabetes, your doctor might suggest Humulin N (isophane insulin human).
Humulin N is a prescription and over-the-counter medication that’s used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults and children. The drug helps manage blood sugar levels. To learn more about diabetes, see the “What is diabetes?” section below.
The active ingredient in Humulin N is isophane insulin human, which is a
Humulin N comes as a suspension (a type of liquid mixture). It’s available in vials and single-use, prefilled injection pens called KwikPens. You’ll give yourself Humulin N as an injection under your skin.
The article gives information on the use of Humulin N. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the information about Humulin N.
“How much to use and how often will be explained by your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions.”
A suspension is a type of liquid mixture. It is available in two forms.
- vials for use with insulin syringes
- single-use, prefilled insulin pens called Humulin N KwikPens
What is the typical dosage for Humulin N?
The typical dosage for Humulin N depends on a few factors. These include:
- whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- You use the form of Humulin N.
- your blood sugar levels
- Your weight.
- Your eating habits.
- How often do you exercise?
- other medications you take, including other types of insulin
- You have other medical conditions.
Your doctor will tell you how much Humulin N to use.
How do you use Humulin N?
You’ll inject Humulin N under your skin. Your doctor will show you how to give yourself injections of Humulin N using insulin syringes or the Kwikpen. You can inject it into your belly, upper arm, thigh, or buttocks.
You should inject Humulin N into a different area each time. You can give each injection into your thigh, but you should use a different part of your thigh for each dose. This lowers your risk of reactions. The side effects of Humulin N are described in the section below.
Detailed instructions for how to use Humulin N can be found in the drug’s prescribing information.
How often should I use Humulin N?
It can vary from person to person. It depends on how often you need to use the drug. You could inject Humulin N more than once a day. Follow the instructions from your doctor.
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 drug, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also learn more from the Humulin N prescribing information.
What are Humulin N’s mild side effects?
Some people may experience mild side effects from humulin N.
There have been some mild side effects with Humulin N.
- swelling in your arms, feet, hands, or legs
- There are reactions around your injection sites.
- weight gain
Mild side effects from the drug can be temporary. Some side effects are easy to manage. If you have side effects that last for a long time, or if they become more severe, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
What are Humulin N’s serious side effects?
Serious side effects from Humulin N may occur. Low blood sugar 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 a low level of potassium in your blood and allergic reaction.
If you think you have a medical emergency, call the emergency number.
Studies have shown Humulin N is effective for managing blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association recommends intermediate-acting insulins, such as Humulin N, for use in treating diabetes.
If you have questions about how effective Humulin N is, you should talk to your doctor.
Read on for answers to a few 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 happens during pregnancy. The American Diabetes Association recommends insulins (such as Humulin N) to help manage blood sugar levels in pregnancy. This includes gestational diabetes.
If you have questions about using Humulin N, you should talk to your doctor. They can suggest the best treatment for your condition.
What kind of insulin is Humulin N?
Humulin N is an intermediate-acting insulin. It’s considered “intermediate-acting” because it takes about 4 hours to start working after it’s injected.
Humulin N isn’t a type of regular insulin. Regular insulins are typically short-acting insulins, which take about 30 minutes to start working after they’re injected. Your pharmacist or doctor can give you details about this, if you like.
Diabetes is a condition that happens when your blood sugar level is too high.
Your body uses blood sugar as its main source of energy. Normally, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin to help your body’s cells 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 can’t use the insulin effectively. Both conditions cause a high blood sugar level.
Over time, having a high blood sugar level can lead to severe problems. This includes heart disease and kidney disease.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
There are symptoms of diabetes.
- blurry vision
- fatigue is low energy
- increased thirst or hunger
- frequently urinating
- weight loss
Who can use Humulin N?
Humulin N is can be used by adults and children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The drug helps manage blood sugar levels.
Humulin N is used in adults and children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The drug helps manage blood sugar levels.
Diabetes is a condition that happens when your blood sugar level is too high. Normally, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin to help your body’s cells absorb blood sugar.
Your body can either make enough or not enoughinsulin, which is the main component of diabetes.
How does Humulin N work?
Your blood sugar levels can be managed with the help of humulin N. Adding or replacing theinsulin your body makes naturally is how it works.
Your blood sugar levels are lowered by:
- Your fat cells and muscle cells are helping to absorb sugar from your blood.
- keeping your liver from making more blood sugar
- Your body can break down certain fats and proteins if you prevent it.
There are some important information to keep in mind before you use Humulin N. If you have a medical condition that affects your health, the drug may not be a good option. Some of these are mentioned.
If you have any of the following medical conditions or other health factors, talk with your doctor before using Humulin N.
- if you have a low potassium level
- if you have a low blood sugar level
- if you take diabetes drugs known as thiazolidinediones (TZDs), such as:
- pioglitazone (Actos)
- rosiglitazone (Avandia)
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- if you’ve had an allergic reaction to the drug or any of its ingredients
Over-the-counter and prescription drugs like humulin N are available. You can get Humulin N without a prescription. If your doctor prescribes Humulin N, your insurance plan may cover some of the cost.
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 buy other supplies, such as syringes and needles.
Humulin N is a brand-name biologic drug that’s not available as a
Talk with your doctor about using Humulin N for diabetes. They can help determine if it might be a good fit for you.
Some questions you may want to ask your doctor.
- Should I use Humulin N along with diet and exercise to help manage my blood sugar levels?
- How often should I check my blood sugar levels?
- How will I know if Humulin N is helping me?
If you have type 2 diabetes and want helpful tips for managing your condition, sign up for Healthline’s diabetes newsletter.
Will I need to use Humulin N along with other diabetes medications to help manage my blood sugar levels?
This depends on your diabetes treatment plan. Along with Humulin N, your doctor may also recommend using a short-acting or rapid-acting insulin to help manage your blood sugar levels.
It’s also common to use insulin along with oral medications for diabetes. This combination can help manage your blood sugar levels better than a single medication. Your doctor can provide more information and answer questions you have about your diabetes treatment plan.
The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.