Novolin R

Generic Name: insulin regular (IN-su-lin)
Brand Name: Examples include Humulin R and Novolin R

Novolin R is used for:

Treating diabetes mellitus.

Novolin R is a fast-acting form of the hormone insulin. It works by helping your body to use sugar properly. This lowers the amount of glucose in the blood, which helps to treat diabetes.

Do NOT use Novolin R if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Novolin R
  • you are having an episode of low blood sugar

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Prediabetes - Am I at Risk?

Before using Novolin R:

Some medical conditions may interact with Novolin R. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you drink alcoholic beverages or smoke
  • if you have heart problems (eg, heart failure); kidney or liver problems; nerve problems; adrenal, pituitary, or thyroid problems; eye problems caused by diabetes; or diabetic ketoacidosis
  • if you use 3 or more insulin injections per day
  • if you are fasting or you do not eat regularly, have high blood sodium levels, or are on a low-salt (sodium) diet

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Novolin R. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), clonidine, guanethidine, lithium, or reserpine because they may increase the risk of high or low blood sugar or may hide the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar, if it occurs
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, enalapril), disopyramide, fenfluramine, fibrates (eg, clofibrate, gemfibrozil), fluoxetine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, phenelzine), oral medicines for diabetes (eg, glipizide, metformin, nateglinide), pentamidine, pramlintide, propoxyphene, salicylates (eg, aspirin), somatostatin analogs (eg, octreotide), or sulfonamide antibiotics (eg, sulfamethoxazole) because the risk of low blood sugar may be increased
  • Thiazolidinediones (eg, pioglitazone, rosiglitazone) because the risk of heart failure may be increased
  • Atypical antipsychotics (eg, olanzapine), corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), danazol, diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), estrogen, hormonal contraceptives (eg, birth control pills), isoniazid, niacin, phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), progesterones (eg, medroxyprogesterone), somatropin, sympathomimetics (eg, albuterol, epinephrine, terbutaline), or thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine) because they may decrease Novolin R's effectiveness, resulting in high blood sugar

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Novolin R may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Novolin R:

Use Novolin R as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Novolin R. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Use Novolin R within 30 minutes before a meal, as directed by your doctor.
  • If you will be using Novolin R at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Novolin R. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Certain brands of Novolin R should not be used in an insulin pump unless your doctor tells you otherwise. If you will be using an insulin pump, check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if your brand may be used in a pump.
  • If you are using an insulin pump, do NOT dilute Novolin R or mix it with any other type of insulin.
  • Novolin R should be clear and colorless. Do not use Novolin R if it contains particles; is cloudy, thickened, or discolored; or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Do not mix Novolin R with another insulin unless your doctor tells you to.
  • If you are mixing Novolin R with another insulin, draw Novolin R into the syringe first. Inject the dose immediately after mixing, as directed by your doctor.
  • Use the proper technique taught to you by your doctor. Inject deep under the skin, NOT into muscle or a vein.
  • Injection sites within an injection area (eg, abdomen, buttocks, thigh, upper arm) must be rotated from one injection to the next.
  • Be sure you have purchased the correct insulin. Insulin comes in a variety of containers, including vials, cartridges, and pens. Make sure that you understand how to properly measure and prepare your dose. If you have any questions about measuring and preparing your dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for information.
  • Novolin R begins lowering blood sugar within 30 minutes after an injection. The effect usually lasts from 4 to 12 hours.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • It is very important to follow your insulin regimen exactly. Do NOT miss any doses. Ask your doctor for specific instructions to follow in case you ever miss a dose of insulin.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Novolin R.

Important safety information:

  • Drowsiness, dizziness, light-headedness, or blurred vision may occur while you use Novolin R. These effects may be worse if you use it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Novolin R with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol without discussing it with your doctor. Drinking alcohol may increase the risk of developing high or low blood sugar.
  • Do NOT use more than the recommended dose, use Novolin R more often than prescribed, or change the type or dose of insulin you are using without checking with your doctor.
  • Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision. Changes in purity, strength, brand (manufacturer), type (regular, NPH, lente), species (beef, pork, beef-pork, human), and/or method of manufacture may require a change in dose.
  • Illness, especially with nausea and vomiting, may cause your insulin requirements to change. Even if you are not eating, you still require insulin. You and your doctor should establish a sick-day plan to use in case of illness. When you are sick, test your blood/urine frequently and call your doctor as instructed.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Novolin R before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • If you will be traveling across time zones, consult your doctor concerning adjustments in your insulin schedule.
  • Carry an ID card at all times that says you have diabetes.
  • An insulin reaction resulting from low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) may occur if you take too much insulin, skip a meal, or exercise too much. Low blood sugar may make you anxious, sweaty, weak, dizzy, drowsy, or faint. It may also make your heart beat faster; make your vision change; give you a headache, chills, or tremors; or make you hungrier. It is a good idea to carry a reliable source of glucose (eg, tablets or gel) to treat low blood sugar. If this is not available, you should eat or drink a quick source of sugar like table sugar, honey, candy, orange juice, or nondiet soda. This will raise your blood sugar level quickly. Tell your doctor right away if this happens. To prevent low blood sugar, eat meals at the same time each day and do not skip meals.
  • Developing a fever or infection, eating significantly more than prescribed, or missing your dose of insulin may cause high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have a fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell you doctor right away.
  • Check with your doctor if you notice a depression in the skin or skin thickening at the injection site. You may need to change your injection technique.
  • Proper diet, regular exercise, and regular testing of blood sugar are important for best results when using Novolin R.
  • LAB TESTS, including fasting blood glucose levels and hemoglobin A1c, may be performed while you use Novolin R. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Novolin R with caution in the ELDERLY and in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially low blood sugar. If low blood sugar occurs, it may be more difficult to recognize in elderly patients.
  • Novolin R should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Novolin R while you are pregnant. It is not known if Novolin R is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Novolin R, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Novolin R:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Mild itching, pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; mild weight gain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; wheezing; muscle pain); changes in vision; chills; confusion; dizziness; drowsiness; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; headache; loss of consciousness; mood changes; muscle weakness or cramping; painful burning, numbness, or tingling; seizures; shortness of breath; slurred speech; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; tremor; trouble breathing; trouble concentrating; unusual hunger; unusual sweating; unusual or persistent weight gain; weakness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include chills; dizziness; drowsiness; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; headache; loss of consciousness; nervousness; seizures; shakiness; sweating; tremor; vision changes; weakness.

Proper storage of Novolin R:

Store new (unopened) vials in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Do not use Novolin R if it has been frozen. Certain brands of Novolin R may be stored at room temperature below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) for up to 6 weeks (42 days), if refrigeration is not possible. Check with your pharmacist to see if your brand can be stored at room temperature. Keep Novolin R in the carton to protect from light.

Store used (open) vials as directed in the extra patient leaflet or by your health care provider. Check with your pharmacist to see how long unrefrigerated or opened vials may be used. Store away from heat and light. If Novolin R has been frozen or overheated, throw it away.

Do not leave Novolin R in a car on a warm or sunny day. Do not use Novolin R after the expiration date stamped on the label. Keep Novolin R, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. If you are using Novolin R in an insulin pump or if Novolin R has been mixed with other medicines or diluted, you may need to store it differently. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider how to store Novolin R.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Novolin R, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Novolin R is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Novolin R or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Novolin R. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Novolin R. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Novolin R.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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