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Insulin human isophane (NPH) (Injection)

Insulin Human Isophane (NPH) (IN-su-lin HUE-man EYE-soe-fane (NPH))

Treats diabetes.

Brand Name(s):

HumuLIN N, HumuLIN N Kwikpen, HumuLIN N Pen, NovoLIN N, Relion Novolin N

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to any type of insulin.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Your caregiver should work with you to determine the best times for you to use this insulin. This insulin works more slowly and lasts longer than regular insulin.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
  • When you get a new supply of insulin, check the label to be sure it is the correct type.
  • The insulin should look cloudy after you mix it. Do not use it if it has particles floating in it.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • Missed dose: Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
  • Store insulin in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Never use insulin that has been frozen. If you must store it at room temperature before you start using it, the vial will be good for only 31 days and the KwikPen will be good for only 14 days.
  • Vial: Throw away the vial 31 days after you open it, even if there is still insulin in it.
  • KwikPen: Throw away the pen 14 days after you open it, even if there is still insulin in it.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can change the amount of insulin you need to use and make it harder for you to control your diabetes. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or heart failure.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Low blood sugar
    • Low potassium levels in the blood
    • Heart failure (when used together with a thiazolidinedione [TZD] medicine)
  • Never share insulin pens or vials with anyone. Shared needles or pens can pass hepatitis viruses, HIV, and other illnesses from one person to another.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, uneven heartbeat
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Shaking, trembling, sweating, fast or pounding heartbeat, lightheadedness, hunger, confusion

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Skin redness, pain, itching, or swelling where the shot is given

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Last Updated: 11/18/2015

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