Insulin pork isophane (NPH) (Injection)
Insulin Pork Isophane (NPH) (IN-su-lin pork EYE-soe-phane (NPH))
Treats diabetes mellitus.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have 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.
- Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.
- This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- 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.
- This medicine is to be taken by using special syringes. Your doctor will tell you which type and brand of syringe to use. Do not share your needles or syringes with others.
- Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
- If you are using reusable syringes and needles, you must sterilize them before reusing. Follow the sterilizing directions given with your syringes.
- Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.
- Your doctor may suggest that you follow an exercise program. You may also be taught to check your own blood sugar levels at home. Diet, exercise, medicine, and checking your blood sugar are all important to control your diabetes.
If a dose is missed:
- Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store this medicine in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. If you cannot refrigerate, keep it in a cool place away from heat or sunlight.
- Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using steroid medicine such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, or Medrol®. Tell your doctor if you are using diabetes medicine that you take by mouth such as glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Glucophage®, or Glucotrol®.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using birth control pills, medicine to treat depression, salicylates (such as aspirin), sulfa drugs (such as Bactrim®, Cotrim®,or Septra®), or thyroid medicine.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a beta blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin®), metoprolol (Lopressor®), or propranolol (Inderal®).
- There are many other medicines that interact with this medicine. Make sure your doctor knows all other medicines you are using.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. Tell your doctor if you are breast feeding.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you have liver disease, kidney disease, or problems of the adrenal, thyroid, or pituitary gland.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
- If your blood sugar gets too low, you may feel weak, drowsy, confused, anxious, or very hungry. You may also sweat, shake, or have blurred vision, a fast heartbeat, or a headache that will not go away. If you have symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) or below, do one of the following: Drink 4 ounces (one-half cup) of fruit juice, or eat 5 to 6 pieces of hard candy, or take 2 to 3 glucose tablets. Re-check your blood sugar 15 minutes later. If your blood sugar is above 70 mg/dL, eat a snack or a meal. If your blood sugar is still below 70 mg/dL, drink one-half cup juice, or eat 5 to 6 pieces of candy, or take 2 to 3 glucose tablets. Carry candy or some type of sugar with you at all times, especially if you are away from home. You can take this if you feel that your blood sugar is too low, even if you do not have a blood glucose meter. Always carefully follow your doctor's instructions about how to treat your low blood sugar. Learn what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. Teach friends, co-workers, and family members what they can do to help if you have low blood sugar.
- Your dose of insulin may change slightly with changes in your diet or physical activity. Your dose may also change while you are ill, pregnant, traveling, taking a new medicine, or exercising more than usual. Follow your doctor's instructions about making any changes in your insulin dose.
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.
- Blurred vision.
- Fast or pounding heartbeat.
- Lightheadedness or fainting.
- Problems with speech, balance, or walking.
- Seizures, tremors, or shaking.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Depression or anxiety.
- Feeling nervous or agitated.
- Headache, or trouble sleeping or concentrating.
- Increased thirst or appetite.
- Increased sweating.
- Redness, pain, swelling, itching, or a lump under your skin where the shot is given.
- Tingling in your hands, feet, lips, or tongue.
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013