Insulin Regular (Human) | Side Effects, Dosage, & More
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Generic Name:

regular-insulin, Injectable Solution

All Brands

  • Novolin R
  • ReliOn (Discontinued)
  • Velosulin BR (Discontinued)
  • Humulin R
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for regular-insulin

Injectable Solution
1

Insulin regular (human) is man-made, short-acting insulin. It’s used along with a healthy diet and exercise to control high blood sugar caused by type 1 or type 2 diabetes. 

2

Dosing for insulin regular (human) is individualized. Your doctor will decide a dose that’s right for you. Your dose will be based on your blood sugar levels, other medical conditions you have, other drugs you’re taking, and your diet and activity level.

3

This drug may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Very low blood sugar can be serious and life threatening. You should learn your own symptoms of hypoglycemia. You should also test your blood sugar levels as often as directed by your doctor. This will help tell you if your blood sugar is too low.

4

Common side effects include low blood sugar, injection site reactions, changes in skin thickness around injection sites (lipodystrophy), weight gain, and swelling of your arms and legs. 

5

Before you start taking insulin regular (human), tell your doctor if you have liver, kidney, or heart problems or any other conditions. Let your doctor know about all other drugs that you take, especially ones called TZDs (thiazolidinediones).

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Low blood sugar

Insulin regular (human) can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If you have a low blood sugar reaction, you’ll need to treat it right away. Symptoms include:

  • hunger
  • dizziness
  • shakiness
  • lightheadedness
  • sweating
  • irritability
  • headache
  • fast heart rate
  • confusion

Heart failure warning

Taking certain diabetes pills called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) with insulin regular (human) may cause heart failure in some people. This can happen even if you’ve never had heart failure or heart problems before. If you already have heart failure, it may get worse. Your healthcare provider should monitor you closely while you’re taking TZDs with insulin regular (human). Tell your doctor right away if you have new or worse symptoms of heart failure, including:

  • shortness of breath
  • swelling of your ankles or feet
  • sudden weight gain

Drug features

Insulin regular (human) is available as an over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drug.

It’s available in these forms: solution for subcutaneous (SC) injection, powder for inhalation, and intravenous (IV), which is only given by a healthcare provider. The solution for subcutaneous injection is self-injectable.  
Insulin regular (human) is short acting and may be taken in combination with intermediate- or long-acting insulins. 

If you have type 2 diabetes, insulin regular (human) may also be used with other classes of oral diabetes medications to help control your blood sugar.

Why it's used

Insulin regular (human) is man-made insulin that’s similar to the insulin made by your pancreas. It’s used along with a healthy diet and exercise to control high blood sugar in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

How it works

Insulin regular (human) belongs to a class of drugs called insulin. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

How it works

Insulin regular (human) belongs to a class of drugs called insulin. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

Insulin is a hormone that your body makes to help move sugar (glucose) from your body’s bloodstream into your cells. Your cells use the sugar as fuel for your body. If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t make insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or it can't use the insulin that it makes properly. Without enough insulin, the sugar will stay in your bloodstream, causing high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia).

Insulin regular (human) is short-acting, man-made insulin that copies your body’s insulin in response to food. This extra insulin helps to control your blood sugar and prevent complications of diabetes.

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SECTION 2 of 4

regular-insulin Side Effects

Injectable Solution

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with insulin regular (human) include:

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms may include:

    • sweating
    • dizziness or lightheadedness
    • shakiness
    • hunger
    • fast heart rate
    • tingling in your hands, feet, lips, or tongue
    • trouble concentrating or confusion
    • blurred vision
    • slurred speech
    • anxiety, irritability, or mood changes
  • Injection site reactions. Symptoms at the injection site include:

    • redness
    • swelling
    • itching

    If you keep having skin reactions, or they’re serious, talk to your doctor. Don’t inject insulin into skin that is red, swollen, or itchy. 

  • Skin changes at the injection site (lipodystrophy). Symptoms may include:

    • shrinking or thickening skin at the injection sites

    Change (rotate) the site on your skin where you inject your insulin to help reduce the chance of developing these skin changes. If you have these skin changes, don’t inject insulin into this type of skin. 

  • weight gain

  • swelling of your arms and legs

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • Severe low blood sugar. Symptoms include:

    • mood changes, such as irritability, impatience, anger, stubbornness, or sadness
    • confusion, including delirium
    • lightheadedness or dizziness
    • sleepiness
    • blurred or impaired vision
    • tingling or numbness in your lips or tongue
    • headaches
    • weakness or fatigue
    • lack of coordination
    • nightmares or crying out during your sleep
    • seizures
    • loss of consciousness
  • Low blood potassium (hypokalemia). Symptoms include:

    • tiredness
    • weakness
    • muscle cramps
    • constipation
    • breathing problems (at a severe stage without medical attention)
    • heart rhythm problems (at a severe stage without medical attention)
  • Serious allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

    • a rash all over your body
    • trouble breathing
    • fast heart rate
    • sweating
    • feeling faint
  • Swelling of your hands and feet

  • Heart failure. Symptoms include:

    • shortness of breath
    • swelling of your ankles or feet
    • sudden weight gain
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

If you have a low blood sugar reaction, you need to treat it.

  • For mild hypoglycemia, treatment is 15–20 g of glucose (a type of sugar). You need to eat or drink one of the following:
    • 3–4 glucose tablets
    • a tube of glucose gel
    • 4 oz of juice or regular, non-diet soda
    • 8 oz of nonfat or 1% cow’s milk
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, or corn syrup
    • 8–10 pieces of hard candy, such as lifesavers
  • Test your blood sugar 15 minutes after you treat the low sugar reaction. If your blood sugar is still low, then repeat the above treatment.
  • Once your blood sugar is back in the normal range, eat a small snack if your next planned meal or snack is more than 1 hour later. 

If you don’t treat low blood sugar, you can have a seizure, pass out, and possibly develop brain damage. Low blood sugar can even be fatal. If you pass out because of a low sugar reaction or cannot swallow, someone will have to give an injection of glucagon to treat the low sugar reaction. You may need to go to the emergency room.

Insulin regular (human) doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

regular-insulin May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable Solution

Insulin regular (human) can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Food interactions

Increasing how many carbohydrates (sugars) you eat can raise your blood sugar. Your insulin regular (human) dose may need to be increased if your blood sugar can’t be controlled on your current insulin regular (human) dose.

Decreasing the amount of carbohydrates you eat can lower your blood sugar. Your insulin regular (human) dose may need to be decreased to make sure you don’t have a low blood sugar reaction.

You shouldn’t skip meals when you take insulin regular (human). If you’ve injected a dose, you must eat to prevent a low blood sugar reaction.

Alcohol interaction

Limit your alcohol intake because it can affect your blood sugar.

If you drink alcohol while using insulin regular (human), your blood sugar levels may become too low. Alcohol can also be high in calories, especially when consumed in large amounts. These additional calories may increase your blood sugar levels.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Other diabetes drugs
  • thiazolidinediones, such as
    • pioglitazone
    • rosiglitazone

Taking these drugs together may cause fluid retention and heart failure.

  • pramlintide

Taking this drug in addition to insulin regular (human) to help control your diabetes may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Your doctor may adjust your dose of insulin regular (human).

Drugs for depression
  • fluoxetine
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors

Taking these drugs with insulin regular (human) may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Drugs for high blood pressure
  • enalapril
  • lisinopril
  • captopril
  • losartan
  • valsartan
  • propranolol
  • metoprolol

Taking these drugs with insulin regular (human) may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Drugs for heart rate disorders
  • disopyramide

Taking this drug with insulin regular (human) may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Drugs to treat high triglycerides
  • fibrates

Taking these drugs with insulin regular (human) may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Drugs for pain
  • salicylates, such as aspirin

Taking these drugs with insulin regular (human) may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Drugs in the drug class somatostatin analogs
  • octreotide

Taking this drug with insulin regular (human) may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Drugs that thin the blood
  • pentoxifylline

Taking this drug with insulin regular (human) may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Drugs for allergy or asthma
  • corticosteroids

Taking these drugs with insulin regular (human) may cause your blood sugar levels to increase (hyperglycemia).

Hormones used in birth control
  • estrogens
  • progesterone

Taking these drugs with insulin regular (human) may cause your blood sugar levels to increase (hyperglycemia).

Drugs used to treat human immunodeficiency disorder (HIV)
  • ritonavir
  • saquinavir

Taking these drugs with insulin regular (human) may cause your blood sugar levels to increase (hyperglycemia).

Drugs for psychiatric disorders
  • olanzapine
  • clozapine
  • phenothiazine

Taking these drugs with insulin regular (human) may cause your blood sugar levels to increase (hyperglycemia).

Drugs for the heart or cholesterol
  • niacin
  • water pills (diuretics)

Taking these drugs with insulin regular (human) may cause your blood sugar levels to increase (hyperglycemia).

Drugs for tuberculosis
  • isoniazid

Taking this drug with insulin regular (human) may cause your blood sugar levels to increase (hyperglycemia).

Drugs for hormone disorders
  • danazol
  • glucagon
  • somatropin
  • thyroid hormones

Taking these drugs with insulin regular (human) may cause your blood sugar levels to increase (hyperglycemia).

Drugs for heart disorders
  • beta blockers, such as propranolol, labetalol, and metoprolol
  • clonidine
  • guanethidine
  • reserpine

Taking these drugs with insulin regular (human) may mask the signs of low blood sugar.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with kidney disease

Insulin is removed from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys aren’t working well, insulin may build up in your body and cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Your doctor may start you at a lower dose and slowly increase your dose if needed.

People with liver disease

If you have liver failure, this drug may build up in your body. Your doctor may start you at a lower dose and slowly increase your dose if needed if you have liver problems. You and your doctor should monitor your blood sugar very closely.

People with heart failure

Taking certain diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) with insulin regular (human) may make your heart failure worse. Your healthcare provider should watch you closely while you’re taking TZDs with insulin regular (human). Tell your doctor if you have any new or worse symptoms of heart failure.

People with low blood potassium (hypokalemia)

Insulin can cause a shift in potassium levels, which can lead to low blood potassium. Your risk may be higher if you’re receiving the intravenous (IV) form of insulin regular (human). If you’re using potassium-lowering medications with insulin regular (human), your doctor will check your blood sugar and potassium often.

Pregnant women

Insulin regular human is a pregnancy category B drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies of the drug in pregnant animals haven’t shown risk to the fetus.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Good control of diabetes is important for you and your fetus. Pregnancy may make managing your diabetes more difficult. 

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Insulin regular (human) should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are breast-feeding

Insulin may pass into breast milk and is broken down by the baby’s stomach. Insulin doesn’t cause side effects in babies who are breast-fed by mothers with diabetes. However, if you breast-feed, the amount of insulin you need may change. Your doctor may change your dose while you breast-feed.

For children

Children with type 1 diabetes may be more likely to have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) than adults with type 1 diabetes. Your child should be monitored closely on this medication.

When to call the doctor

  • Let your doctor know if you’re sick, plan to have surgery, under a lot of stress, or if you’ve changed your eating or exercise habits. Each of these factors can affect how much insulin regular (human) you need. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose.
  • If your dose of insulin regular (human) isn’t working well enough to control your diabetes, you’ll have symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Call your doctor if you have the following symptoms:
    • urinating more often than usual
    • intense thirst
    • intense hunger, even though you’re eating
    • extreme fatigue
    • blurry vision
    • cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
    • tingling, pain, or numbness in your hands or feet

Allergies

Insulin regular (human) can cause a severe, whole body allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • skin rash and hives
  • itching
  • trouble breathing
  • tightness in your chest
  • fast heart rate
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • sweating

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take regular-insulin (Dosage)

Injectable Solution

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the type of diabetes you have
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Type 1 diabetes

Brand: HumuLIN R

Form: Injectable solution
Strengths: 100 units/mL and 500 units/mL

Brand: NovoLIN R

Form: Injectable solution
Strengths: 100 units/mL
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Insulin regular (human) is usually given three or more times per day before meals. 
  • You should eat your meal within 30 minutes after giving an injection.
  • Average insulin requirements range between 0.5–1 unit/kg per day.
  • If you’re just starting insulin therapy, your dose may be lower, between 0.2–0.4 unit/kg per day.
  • You’ll inject insulin regular (human) under your skin in the fatty part of your abdomen, thigh, or back of your arm. This is where insulin is absorbed fastest.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years [ages 2–17 years for the brand Novolin])
  • The total daily insulin requirements for children are usually between 0.5–1 unit/kg per day.
  • Children who haven’t gone through puberty yet may need more insulin. Doses may be between 0.7–1 unit/kg per day. 
Child dosage (ages 0–1 year for the brand Novolin)

The brand Novolin of this drug hasn’t been studied to be safe and effective in children younger than 2 years of age.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose so that too much of this drug doesn’t build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

Special considerations
  • People with kidney disease: Insulin is generally removed from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys aren’t working as well, insulin may build up in your body and cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Your doctor may start you at a lower dose and slowly increase your dose if needed.
  • People with liver disease: If you have liver disease, this drug may build up in your body. Your doctor may start you at a lower dose and slowly increase your dose if needed. You and your doctor should monitor your blood sugar very closely.

Type 2 diabetes

Brand: HumuLIN R

Form: Injectable solution
Strengths: 100 units/mL and 500 units/mL

Brand: NovoLIN R

Form: Injectable solution
Strengths: 100 units/mL
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Insulin regular (human) is usually given three or more times per day before meals. 
  • You should eat your meal within 30 minutes after giving an injection.
  • Average insulin requirements range between 0.5–1 unit/kg per day.
  • If you’re just starting insulin therapy, your dose may be lower, between 0.2–0.4 unit/kg per day.
  • You’ll inject insulin regular (human) under your skin in the fatty part of your abdomen, thigh, or back of your arm. This is where insulin is absorbed fastest.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years [ages 2–17 years for the brand Novolin])
  • The total daily insulin requirements for children are usually between 0.5–1 unit/kg per day.
  • Children who haven’t gone through puberty yet may need more insulin. Doses may be between 0.7–1 unit/kg per day. 
Child dosage (ages 0–1 year for the brand Novolin)

The brand Novolin of this drug hasn’t been studied to be safe and effective in children younger than 2 years of age.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose so that too much of this drug doesn’t build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

Special considerations
  • People with kidney disease: Insulin is generally removed from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys aren’t working as well, insulin may build up in your body and cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Your doctor may start you at a lower dose and slowly increase your dose if needed.
  • People with liver disease: If you have liver disease, this drug may build up in your body. Your doctor may start you at a lower dose and slowly increase your dose if needed. You and your doctor should monitor your blood sugar very closely.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Insulin regular (human) comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If you don't take it at all

If you don’t take insulin regular (human) at all, you may still have high blood sugar levels and the symptoms associated with it. Over time, high blood sugar levels can harm your eyes, kidneys, nerves, or heart. Severe issues include heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and dialysis, and possible amputations.

If you don't take it on schedule

If you don’t inject insulin regular (human) on schedule, your blood sugar levels may not be well controlled. If your injections are given too close together, you may have low blood sugar. If your injections are given too far apart, you may have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

If you take too much

Insulin regular (human) comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed. HumuLIN U-500 insulin is five times more concentrated than regular insulin (sometimes called U-100 insulin). If you use the wrong product or measure out your dose incorrectly, you can overdose on insulin.

Always double-check that you’re using the type of insulin that your doctor prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you how to measure it out so you get the right dose.

If you inject too much insulin regular (human), you may experience low blood sugar. Symptoms include:

  • shakiness
  • nervousness or anxiety
  • sweating, chills, and clamminess
  • irritability or impatience
  • confusion, including delirium
  • fast heart rate
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • hunger and nausea
  • sleepiness
  • blurred or impaired vision
  • tingling or numbness in your lips or tongue
  • headaches
  • weakness or fatigue
  • anger, stubbornness, or sadness
  • lack of coordination
  • nightmares or crying out during sleep
  • seizures
  • unconsciousness

Mild episodes of low blood sugar can usually be treated by drinking a glass of cow’s milk or half a glass of regular soda or juice, or by eating 5–6 hard candies. If it’s more severe, it can lead to coma or seizure. Low blood sugar may even be fatal. If you’ve taken too much insulin regular (human), call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room right away. 

If you inject too much insulin regular (human), you may also experience low blood potassium (hypokalemia). This condition usually doesn’t cause symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they can include tiredness, weakness, and constipation. You should tell your doctor if you took too much insulin so that they can check your blood potassium level and treat it if needed.

What to do if you miss a dose

You should inject insulin regular (human) 30 minutes before a meal. If you forget to take your dose and you just finished your meal, go ahead and inject your dose.

If a long time has passed since you’ve eaten your meal, call your doctor for instructions on what to do.

Never try to catch up by doubling the amount of insulin regular (human) you should inject. This could cause your blood sugar to become too low (hypoglycemia).

How to tell if the drug is working

You may be able to tell if this drug is working if your blood sugar is lower. Your doctor will also do tests to check what your average blood sugar has been over the past 2–3 months (A1c).

Your symptoms of high blood sugar, such as feeling very hungry or thirsty or urinating often, may also decrease. 

Insulin regular (human) is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking insulin regular (human)
eat within 30 minutes You should eat a meal within 30 minutes of injecting insulin regular (human)
timing Take this drug at the right time for best effects
storage Store this drug carefully See Details
refillable Prescription is refillable
travel Travel See Details
self-management Self-management See Details
clinical monitoring Clinical monitoring See Details
diet considerations Your diet See Details
hidden costs Hidden costs See Details
prior authorization Insurance See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • HumuLIN R U-100
    • Not in use (unopened):
      • Store it in the refrigerator from 36–46°F (2–8°C).
      • Don’t freeze the medication. 
    • In use (opened):
      • Store it below 86°F (30°C). It doesn’t have to be refrigerated.
      • Keep it away from heat and light.
      • In-use vials must be used within 31 days. After 31 days, throw away the vial, even if there’s insulin left. 
      • Don’t use Humulin after the expiration date on the label or after it’s been frozen. 
  • HumuLIN R U-500
    • Not in use (unopened):
      • Store it in the refrigerator from 36–46°F (2–8°C).
      • Don’t freeze the medication. 
    • In use (opened)
      • Store it below 86°F (30°C). It doesn’t have to be refrigerated.
      • Keep it away from heat and light.
      • In-use vials must be used within 40 days. After 40 days, throw away the vial, even if there’s insulin left. 
      • Don’t use Humulin R U-500 after the expiration date on the label or after it’s been frozen. 
  • NovoLIN R U-100
    • Not in use (unopened):
      • Store it in the refrigerator from 36–46°F (2–8°C). If you can’t refrigerate it, you can store it at room temperature below 77°F (25°C) for up to 42 days. 
      • Don’t freeze the medication. 
      • Protect it from light.
    • In use (opened):
      • May be kept at room temperature below 77°F (25°C).
      • Keep it away from heat and light.
      • In-use vials must be used within 42 days. After 42 days, throw away the vial, even if there’s insulin left.   
      • Don’t refrigerate an opened vial. 
      • Never use insulin after the expiration date printed on the label. 

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you, such as in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • This medication needs to be refrigerated for vials not currently in use. You may need to use an insulated bag with a cold pack to maintain the temperature when traveling.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.
  • Needles and syringes need to be used to take this medicine. Check for special rules about traveling with needles and syringes.
  • Let your doctor know if you’re traveling across more than 2 time zones. They may need to adjust your insulin schedule.

Self-management

Self-monitoring

  • blood glucose (sugar) monitoring

Self-administration

  • Your doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or diabetes educator will show you how to withdraw insulin from the vial, attach needles, and give the insulin regular (human) injection.
  • Inject insulin regular (human) into the fatty part or your skin (subcutaneous fat). The best places include your stomach, buttocks, upper legs (thighs), or the outer part of your upper arm.
  • Be sure to change (rotate) the site of injection each time.
  • Don’t inject yourself where you have irritated or red skin.

Your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or diabetes educator will show you how to:

  • prepare and inject your insulin regular (human) using syringes and vials.
  • use a blood glucose monitor to test your blood sugar levels.

You’ll also need to learn how to recognize the signs of high and low blood sugar, and be able to manage these conditions when needed.

While using insulin regular (human), you’ll need to regularly test  your blood sugar levels. You’ll need to purchase the following:

  • sterile alcohol wipes
  • lancing device and lancets (a needle used to obtain drops of blood from your finger to test your blood sugar)
  • syringes and needles
  • blood glucose test strips
  • blood glucose monitor
  • needle container for safe disposal of lancets, needles, and syringes

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may do certain tests before you begin and regularly during treatment with insulin to make sure it’s safe for you to take. They may need to adjust your dose of insulin regular (human) based on following:

  • blood sugar level
  • glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C) levels. This test measures your blood sugar control over the last 2–3 months.
  • liver function
  • kidney function
  • other medications that you’re taking
  • exercise habits
  • carbohydrate content of meals

Your doctor may do other tests to check for complications of diabetes:

  • eye exam at least once a year
  • foot exam at least once a year
  • dental exam at least once a year
  • tests for nerve damage
  • cholesterol
  • blood pressure and heart rate

Your diet

Making healthy food choices and tracking your eating habits can help you manage your diabetes. Follow the nutrition plan that your doctor, registered dietician, or diabetes educator recommended.

Hidden costs

Besides the medicine, you’ll need to purchase the following:

  • sterile alcohol wipes
  • lancing device and lancets (a needle used to obtain drops of blood from your finger to test your blood sugar)
  • syringes and needles
  • blood glucose test strips
  • blood glucose monitor
  • needle container for safe disposal of lancets, needles, and syringes

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for insulin regular (human).

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on September 9, 2015

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 other 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.
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