If you have diabetes, your doctor might suggest Humulin R (insulin human) as a treatment option for you.

Humulin R is a prescription* insulin that helps manage blood sugar levels. It’s used by adults and children who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Humulin R comes as a liquid solution that may be given in the following ways:

This article describes the dosages of Humulin R, as well as its strengths and how to use the drug. To learn more about Humulin R, see this in-depth article.

Note: This article covers Humulin R’s typical dosages. But you should always use the dosage that your doctor prescribes.

* One version of the drug, Humulin R U-100, is also available over the counter.

In this section, you’ll find common dosage information for Humulin R. Before you start treatment, your doctor will go over your dosage range and dosing schedule.

What are the forms of Humulin R?

Humulin R is a liquid solution that may be given in the following ways:

The drug comes in two versions, Humulin R U-100 and Humulin R U-500. The chart below shows the forms of each version:

Humulin R versionForm
Humulin R U-100liquid solution in:
• 3-milliliter (mL) multiple-dose vials
• 10-mL multiple-dose vials
Humulin R U-500liquid solution in:
• 3-mL prefilled self-injection pens called KwikPens
• 20-mL multiple-dose vials

Depending on the form of Humulin R you use, you’ll need to purchase syringes or pen needles.

What strengths does Humulin R come in?

There are two strengths of Humulin R:

  • Humulin R U-100 contains 100 units of insulin per 1 mL of solution.
  • Humulin R U-500 contains 500 units of insulin per 1 mL of solution.

What are the typical dosages of Humulin R?

Before you start using Humulin R, your doctor will calculate your dose. If you need more than 200 units of insulin per day, your doctor will prescribe Humulin R U-500.

They’ll also tell you how often to take a dose of the drug. You’ll usually take the drug 30 minutes before a meal.

Your doctor may recommend a sliding scale dosing schedule for you. This schedule is based on your blood sugar levels and the amount of carbohydrates you consume. Your doctor can tell you more about this type of insulin dosing schedule.

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for type 1 diabetes

The manufacturer of Humulin R doesn’t give specific dosages for type 1 diabetes. Your doctor will calculate your dosage based on your blood sugar levels and other factors.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends the following as a starting daily dose of insulins such as Humulin R for type 1 diabetes:

  • 0.5 units per kilogram (kg) of body weight

Typically, Humulin R dosages for type 1 diabetes range from 0.4 to 1.0 units/kg each day. You’ll split your daily dose into two or three injections that you’ll give yourself 30 minutes before a meal.

The dosage chart below gives a few examples of how your Humulin R dose might be calculated based just on weight, in kg or pounds (lbs.). Other factors will affect the dosage your doctor prescribes. (For more information, see the “What factors can affect my dosage?” section below.)

Example Humulin R dosages for type 1 diabetes based on weight

Weight*Daily dose of 0.5 units/kgDaily dose of 1 unit/kg
50 kg (110 lbs.)50 × 0.5 = 25 units50 × 1 = 50 units
70 kg (154 lbs.)70 × 0.5 = 35 units70 × 1 = 70 units
100 kg (220 lbs.)100 × 0.5 = 50 units100 × 1 = 100 units
150 kg (330 lbs.)150 × 0.5 = 75 units150 × 1 = 150 units
200 kg (441 lbs.)200 × 0.5 = 100 units200 × 1 = 200 units

* One kg is about 2.2 pounds (lbs.).

Dosage for type 2 diabetes

The manufacturer of Humulin R doesn’t give specific dosages for type 2 diabetes. Your doctor will calculate your dosage based on your blood sugar levels and other factors.

For type 2 diabetes, the ADA recommends the following daily dosing range for insulins such as Humulin R:

  • 0.1 to 0.2 units per kg of body weight

You may take your daily dose once per day or split it into two or three injections that you’ll give yourself 30 minutes before a meal.

The dosage chart below gives a few examples of how your Humulin R dose might be calculated based just on weight. Other factors will affect the dosage your doctor prescribes. (For more information, see the “What factors can affect my dosage?” section below.)

Example Humulin R dosages for type 2 diabetes based on weight

Weight*Daily dose of 0.1 units/kgDaily dose of 0.2 units/kg
50 kg (110 lbs.)50 × 0.1 = 5 units50 × 0.2 = 10 units
70 kg (154 lbs.)70 × 0.1 = 7 units70 × 0.2 = 14 units
100 kg (220 lbs.)100 × 0.1 = 10 units100 × 0.2 = 20 units
150 kg (330 lbs.)150 × 0.1 = 15 units150 × 0.2 = 30 units
200 kg (441 lbs.)200 × 0.1 = 20 units200 × 0.2 = 40 units

* One kg is about 2.2 lbs.

What’s the dosage of Humulin R for children?

The manufacturer of Humulin R doesn’t give specific dosages for children. A doctor will calculate a child’s dosage based on their blood sugar levels and other factors. (For more information, see the “What factors can affect my dosage?” section below.)

A child’s daily dose may need to be divided into two or three injections, which the child should receive 30 minutes before a meal.

Is Humulin R used long term?

Yes, Humulin R is typically a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Humulin R is safe and effective for you, it’s likely that you’ll use it long term.

Dosage adjustments

Your doctor may need to make your dosage higher or lower. This depends on your blood sugar levels and other factors. For example, you may need a higher dosage if you’re pregnant or have an illness.

Your doctor will likely ask you to monitor your blood sugar regularly. If they adjust your dosage, you may need to check your blood sugar more often.

The dosage of Humulin R you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type of diabetes that you have and how severe it is
  • your insulin sensitivity factor
  • whether you’re insulin resistant
  • the strength of Humulin R you’re prescribed
  • your age
  • your weight
  • how much exercise you get
  • your diet
  • whether you’re switching from another form of insulin
  • other medications you may be taking
  • other conditions you may have (see “Dosage adjustments” under “What is Humulin R’s dosage?”)

Humulin R is a liquid solution that may be given in the following ways:

Typically, you’ll give yourself injections of the drug under your skin. Your doctor will show you how to do this so that you can give yourself doses at home. If you still have any questions about Humulin R injections, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

You’ll take your dose, which may require two or three injections, 30 minutes before a meal.

Before each Humulin R injection, it’s important to check your dosage and the form you’re using. Don’t mix forms or strengths of Humulin R.

Where to inject

You can inject Humulin R in the following areas of your body:

  • upper arms
  • upper thighs
  • belly
  • buttocks

It’s important to inject Humulin R into a different location each time to avoid injection site reactions. Your doctor or pharmacist can advise you about the best ways to take your Humulin R doses.

Using and disposing of needles

If you use a form of Humulin R that requires you to buy insulin needles, don’t share your needles with anyone. And don’t reuse the needles.

For safety reasons, it’s best to dispose of used needles in a sharps container. You can learn more about safe needle disposal by calling 800-643-1643 or emailing info@safeneedledisposal.org.

For other information about Humulin R disposal, as well as its expiration and storage, see this article.

If you miss a dose of Humulin R, check your blood sugar level. If it’s high, you can take your normal dose. But if you’re not sure whether to take a dose, check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Never take two doses of Humulin R to make up for a missed dose unless your doctor tells you to. This can cause a dangerous drop in your blood sugar, which can result in serious side effects.

If you need help remembering to take your doses of Humulin R on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Don’t use more Humulin R than your doctor prescribes. Using more than this can lead to serious side effects.

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:

What to do in case you use too much Humulin R

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve used too much Humulin R. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers, or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.

The sections above describe typical dosages of Humulin R. If your doctor recommends this medication for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you shouldn’t change your dosage of Humulin R without your doctor’s recommendation. Only use this drug exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.

Here are some examples of questions that you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Will my dosage of Humulin R change if my blood sugar isn’t managed with my current dosage?
  • Does my insulin dosage need to be adjusted if I start taking other diabetes medications?
  • Would I be prescribed a different dosage or form of Humulin R based on the type of diabetes I have?

If you have type 2 diabetes, get advice about managing this condition and more by signing up for Healthline’s online newsletter.

Q:

Can I be prescribed different forms or strengths of Humulin R?

Anonymous

A:

It’s unlikely, because there’s a high risk of mixing up the different forms and strengths of Humulin R. Accidentally using the wrong form or strength can increase your risk of side effects.

The form and strength of Humulin R you’re prescribed will depend on different factors. This includes your blood sugar levels and the number of units of insulin you need each day to manage your diabetes. For instance, if you need more than 200 units of insulin per day, your doctor will likely recommend using Humulin R U-500.

You should always use the form of Humulin R U-100 or U-500 (multidose vial or KwikPen) and the needles prescribed by your doctor.

If you have questions about what dosage, form, and strength of Humulin R is right for you, talk with your doctor.

Melissa Badowski, PharmD, MPH, FCCPAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
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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.