Novolin N is an intermediate-acting form of insulin that is available without a prescription. It is used to help control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. The diabetes medication comes in injectable form and is injected just under the skin once or twice a day. Talk to your healthcare provider before using Novolin N if you have liver disease, kidney disease, or any allergies.
What Is Novolin N?
Novolin® N (NPH insulin) is an intermediate-acting insulin used to treat diabetes. It starts working more slowly, has a lower peak, and lasts longer than regular insulin. Novolin N is also known as NPH insulin. NPH stands for Neutral Protamine Hagedorn, so named because it has a neutral pH, contains protamine, and was invented by a scientist named Hans Christian Hagedorn.
Novolin N contains insulin that is identical to human insulin combined with additives that help the insulin work longer than plain insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the pancreas. This hormone is important for several functions, such as controlling blood sugar. Insulin helps the cells of your body remove glucose ("sugar") from your bloodstream. This sugar fuels your body's cells, giving them the energy they need to work properly. You may need to take insulin if your pancreas has trouble making enough insulin, which is the case in people with type 1 diabetes and in some people who have type 2 diabetes.
Novolin N is an intermediate-acting insulin medication. This means that it starts working more quickly than some insulins but more slowly than others, and that it lasts longer than some insulins but shorter than others. In some people, Novolin N may last as long as 24 hours. Novolin N is often combined with a rapid-acting or short-acting insulin that can help control the blood sugar spike that occurs just after meals.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Novolin N [package insert]. Princeton, NJ: Novo Nordisk, Inc.;2013 March.
Novo Nordisk. Dear healthcare provider letter: important insulin delivery device information: discontinuation of several insulin delivery devices (June 2009). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugShortages/UCM177158.pdf. Accessed August 21, 2009.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed July 11, 2008.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
Red Book: Pharmacy's Fundamental Reference. 2007 ed. Montvale (NJ): Thomson Healthcare; 2007.
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