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Precautions and Warnings With NPH Insulin/Regular Insulin

There are many NPH insulin/regular insulin warnings and precautions to be aware of before using the medication. It is important to know the warning signs for low blood sugar, as it is usually the most serious side effect of insulin medications. You should not use NPH insulin/regular insulin if you are allergic to any components of the medicine or currently have hypoglycemia.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking NPH Insulin/Regular Insulin?

Talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking NPH insulin/regular insulin (Humulin® 70/30, Novolin® 70/30) if you have:
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (known medically as renal failure)
  • Liver disease, such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, or liver failure (hepatic failure)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking, including non-prescription and prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Warnings and Precautions With NPH Insulin/Regular Insulin

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking NPH insulin/regular insulin include the following:
  • Low blood sugar is the most common (and usually most serious) side effect of insulin medications, including NPH insulin/regular insulin. Make sure you and those around you know how to identify your warning signs for low blood sugar and how to respond. You must test your blood sugar levels regularly while taking any form of insulin. Low blood sugar levels can be a life-threatening problem.
  • Even though NPH insulin/regular insulin is available without a prescription, it should be used only with your healthcare provider's approval and supervision. Using this medication inappropriately can be lethal.
  • Do not mix NPH insulin/regular insulin with any other type of insulin in the same syringe. NPH insulin/regular insulin cannot be used in pumps, injected into a muscle, or used in an IV.
  • Different types of insulin act differently, even when used at exactly the same doses. Therefore, your insulin dosage may need to be adjusted when you switch between different types.
  • Liver and kidney problems may affect your NPH insulin/regular insulin dosage. Also, changes in diet or exercise, illness, or stress may affect your blood sugar levels in such a way that your dosage needs to be adjusted.
  • This diabetes medication can potentially interact with several other medications (see Drug Interactions With NPH Insulin/Regular Insulin).
  • NPH insulin/regular insulin is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means it is probably safe for use during pregnancy (see Humulin 70/30 and Pregnancy, or Novolin 70/30 and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if NPH insulin/regular insulin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Humulin 70/30 and Breastfeeding, or Novolin 70/30 and Breastfeeding).
Steps to Prevent or Delay Diabetic Nerve Damage

NPH Insulin/Regular Insulin Information

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