What is this medication?
Insulin regular, Entuzity/Novolin Toronto/Novolin-R/Humulin-R
Short Acting Insulin
Insulin regular, Entuzity/Novolin Toronto/Novolin-R/Humulin-R is officially indicated for Diabetes mellitus types 1 and 2. It is also used off-label for hormonal resuscitation in cadaveric organ recovery, hyperkalemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, and calcium channel blocker/beta blocker toxicity.
How does this medication work?
Insulin regular, Entuzity/Novolin Toronto/Novolin-R/Humulin-R works on liver, muscle and adipose (fat) tissue to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. In the liver and muscles, it increases glycogen synthesis which is the immediate storage form of glucose. It increases fat production by increasing fatty acid release from the liver in the form of lipoproteins which adipose tissue converts to fatty acids then to triglycerides for storage whilst also stopping the metabolism of triglycerides (fat). Insulin also increases the cellular uptake of amino acids and some electrolytes such as potassium into the cell. In muscle tissue protein synthesis is increased.
Normally insulin is produced by the pancreas however insulin products for pharmaceutical use have been produced via recombinant DNA technology using certain bacteria (they splice the gene for insulin production into bacterial DNA so the cell produces insulin – a gene is a portion of DNA or RNA that produces one specific protein). Regular insulin has an identical structure to native human insulin.
How should I take this medication?
Insulin regular, Entuzity/Novolin Toronto/Novolin-R/Humulin-R is a short acting mealtime insulin. It is injected subcutaneously in multiple daily dosages depending on the number of meals the patient consumes. It should be given 30 minutes prior to the meal. In type 2 diabetes someone usually starts around 4-5 units per day or 10% of basal insulin dose prior to largest meal of the day and the dosage is slowly increased until glucose control is achieved. In type 1 diabetes 50-60% of total daily insulin is given as fast acting mealtime insulin with the rest going to intermediate or long acting basal insulins. If converting from another insulin the number of units given may need to be lowered as a precaution
How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label. Injection generally into abdomen, thighs, buttocks, or arms with absorption rates varying from site to site. Be consistent with the part of body you inject into but rotate injection site to avoid redistribution of fat and excessive irritation to the area. For example, if you choose abdomen which is the most common, inject in circular order at least 2 inches from navel.
You Need to Avoid: Do not use if solution seems viscous (thick) or appears cloudy, only use if clear, colorless and with no visible particles. Avoid injecting cold insulin as it may be painful.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Insulin regular, Entuzity/Novolin Toronto/Novolin-R/Humulin-R make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have had bariatric surgery, cardiovascular disease, have kidney disease, liver disease, are pregnant, or breastfeeding.
What if I miss a dose?
It is very important to follow your insulin regimen exactly. Ask your doctor ahead of time what you should do if you miss a dose of insulin.
How should I store this medication?
Keep all vials and syringes out of the reach and sight of children. Vials not in use should be stored in a refrigerator between 2°C - 8°C. Once in use, the vial can be kept at room temperature (up to 25°C) for 28 days after which it should be discarded. Do not use this medicine if the expiry date on the label has passed or if the insulin has been frozen. The expiry date refers to the last day of the month.
Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Hypoglycemia, peripheral edema, injection site irritation, hypokalemia, and weight gain.
Note- this is not a complete list of side effects, only common ones, are dose dependent and vary based on other medical conditions or state of health
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