insulin isophane (generic name)

This medicine lowers the amount of sugar in the blood
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What is this medicine?

ISOPHANE INSULIN (NPH) (EYE soe fane IN su lin) is a human-made form of insulin. This medicine lowers the amount of sugar in the blood. It is an intermediate-acting insulin that starts working about 1.5 hours after it is injected.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • episodes of hypoglycemia
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to insulin, metacresol, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Insulin is for injection under the skin. Use exactly as directed. It is important to follow the directions given to you by your health care professional or doctor. You will be taught how to use this medicine and how to adjust doses for activities and illness. Do not use more insulin than prescribed. Do not use more or less often than prescribed.

Always check the appearance of your insulin before using it. This medicine should be white and cloudy. Do not use it if it is not uniformly cloudy after mixing.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

It is important not to miss a dose. Your health care professional or doctor should discuss a plan for missed doses with you. If you do miss a dose, follow their plan. Do not take double doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • other medicines for diabetes

Many medications may cause an increase or decrease in blood sugar, these include:

  • alcohol containing beverages
  • aspirin and aspirin-like drugs
  • chloramphenicol
  • chromium
  • diuretics
  • female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills
  • heart medicines
  • isoniazid
  • male hormones or anabolic steroids
  • medicines for weight loss
  • medicines for allergies, asthma, cold, or cough
  • medicines for mental problems
  • medicines called MAO Inhibitors like Nardil, Parnate, Marplan, Eldepryl
  • niacin
  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • pentamidine
  • phenytoin
  • probenecid
  • quinolone antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin
  • some herbal dietary supplements
  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
  • thyroid medicine

Some medications can hide the warning symptoms of low blood sugar. You may need to monitor your blood sugar more closely if you are taking one of these medications. These include:

  • beta-blockers such as atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol
  • clonidine
  • guanethidine
  • reserpine

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Last Updated: August 01, 2013
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