What is Humulin 30/70?
Humulin 30/70 vial is a vial containing a fixed mixture of two different insulin analogs, 30% Humulin R and 70% Humulin N. Humulin R is a short-acting insulin called “Regular” insulin and Humulin N is an intermediate-acting insulin called insulin isophane, otherwise known as NPH insulin. The combination of short and intermediate-acting insulin can cover your blood sugar control needs after meals, throughout the day, and at nighttime.
What is used for?
Humulin 30/70 is used with syringes or insulin pumps for the treatment of high blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. Vials of Humulin 30/70 can be used along with a syringe to self-administer under the skin (subcutaneously). Humulin R is used for the improvement of blood sugar levels, along with regular exercise and a healthy diet, in adults and children with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Regular insulin (Humulin R) is also used for the treatment of the two diabetic emergencies, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state. Both Humulin N and Humulin 30/70 mix are used to help you regulate high blood sugar levels in the treatment of your diabetes.
How does it work?
Diabetes comes about either because your pancreas is not making sufficient insulin, or the cells in your body are not responding correctly to the insulin that is being produced. Insulin is a hormone created by the beta cells in your pancreas, which is a large organ near your stomach. Insulin controls sugar levels in the blood by regulating the breakdown of food (sugars, fats and proteins), and stimulating the absorption of sugars from the blood stream into fat, liver and musculoskeletal cells.
Humulin 30/70 mix has a similar mode of action to naturally occurring insulin. It begins to work approximately 30 to 60 minutes after administration, has its maximum effect between 2 and 8 hours after injection, and it stops working approximately 18 to 24 hours later.
The onset and duration of action comes from the mix of both Regular insulin (Humulin R) and isophane insulin (Humulin N). Regular insulin is a short acting insulin that begins working within 30 minutes and is active for about 5 to 8 hours, while insulin isophane (NPH) is an intermediate–acting insulin that starts to work within 90 minutes, peaks around about 6 to 10 hours and lasts approximately 24 hours.
Common negative effects
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is the most common side effect experienced by Humulin users. It can be a result of:
- Taking too much insulin
- Skipping or delaying meals
- An infection or illness (especially with diarrhea or vomiting)
- Exercising or working strenuously prior a meal
- Changes in your body’s insulin needs
Other negative effects may include:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Insulin allergy
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious diabetic condition that develops when your body does not produce enough insulin, and high levels of acids called ketones accumulate in your blood.
A less common, but potentially very serious side effect, is a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to insulin. This can cause a rash all over your body, a fast pulse, shortness of breath, wheezing, sweating or decreased blood pressure. Severe cases of this reaction can be life threatening. If you have any of these symptoms and think you may be having an allergic reaction to your insulin, contact your doctor immediately.
Rarely, the administration of insulin under the skin can result in lipoatrophy, which is the localized loss of fat around the injection site. Lipohypertrophy is another rare reaction, which is the accumulation of fat under the skin around the injection site. If you notice either of these conditions, contact your doctor. Changing your injection technique and rotating your injection sites may help eliminate the problem.
How to take this medication
Insulin doses are measured in units. For example, U-100 insulin has 100 units/mL. It is important that you use a syringe that is marked for insulin preparations. If you do not use a proper syringe it can lead to mistakes in dosage, causing serious problems like blood sugar levels that are too high or too low.
Do not use the Humulin 30/70 vial if, after re-refrigerating it, there are clumps or if any solid white particles stick to the bottom or side of the vial, giving it a frosted appearance.
Disposable syringes and needles must only be used once and then thrown away safely. Needles and syringes must never be shared with anyone, including family members. You can pass on serious infections or get a serious disease from them. Follow your doctor’s directions and refer to the package insert section “proper use of this medication – injection procedures for vials”.
Your Humulin 30/70 dosage is determined by your doctor, in accordance to your specific requirements and your specific prescription. Any changes in insulin dose or schedule should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision. You may need to change your dosage or schedule if you switch to an insulin of a different strength, manufacturer, type, or method of manufacture. When taking Humulin 30/70, you may be required to change your dosage from what you used to take with other insulins. If you need a dose modification, it may occur with the first dose or during the first few weeks or months.
Warnings and Precautions
This medication should not be:
- Used if you are allergic to this drug or any of the ingredients used to formulate this medication
- Used if you see lumps that float or that stick to the sides of the vial
- Given intravenously (into the vein)
- Used for treatment of diabetic coma
- Used during episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Humulin 30/70 should not be mixed with any other insulin unless clearly indicated and done under medical supervision. Any switches in insulin should be made cautiously and only with your doctor’s advice.
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