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Humulin 50/50 and Breastfeeding

Because no studies have been done on Humulin 50/50 and breastfeeding, it is not known if the insulin passes through breast milk. However, even if it does pass through breast milk, the insulin would most likely be destroyed in the digestive tract of the infant. If you are breastfeeding, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider prior to using Humulin 50/50, as breastfeeding may affect your insulin requirements.

An Overview of Humulin 50/50 and Breastfeeding

Humulin® 50/50 (NPH insulin/regular insulin) is generally considered safe for use during breastfeeding. However, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking Humulin 50/50 (or any other insulin) if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, as it may affect your insulin requirements. It is also important to have a plan in place for how to deal with the challenges of safely controlling your blood sugar levels while breastfeeding.


As of July 2009, Eli Lilly and Company decided to stop producing Humulin 50/50 due to low product demand. It was initially estimated that current supplies of the medication may last until April 2010, but the supplies have appeared to have run out earlier than expected (as of December 2009). If you are currently taking Humulin 50/50, your healthcare provider will need to switch you to one of the other types of insulin.

Can I Take Humulin 50/50 While Breastfeeding?

Most healthcare providers consider insulins (including Humulin 50/50) safe for women who are breastfeeding. While no studies have been done to see if Humulin 50/50 passes through breast milk in humans, this probably does not matter. Even if it does pass through breast milk, it would most likely be destroyed in the digestive tract of the infant. Insulin (including Humulin 50/50) is a protein that is digested and inactivated when taken by mouth. This is why insulin cannot be taken by mouth and must be injected. Although young infants sometimes can absorb proteins that adults cannot (due to their immature immune systems), this is probably not significant enough to cause any real problems.
When using insulin, the most significant risk to a breastfeeding woman (or to anyone, for that matter) is the risk of dangerously low blood sugar levels. Make sure to check your blood sugar levels often, and be sure you know exactly what to do if you experience low blood sugar levels.
It is important to expect that breastfeeding can affect your blood sugar levels and your insulin requirements. Make sure you and your healthcare provider have a plan for safely controlling your blood sugar while breastfeeding. You may need to test your blood sugar levels more frequently than you have in the past.
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Humulin 50/50 Insulin Information

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