Humulin N Uses
Humulin N is used for controlling blood sugar levels throughout the day in people with diabetes. It is an intermediate-acting insulin that is approved for use in both adults and children. While certain medications are occasionally prescribed "off-label" (to treat non-approved conditions), there are currently no universally accepted off-label Humulin N uses.
Uses of Humulin N: An Overview
Humulin® N (NPH insulin) is a form of insulin used to help control blood sugar in people with diabetes. This medication is intermediate-acting and is used to control blood sugar throughout the day. It starts working more slowly and lasts longer than regular human insulin.
In healthy people without diabetes, insulin levels do not stay the same throughout the day; instead, they fluctuate in response to changes in blood sugar levels. In order to mimic the natural insulin changes that help keep blood sugar safely controlled, many healthcare providers recommend "basal-bolus" insulin regimens. These regimens often involve a long- or intermediate-acting insulin such as Humulin N to provide a basal insulin level (a relatively steady background level of insulin throughout the day). A rapid- or short-acting insulin is added to provide "bolus" doses to control the spike in blood sugar that occurs after meals.
Some people (especially those with type 2 diabetes) may be able to take Humulin N without adding a rapid- or short-acting insulin.
Using Humulin N Without a Prescription
Many people are surprised to learn that many insulin medications are available over the counter (without a prescription). Regular human insulin, NPH insulin (such as Humulin N), and mixtures of the two types do not require a prescription (even though they are stored "behind the counter" in the pharmacy, since they must be refrigerated). Newer forms of insulin require a prescription. If you would like your insurance (or Medicaid or Medicare Part D) to cover Humulin N, you will need a prescription from your healthcare provider.
Even though you don't need a prescription for Humulin N, it is very important that you use it only under your healthcare provider's supervision. Insulin is a potent and potentially dangerous drug. Taking too much can easily result in death (see Humulin N Overdose). You should not take Humulin N if you do not have diabetes, as this can be extremely dangerous. People without diabetes sometimes abuse insulin (often in combination with steroids) in an attempt to enhance athletic performance.