Humulin R is used for treating diabetes in both adults and children. It is a short-acting form of insulin specifically used to control the blood sugar spike that occurs after meals in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Healthcare providers may occasionally recommend off-label Humulin R uses as well, such as for treating high potassium levels.
What Is Humulin R Used For?
Humulin® R (regular insulin) is a form of insulin used to help control blood sugar in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This medication is short-acting and is used to control blood sugar after meals. Alternatively, it can also be used in an insulin pump. Humulin R comes in two concentrations -- standard U-100 (100 units per mL) and U-500 (500 units per mL). The U-500 form of Humulin R is especially useful for people who take very high doses of insulin (since it allows for a smaller volume to be injected).
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 longer-acting insulin to provide a basal insulin level (a relatively steady background level of insulin throughout the day). A short-acting insulin such as Humulin R or a rapid-acting insulin is added to provide the bolus (a quick, fast-acting, short-lived dose of insulin) to handle the sudden rise in blood sugar levels that follows each meal.
Although most people take Humulin as an injection just under the skin, regular insulin (such as Humulin R) is the only type of insulin that can also be given intravenously (by IV).
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