Diabetes Home > Novolin R Uses
Novolin R can help control blood sugar levels in people who have type 1 diabetes or, in some cases, type 2 diabetes. This type of insulin is a short-acting insulin and is used to control the spike in blood sugar after meals. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label Novolin R uses, such as for treating dangerously high potassium levels. Novolin R is approved for use in both adults and children.
Uses of Novolin R: An OverviewNovolin® R (regular insulin) is a form of insulin used to help control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. This medication is short-acting and is used to control the rise in blood sugar due to meals.
There are a few different ways to use Novolin R. 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-acting or intermediate-acting insulin to provide a basal insulin level (a relatively steady background level of insulin throughout the day). A short-acting insulin (such as Novolin 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 Novolin R as an injection just under the skin, regular insulin (such as Novolin R) is the only type of insulin that can also be given intravenously (by IV).
Using Novolin R Without a PrescriptionYou might be surprised to learn that many insulin medications are available over the counter (without a prescription). Regular human insulin (such as Novolin R), NPH insulin (such as Novolin N), and mixtures of the two types do not require a prescription, even though they are stored "behind the counter" in the pharmacy (as 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 Novolin R, you will need a prescription from your healthcare provider.
Even though you don't need a prescription for Novolin R, 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 Novolin R Overdose). You should not take Novolin R 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.