Novolin R is a form of insulin that is available without a prescription. This is a short-acting insulin used to control the spike in blood sugar levels that occurs after meals. Although Novolin R is identical to the insulin produced by the human body, it can cause side effects and may not be suitable for some people with certain health conditions. Possible side effects can include a skin reaction at the injection site and low blood sugar levels.
What Is Novolin R?
Novolin® R (regular insulin) is the standard basic form of insulin used to treat diabetes. It is available without a prescription. The drug is a short-acting insulin used to help control the spike in blood sugar that occurs after meals. It is typically used in combination with a long-acting insulin.
Even though it is produced in a laboratory in special yeast organisms, Novolin R is identical to the insulin produced by the human body. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. This hormone is important for several functions, such as controlling blood sugar. Insulin helps the cells of your body remove glucose ("sugar") from your bloodstream. This sugar fuels your body's cells, giving them the energy they need to work properly. You may need to take insulin if your pancreas has trouble making insulin, which is the case in people with type 1 diabetes and in some people who have type 2 diabetes.
Novolin R is a short-acting insulin medication. It works more quickly than intermediate- or long-acting insulins, but less quickly than rapid-acting insulins. It is designed to help control the blood sugar spike that occurs after meals. It starts working relatively quickly, produces a peak in insulin levels, and then drops off relatively quickly. Most people who take Novolin R will also need a long-acting insulin as well, to provide a steady background level of insulin to help control blood sugar throughout the day.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Novolin R [package insert]. Princeton, NJ: Novo Nordisk, Inc.;2013 March.
Novo Nordisk. Dear healthcare provider letter: important insulin delivery device information: discontinuation of several insulin delivery devices (June 2009). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugShortages/UCM177158.pdf. Accessed August 21, 2009.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed August 25, 2008.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed July 10, 2008.
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