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What Is NPH Insulin Used For?

Using NPH Insulin 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, 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 NPH insulin, you will need a prescription from your healthcare provider.
Even though you don't need a prescription for NPH insulin, 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 N Overdose or Humulin N Overdose). You should not take NPH insulin 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.

NPH Insulin Uses in Children

NPH insulin is approved for use in children. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the particular benefits and risks of using NPH insulin in children.

Off-Label NPH Insulin Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend NPH insulin for something other than the uses discussed in this article. At this time, however, there are no universally accepted off-label uses for NPH insulin.
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