What is insulin?
Insulin is natural produced hormone in our bodies by the pancreas. It controls the glucose levels in our blood, regulated fats, proteins, carbohydrates and our metabolism. It stores glucose in our muscles, fat and liver.
Without insulin, our bodies could not properly store glucose then it can begin to break down fat and produce keto acids. In dangerously high levels, this can lead to what is called ketoacidosis and become fatal.
When we consume food, our bodies glucose levels rise and our pancreas begins to secrete insulin in order for glucose to be stored later for energy. For those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who do not have proper pancreatic function, there bodies do not produce enough insulin or none at all which can lead to drastic fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
For those with diabetes, insulin is administered subcutaneously (underneath the skin) to help control blood glucose levels more efficiently.
There are several types of insulin that have different absorption rates and last for varying periods of time.
What is Novolin 30/70 Insulin
Novolin 30/70 is a premixed insulin which contains both a fast-acting insulin (insulin regular) and an intermediate-acting insulin (insulin NPH). Patients who take this insulin have their blood sugar levels managed and have found this ratio of both insulin types works best for them.
Novolin 30/70 typically begins to work between 30-60 minutes of injection, has a maximum effect between 2-8 hours and stops working up until 18-24 hours.
Your doctor may have prescribed Novolin 30/70 for conditions that may not be listed below however it is primary taken by those who are diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. If you are unsure why you taking this medication then you should consult with your doctor. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by your doctor.
This medication is not to be shared with others even if they have the same symptoms. This medication can be harmful to those who have not received a prescription from their doctor to use it.
How to use Novolin 30/70
A doctor will prescribe the appropriate dosage for this medication based on your current lifestyle, existing medical conditions, body weight and glucose level results.
Your insulin dosage should not be modified unless instructed by your doctor and not based on the information taken from elsewhere.
Time timing when you take this medication is important. In order to prevent unwanted side effects and keep blood glucose levels under control, it’s important to take insulin with respect to meal times.
Do not dispose of medication in household garbage or down wastewater (ie down the toilet or sink). Speak to your pharmacist about proper disposal of drugs that are no longer in use or expired.
Your dose of Novolin 30/70 insulin should be injected under the skin as instructed by your doctor or nurse. It should not be injected into a vein and should not be premixed into an insulin pump.
Insulin dosages are measured in international units (IU). Each ml of insulin contains 100 IU. Most commonly, this insulin is taken before breakfast and dinner and/or 30 minutes before select meals. However insulin dosing may vary based on your doctors recommendations.
Prior to taking Novolin 30/70 premixed insulin, roll the pen or bottle between your hands. Premixed insulin suspension should also appear cloudy or white.
- Keep unopened bottle of insulin refrigerated until needed.
- Insulin is good until the expiry date on the label.
- Never allow insulin to be frozen.
- Keep out of reach from children or pets.
- Insulin currently in use can be kept at room temperature for up to 28 days and then should be discarded.
- Do not expose insulin to extreme heat or sunlight.
What form does this insulin come in?
Each vial of Novolin 70/30 contains 30 units of regular insulin and 70 units of insulin isophane, human biosynthetic – NPH insulin. It also contains non-medical ingredients including metacresol, phenol, hydrocholric acid and/or sodium hydroxide, glycerol, disodium phosphate dihydrate, protamine sulphate, zinc chloride and water for injection.
Who should not this insulin?
- If you have an allergy to insulin or any ingredients that are contained in this medication.
- Experiencing a diabetic coma.
- Experiencing hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).
What are the side effects?
As with any medication, those who use Novolin 30/70 may experience side effects. These side effects are unwanted responses which can range from mild to severe. However side effects are not experienced by everyone. Prior to taking this medication your doctor should discuss the possible side effects and risks associated.
At least 1% of people who have taken this medication have reported side effects. Many of the side effects typically go away with time and can be managed.
If you feel side effects are bothersome or severe, you should contact your doctor. Your pharmacist should also provide information on managing side effects.
The following list are potential side effects with Novolin 30/70:
Redness, itchiness or swelling at site of injection
Low glucose levels and associated side effects:
- blurred vision
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty speaking
- fast heartbeat
- numbness or tingling of your fingers, lips or tongue
Do not continue taking this medication and seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:
- rash or blisters all over body
- difficulty breathing, wheezing
- serious allergic reactions (swelling of face or throat)
Some may experience side effects not listed above. If so, speak with your doctor if you are concerned about any symptoms you may be experiencing when taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Notify your doctor of any pre-existing medical conditions, allergies, any medications, supplements or over-the-counter drugs you are taking, if you are pregnant or expecting and other significant facts about your health. This information may be taken into consideration as it may impact dosage and how your body will respond.
- Do not take insulin if it appears unusually thick, discolored, lumpy or grainy.
- Do not take if bottle looks frosted, if it contains crystals.
- Do not take if suspension remains clear after it’s been rolled between your hands.
Stop using this medication and seek medical attention if you are experiencing any serious allergic reactions such as swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing, wheezing, or body rash.
Blood Glucose Monitoring
It is important for patients using insulin to check their blood glucose levels regularly as recommended by their doctor. Blood glucose levels should also be tested in cases where there is a change in dose schedule due to a time zone difference, a missed meal or being under stress. If you are experiencing high or low blood sugar levels consistently then you should contact your doctor.
Changes at injection site
If you are injecting consistently at the same site you may shrink or thicken fatty tissue. To avoid this from happening, rotate injection sites regularly. Notify your doctor if you notice any skin pitting or thickening at injection sites.
Change in insulin requirements
Insulin requirements may require modification based on blood glucose levels. These may also include:
- certain medical conditions
- certain medications that can affect glucose levels in the blood
- travelling over different time zones
Speak with your doctor about your current health and any changes that may affect blood glucose levels.
It is important to carry identification that lets other know you have diabetes and are taking insulin. This may include a card in your wallet, bracelet or necklace.
Low blood sugar may lead to a decrease in mental alertness or physical abilities. It is important to avoid operating heavy machinery, hazardous tasks or drive if you are experiencing low blood sugar.
Educate Family & Friends
Educate your family and friends about they should do if you experience hypoglycemia and symptoms. Instruct them on how to administer a glucagon emergency kit if you experience low blood glucose levels and lose consciousness.
This may occur if you use too much insulin, miss a meal or exercise too much. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include cold sweats, nervousness, shakiness, fast heartbeat, hunger, confusion, weakness, numbness or tingling in lips, tongue or fingers. Hypoglycemia may be treated by consuming foods that contain sugar. It is recommended to carry a glucose tablet, candy or sugary drink (non-diet) in case you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia.
Signs of Severe Hypoglycemia may include disorientation, loss of consciousness and seizures. For those who are unable to consume sugar by mouth during severe hypoglycemia may require a family or friend to inject them using an emergency glucagon kit.
Insulin can also cause low levels of potassium. This may happen if you are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea due to illness or from certain medications that may cause low potassium. Symptoms of low potassium may include, leg cramps, slowed heartbeat, constipation or tiredness. If you experience any of these symptoms let your doctor know as low potassium levels can become be fatal.
Pregnancy or Breast feeding
During pregnancy, it is important to properly managed blood glucose levels. During the first trimester insulin levels usually decrease until the second and third when it is increased. Adjustments to insulin levels and diet may be required during breast feeding.