Insulin is sold under different brand names including ReliOn/Novolin R, Novolin R PenFill, Novolin R Innolet, Novolin R, and Humulin R.  The body also produces this hormone, which aids in lowering blood sugar.  When prescribed by a doctor, it is used for the treatment of diabetes, as well as for other health conditions.

Benefits of Insulin

Insulin can’t be used as a stand-alone treatment.  It is usually included in a program that comprises of blood sugar testing, dental care, eye care, foot care, weight control, exercise, and diet.  It is important that you follow the medication, exercise, and diet routines carefully because these factors can increase or decrease your sugar levels.  Your doctor will prescribe you with a particular syringe or insulin brand. Don’t switch what you’re currently using without discussing it with your medical specialist.  Some brands are interchangeable, but some are not.  Only a doctor will know the right substitute for what you are using today.

A low level of blood sugar can potentially lead to hypoglycemia.  Symptoms to watch out for are tremors, sweating, fast heartbeat, blurred vision, dizziness, weakness, drowsiness, confusion, hunger, nausea, and headache.  If you’re having concerns, contact a family member or a friend right away.  In an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.  And don’t forget to have glucose tablets or non-dietetic candy on hand.

It is also dangerous to have high blood sugar content. This can lead to hyperglycemia. If you have this condition, you will exhibit symptoms like dry mouth, dry skin, drowsiness, vomiting, increased urination, appetite loss, and increased thirst.  The insulin dose should be adjusted, but only a doctor can do this.  When you have this condition, taking more of the drug can have serious effects.  Make sure that you don’t share any of the cartridge and injection pen with other patients, which can lead to transmission of HIV or hepatitis.

Risks and Side Effects

If you have allergies, specifically to insulin, you should discuss this with your doctor.  Also advise your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease and hypoglycemia. Diabetes medications must also be considered.  Schedule the appointment with your doctor because your condition should be monitored regularly.

According to studies, insulin is not harmful to pregnant women.  However, your doctor must be consulted around this issue.  Only a medical professional will be able to tell you what is best for the baby or for nursing mothers.  Medical instructions should be followed carefully. You will be guided accordingly on how to inject the drug.  Never resort to self injection if you haven’t been given proper instructions on how to use or dispose of the syringes and needles.

Injection should never be done in the same area twice, and disposable needles should only be used once. The needles must be placed inside containers that are puncture proof.  Pets and children should not be able to reach this container or your prescription itself.  Whenever you have illness or you’re stressed, be particularly diligent about checking your blood sugar levels. Remember to check the expiration date of the medicine regularly as well.


Should you accidentally miss a dose – do not use extra to compensate for it when you remember.  You should inject it 15-30 minutes before snacks or your main meals.  Stay ahead of your prescriptions and never allow yourself to run too low.

If you’re allergic to insulin, you should not use it at all. Other drugs will also have an effect when used together with insulin such as albuterol and clonidine. Learn everything you can about this hormone and drug before using it and always consult with your doctor.