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Insulin Isophane (NPH)

INFORMATION

Uses

Insulin Isophane (NPH) is used in the treatment of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

How it works

Insulin Isophane (NPH) replaces the insulin that the body would normally make. Insulin is critical for promoting the use and storage of all the major nutrients : glucose, fats and proteins.

Common side effects

Allergic reaction, Skin redness, Edema, Fall in blood sugar level, Injection site itching, Injection site reaction, Retinopathy, Swelling, Visual impairment

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Expert advice

  • Avoid consuming alcohol as it may increase the chance of severe low blood sugar. 
  • Notify your doctor if you have any signs of troubled-breathing or rashes (severe and life-threatening allergy).
     
     
     
  • Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with a proper diet alone or a diet along with exercise. Planned diet and exercising are always important when you have diabetes, even when you are taking antidiabetic medicines. 
  • Low blood sugar is life-threatening. Low blood sugar may occur due to:
    • Delay or missing a scheduled meal or snacks. 
    • Exercising more than usual. 
    • Drinking a significant amount of alcohol.
    • Using too much insulin.
    • Sickness (vomiting or diarrhea).
  • The main symptoms (alarming signs) of low blood sugar are fast heartbeat, sweating, cool pale skin, feeling shaky, confusion or irritability, headache, nausea, and nightmares. Make sure that you have access to quick-acting sugar sources that treat low blood sugar. Consuming some form of quick-acting sugars immediately after the appearance of the symptoms will prevent the low blood sugar levels from worsening. 

Frequently asked questions

Insulin Isophane (NPH)

Q.How does biphasic isophane insulin work?
Insulin isophane is a recombinant human insulin analogue (genetically modified insulin that is grown in a laboratory and similar to human insulin). It is an intermediate acting insulin preparation. Insulin isophane acts by replacing the normal production of insulin and by helping transfer sugar from the blood into other body tissues where it is utilized to generate energy. It also stops the liver from producing more sugar. Intermediate acting insulin preparations start acting within an hour or 2 of injection, and reach a period of peak activity that lasts up to 7 hours, following which the action trails off; overall duration of action ranges from 18 to 24 hours.


Content on this page was last updated on 05 December, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)