What are Novolin ge 40/60 PenFill Cartridges?
Novolin ge 40/60 PenFill Cartridges are cartridges for use with your reusable insulin pen. They are filled with a mixture of 40% Regular insulin and 60% NPH insulin isophane suspension. Both types of insulin are man-made and are similar to naturally occurring human insulin. They are used to help control blood sugar levels for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Regular insulin is a short-acting insulin with a quick onset and a relatively short duration of action. NPH, or isophane insulin, is an intermediate–acting man-made insulin with a longer onset and a duration that lasts a full day.
What is it used for?
Novolin ge 40/60 PenFill Cartridges are for use in a reusable insulin pen to help with the regulation of high blood sugar levels in patients who require insulin for the treatment of their diabetes. The fast-acting Regular insulin, along with the intermediate-acting NPH insulin, provides you with an entire day’s worth of insulin control for your blood sugar levels.
How does it work?
Diabetes is brought about either because your pancreas is not making enough insulin, or because the cells in your body are not responding correctly to the insulin that is produced. Insulin itself is a hormone that is produced by the beta cells in your pancreas. It controls the sugar levels in your blood by regulating the breakdown of food, like sugars, fats and proteins, and it stimulates the absorption of sugars out of the blood and into fat, liver and musculoskeletal cells.
Novolin ge 40/60 mix has a similar mode of action to naturally occurring insulin. Its onset and duration of action comes from the combination of the specific characteristics of both Regular insulin and NPH insulin. Regular insulin is a short-acting insulin that begins to work within 30 minutes, and it remains active for about 5 to 8 hours, while NPH insulin is an intermediate–acting insulin that starts to work after 90 minutes and peaks around 6 to 10 hours. The combination of these insulins can help you maintain your sugar levels for up to 24 hours.
Common negative effects may include:
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Serious allergic reaction
- Injection site reactions
- Swelling of your hands and feet
- Vision changes
- Heart Failure
Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include:
- Slurred speech
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Blurred vision
- Trouble concentrating or confusion
- Fast heart beat
- Anxiety, irritability or mood changes
- Tingling of lips and tongue
Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction are
- rapid heartbeat
- rash over your whole body
- trouble breathing.
If you experience any of these side effects, immediately contact your doctor.
Injection site reactions, or local allergic reactions, may include
- redness around your injection site.
If you continue having skin problems, or they become serious, get in contact with your doctor. Do not inject into skin that is itchy, red or swollen.
Lipodystrophy is a possible reaction as well, causing either lipoatrophy or lipohypertrophy. Lipoatrophy is the localized loss of fat around the injection site, causing pits in your skin. Lipohypertrophy is the accumulation of extra fat at the injection site, causing skin to rise. Remember to change your injection site every time you administer your insulin in order to help prevent these issues from occurring. If you have any of these skin issues, do not inject your insulin directly into this type of skin.
Hypokalemia is a potentially severe side effect that occurs when you have low potassium (K+) levels in your blood. Symptoms of hypokalemia can include constipation, feeling tired, weakness and leg cramps.
Serious heart issues can occur in some people who are also taking antidiabetic drugs called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) along with Novolin ge 40/60. This can occur even if you have never had any heart issues, and if you have, it can make them worse. Tell your doctor if you have any symptoms of heart failure, which include:
- Sudden weight gain
- Swelling in your feet or ankles
- Shortness of breath
How to take this medication
The insulin inside Novolin ge 40/60 PenFill Cartridges is cloudy or milky with the addition of protamine and zinc. The insulin (the cloudy material) may sink and settle at the bottom of the cartridge, so it must be shaken up and down until the contents of the cartridge are uniformly mixed before you give yourself a dose. Insulin Novolin ge 40/60 PenFills come in a 3 mL cartridge for use with your reusable insulin pen.
Your dose and dosing schedule are individualized for you based on your own metabolic needs, type of diabetes, blood sugar level monitoring, and your history of treatment and use of insulin. You always need to monitor your blood sugar levels closely, especially if you are switching to Novolin ge 40/60 from another insulin.
Your doctor will have discussed with you already the strength, type and amount of insulin you should be using and your dose schedule. It is likely that you will not be on a strict time-based dosing schedule with Novolin ge 40/60, but make sure to eat a meal within 45 minutes of administration. Do not use more medicine to make up for a previously skipped dose.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take this insulin medication if you are allergic to anything in the Novolin ge 40/60 PenFill Cartridge or if you have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Inform your doctor:
- About all of your medical conditions
- About all of the medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and supplements
- If you are pregnant, are planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding
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