Novolin GE 50/50 Penfill Cartridges (100 Units/mL)
- Warnings and Precautions
- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
Novolin GE 50/50 is premixed insulin that combines intermediate-acting insulin (insulin NPH) with fast-acting insulin (insulin regular). Patients find using the ratio with this premixed insulin to work best for them.
Novolin GE 50/50 comes in a penfill cartridge. Each mL contains 100 units (50 units of insulin isophane, human biosynthetic – NPH insulin, and 50 units of regular insulin). Other non-medical ingredients in Novolin GE 50/50 include metacresol, phenol, protamine sulfate, sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, zinc chloride, glycerol, disodium phosphate dihydrate, and water for injection.
This premixed insulin starts working 30-60 minutes after injection, has a maximum effect between 2-8 hours, and lasts up to 18 hours.
A physician may have prescribed this medication for reasons not discussed here. If you are unsure why you have been prescribed this medication, consult with your doctor. Do not stop taking your medicine unless instructed by your doctor.
Insulin medication should not be shared with anyone else, even if they share similar symptoms. This medication can be harmful to those who have not received a prescription from their doctor.
The insulin should appear cloudy and white. Do not use if you notice the contents of the vial remain clear after you roll the suspension in your hands, seems to be discolored, is unusually thick, looks grainy or lumpy, sticks to the vial, seems unusually thick, contains crystals, or if the bottle looks frosted.
Warnings and Precautions
Before you start taking Novolin GE 50/50, be sure to inform your doctor of any existing medical conditions, allergies, medications you are currently taking, whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and essential facts about your health. This information can affect dosage or how you take this medication.
Many factors can affect blood glucose levels and insulin requirements, such as certain medical conditions (i.e. thyroid conditions, kidney or liver disease, infections). These medications affect blood glucose levels, diet, illness, exercise, injury, stress, surgery, and traveling across different time zones.
It is essential to keep your doctor informed of your medical situation, medical concerns, or changes that may impact your insulin dosage. Your doctor should instruct you on how to monitor blood glucose levels and frequency.
Usually, people use insulin when the pancreas is not able to make enough of it. Only a doctor or pharmacist can prescribe several insulin products to the patient. Moreover, only the specialist may change the dose if there is a start, stop, or change in the other person’s medications. Breast-feeding women may also ask the doctor for medical advice about using the insulin cartridge in their situation.
The injection site where the insulin dose may be applied includes the belly, buttocks, and shoulders. Switch these places regularly to avoid bumps and lumps formation. Disinfect the area of choice before the injection and do not massage it afterward.
In case of low blood sugar episodes, make sure you have a quick source of sugar nearby. It may be a sugary drink, a piece of clear sugar, or a glucose pill. However, sometimes it cannot be enough due to some external factors or miss a dose. If that happens, call your doctor right away to get a glucagon injection.
Several factors can affect the medication dosage, such as a person’s body weight, existing medical conditions, and other medicines they are currently taking. Do not change your dose without consulting your doctor first.
It is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this medication. Carrying your insulin relative to meal times is crucial to maintaining your glucose levels and avoiding side effects.
Your doctor will prescribe your insulin dosage based on several factors such as how much natural insulin your body produces, overall lifestyle and health, blood glucose values, and other factors.
Insulin is taken by injecting under the skin. Your doctor or nurse will instruct you on how to administer your medication. When taking your dose of insulin, do not inject it into a muscle or vein. Insulin is measured in international units (IU), and each mL contains 100 IU. Novolin GE 50/50 is commonly taken 30 minutes before certain meals (typically before breakfast or dinner). There are various ways to take insulin, but it’s best to follow the guidance of your doctor.
Before using premixed insulin, roll the bottle between your hands. The suspension should appear white and cloudy. Refrain from using insulin if it seems unusually thick, grainy, lumpy, sticks to the bottle or vial, or seems to be discolored. Do not use if the suspension remains clear after rolling between your hands.
A side effect is an unwanted response due to regular dosages of medication. Side effects can range from temporary to permanent and mild to severe. If you are concerned about any of the side effects of this medication, consult with your doctor about the possible risks.
Speak to your doctor if you experience any side effects. Your pharmacist may be able to provide additional information on how to manage side effects better. If side effects are not addressed, they may lead to serious health complications that may require immediate medical attention.
The side effects have been reported in 1% of patients who have taken this medication. Most of the side effects can be managed and go away with time. The side effects include redness, swelling, and itching at the site of injection, blurred vision, confusion, difficulty concentrating, difficulty speaking, drowsiness, rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, hunger, nervousness, numbing or tingling of the fingers, lips, or tongue, weakness, trembling.
If you experience blisters and rash all over the body, seizures, and unconsciousness, stop taking medication and seek medical attention.
If you experience any signs of severe allergic reactions such as swelling of the face or neck, wheezing, difficulty breathing, or itchy skin or rashes, stop taking this medication and consult a doctor.
If you experience any side effects other than the ones listed above, please inform your doctor.
Other drugs that may interact with Novolin GE 50/50 include ACE inhibitors (i.e., ramipril, lisinopril, enalapril), alcohol, anabolic steroids, beta-blockers, birth control pills, certain diuretics (i.e., hydrochlorothiazide), corticosteroids (i.e., prednisone, prednisolone), danazol, decongestants (i.e., pseudoephedrine), epinephrine, glucagon, growth hormone lanreotide, MAO inhibitors (i.e., phenelzine, tranylcypromine), octreotide, oral medications for diabetes (i.e., gliclazide, glyburide, pioglitazone, rosiglitazone), phenytoin, salicylates, sulfa antibiotics (i.e., sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine) and thyroid replacement therapy (if beginning or dose is changing).
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the medications listed above. Your doctor may decide to make adjustments, including stopping one or more drugs, substitute medications, changing how you are taking drugs, or leaving as is.
A drug interaction does not always mean you have to stop taking them. Speak to your doctor on how to manage drug interactions or your medication regimen.
It is essential to manage blood glucose levels during pregnancy. Insulin requirements may be decreased during the first trimester and increased during the second and third trimesters. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or planning on pregnancy.
Breastfeeding mothers may require dietary changes and an adjustment to their insulin dosage.
Keep unopened insulin in the refrigerator until needed. Use until the expiry date and discard when expired.
Do not store near a heating element or direct sunlight and keep away from children or pets.
Insulin that is kept at room temperature is good up until 28 days. Never allow insulin to freeze.
Do not dispose of medication in a trash bin or down wastewater (i.e., toilet or sink). Please speak to your pharmacist about properly disposing of your medicine when it is no longer needed or expired.