High-Alert Medications

Humulin R U-500 (CONCENTRATED regular insulin)

Humulin R U-500
Safety Sheet

Take extra care! Humulin R U-500 is a high-alert medicine.

This means that Humulin RU-500 insulin has been proven to be safe and effective, but it can cause serious harm, such as severe low blood sugar, if not taken exactly as directed.

Top 10 List of Safety Tips for Humulin R U-500

When Your Doctor Prescribes Humulin R U-500

1. Tell your doctor about all your diseases, conditions, and medicines. Your doctor especially needs to know if you have kidney, liver, or heart problems; if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding; and if you take any other diabetes medicines. Tell your doctor if you start or stop any medicines, herbals, or supplements while taking this medicine.

2. Know your dose. Your doctor should tell you when to take Humulin R U-500 and the number of units to take each time. Check your understanding of the dose by telling the doctor what times of the day you will take the insulin and how many units you will take each time.

3. Know how to measure your dose and inject your insulin. Your healthcare provider should show you how to dial your dose with a KwikPen or draw up your dose using a green-capped U-500 insulin syringe.U-500 insulin is CONCENTRATED and contains 5 times more insulin per mL than standard insulin, so a small mistake could cause big problems. Use ONLY a KwikPen or green-capped U-500 insulin syringe (see pictures at the bottom of the page). Do NOT use a tuberculin orU-100 insulin syringe. They will NOT give you the right amount of insulin. Check your understanding of how to dial or measure your dose by showing your healthcare provider how you will do it.

4. Learn how to treat low blood sugar. Talk to your doctor about your blood sugar goals, the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), and how to treat it. Always carry a quick source of sugar, such as glucose tablets or hard candy, to treat low blood sugar. Your doctor may prescribe glucagon to use in case you pass out. Make sure your family knows the signs of low blood sugar, how to treat it, and how to give you a glucagon injection, if needed. See the other side of this page for details.

 When Taking Humulin RU-500

5. Do not mix. Do NOT mix Humulin R U-500 with any other type of insulin or liquid medicine.

6. Do not share, reuse, or recycle. Do NOT share your KwikPen or syringes with other people, even if the needle is changed. You may give others a serious infection or get an infection from them. Do not reuse or recycle syringes, needles, or lancets. Put your used sharps in a sealable, leak-proof, hard container (e.g., empty milk jug or detergent bottle). When it’s full, follow local guidelines to get rid of it, which can be found at: SafeNeedleDisposal.org.

7. Check your medicine. If you use more than one type of insulin, make sure each vial or pen looks different (e.g., keep one in the carton) to avoid mix-ups. Read the label each time you take your insulin.

8. Eat regularly. Eating regular meals and snacks helps keep your blood sugar from getting too low.

9. Test your blood sugar. Ask your doctor when you should test your blood sugar. Keep a log of your blood sugar results and how much insulin you take each day. Bring the log with you when you visit your doctor.

When You Should Call Your Doctor

10. Call for illness or changes in habits. Your insulin dose may need to be changed because of illness, stress, other medicines you take, or changes in eating habits, physical activity, or weight. Call your doctor if you experience any of these changes. Never change your insulin dose unless your doctor tells you to do so. Also let your doctor know if low blood sugar is a frequent problem for you.