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What are Novolin ge 30/70 PenFill Cartridges?
These Cartridges are filled with a mixture of 30% Regular insulin and 70% NPH insulin isophane for use with your reusable insulin pen.
The NPH insulin contained in the mixture is an intermediate-acting, man-made insulin that starts working in about 90 minutes after the injection and can last up to 24 hours. Both types of insulin are similar to naturally occurring insulin and are used to control blood sugar levels in the treatment of diabetes mellitus.
What is it used for?
Novolin ge 30/70 PenFill Cartridges are used for the control of high blood sugar levels in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes. Together, the fast-acting Regular insulin and the intermediate-acting NPH insulin give you full-day insulin control of your blood sugar. The PenFill Cartridges are for use in your reusable insulin pen for more convenient delivery.
How does it work?
Novolin ge 30/70 works the same as natural human insulin does in those who do not have diabetes. In people who do have diabetes, their body either does not make enough of their own insulin, as in type 1 diabetes, or they cannot properly use the insulin their body does make, as in type 2 diabetes. Normally, insulin is made by the beta cells in your pancreas, which is an organ near your stomach. Insulin controls the breakdown of food, including fats, proteins and sugars, by regulating the absorption of sugar that occurs from your blood into liver, fat, and skeletal muscle cells. It also blocks your liver’s ability to produce and release as much sugar back into your blood. Without insulin, your sugar can remain in your blood and cannot enter the cells in your body to be used for energy, leading to high blood sugar.
Novolin ge 30/70 is a blend of 30% Regular insulin and 70% NPH or insulin isophane in your PenFill Cartridge. Regular insulin, sometimes called soluble or neutral insulin, is a fast-acting insulin that is structurally identical to naturally occurring human insulin with a typical onset of about 30 minutes, and it lasts up to 8 hours. NPH insulin is an intermediate-acting insulin that is made from Regular insulin that has been blended with small proteins called protamines. These added proteins help to slow down the onset of insulin action, so it may not begin working until around 90 minutes have passed. The added proteins also increase their duration of action to 24 hours.
When mixed together, Regular and NPH insulin gives you superior insulin protection from high blood sugar levels. The protection offered by the rapid effects of Regular insulin, along with the extended-release of NPH insulin, help better match your insulin levels to that of naturally occurring insulin activity. This prevents the spikes in blood sugar levels seen after meals, or when your insulin wears off, thereby reducing your diabetes symptoms all day with just one dose.
Common negative effects may include:
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- injection site reactions
- serious allergic reaction
- vision changes
- swelling of your hands and feet
- heart Failure
Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include:
- blurred vision
- trouble concentrating or confusion
- anxiety, irritability or mood changes
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- tingling of lips and tongue
- slurred speech
- fast heartbeat
Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, otherwise known as a whole-body reaction, are:
- a rash over your entire body
- quick heartbeat
- trouble breathing
Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of these side effects.
Injection site reactions, or local allergic reactions, may include:
- swelling and redness around your injection site
If you continue having skin problems, or if they are serious, get in contact with your doctor. Do not inject into skin that is itchy, red, or swollen.
You may experience lipoatrophy, which is the localized loss of fat around the injection site, or lipohypertrophy, which is the accumulation of extra fat at the injection site. You should change your injection site often in order to help prevent these skin problems from happening. Do not inject your insulin into this type of skin.
Hypokalemia is a potentially harmful disorder that occurs when you have very low potassium levels in your blood.
Symptoms of hypokalemia may include:
- feeling tired
- weakness and leg cramps
How to take this medication
Novolin ge 30/70 comes as a cloudy or milky suspension because it contains added protamine and zinc. The insulin (the cloudy or milky material) can settle at the bottom of the cartridge, therefore it must be shaken up and down so that the contents are uniformly mixed before you give yourself a dose. Insulin Novolin ge 30/70 PenFills come in a 3 mL cartridge for use with your reusable insulin pen.
Dosages are individualized, which means your doctor will write your prescription based on your own personal metabolic needs, blood sugar level monitoring habits, type of diabetes you are treating, and your history of treatment and use of insulin. Always monitor your blood sugar levels closely, especially during the first few weeks if you are switching to Novolin ge 30/70.
Your doctor will have discussed with you the strength, amount, and type of insulin you should be using and your dosing schedule. You may not be on a strict timed-dose schedule with Novolin ge 30/70. Be sure to eat a meal within 45 minutes of administering your dose. Never use more medicine to make up for a skipped dose.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take it if:
- you have any allergies to anything in Novolin ge 30/70
- you have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Let your doctor know:
- if you are pregnant, are planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding
- about all of your medical conditions
- about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements
Taking antidiabetic drugs called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) along with Novolin ge 30/70 can cause heart failure in some people. This can occur if you have never had heart issues, and if you have, it can make it worse.
Tell your doctor if you have any symptoms of heart failure which include:
- swelling in your feet or ankles
- sudden weight gain
- shortness of breath
About the Author
Ida Edlweiss Gumpal is a licensed Pharmacist and medical writer. She took her internships at Mercury Drug Corporation, Inc., a Hospital internship at De Vera Medical Center, Inc., and a Manufacturing internship at Philmed Laboratories, Inc. She has plans on attending medical school with the goal of specializing in Neurosurgery or Cardiothoracic surgery.