Humulin N (isophane insulin human) is a brand-name medication the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. It can be used in adults and children.
Humulin N comes as a liquid suspension that you inject subcutaneously using a KwikPen injection pen or a vial and syringe. Humulin N is available over the counter, or your doctor can prescribe it.
This drug belongs to a group of biologic drugs called intermediate-acting insulins. It’s only available in brand-name form. There are currently no
The following Humulin N dosage chart summarizes the drug’s forms, strength, and recommended dosage. However, your doctor will determine the specific dosage that’s best for you.
|Humulin N forms and sizes||Humulin N strength||Recommended dosage|
|• Vial: 3 milliliters (mL) and 10 mL |
• KwikPen: 3 mL
|100 units per mL (U-100)||varies by individual, typically injected once or twice daily|
For information about the dosage of Humulin N, including how to inject the drug, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Humulin N, see this article.
Your dosage of Humulin N will depend on many factors, including the severity of your diabetes and how you respond to the medication. Talk with your doctor about the best dosage of Humulin N for you.
Humulin N forms
Humulin N comes as a liquid suspension that’s injected subcutaneously. It comes in two forms: a vial and an injection pen called the Humulin N KwikPen.
Humulin N vials come in sizes of 3 milliliters (mL) and 10 mL. The KwikPen comes only as a 3-mL pen.
Humulin N strength
Humulin N is available in one strength, 100 units of insulin per milliliter of liquid. This is also written as 100 units/mL or U-100.
Typical dosages for diabetes
The manufacturer of Humulin N does not make specific recommendations about dosing. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs. They’ll base your dosage on how severe your diabetes is, your blood sugar levels, and other factors.
Typically, you’ll have a low starting dose. Based on your blood sugar levels during the first few weeks of Humulin N treatment, your doctor will likely adjust your dosage until your levels are in your target range. And they may continue to adjust your dosage throughout your Humulin N treatment.
Taking other diabetes medications, including other forms of insulin, and changes to your diet, exercise level, or overall health can also affect your Humulin N dosage. (See “Factors that can affect your dosage” below for details.) Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dose that provides the desired effect.
The following sections describe Humulin N dosage ranges that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They may have you inject Humulin N once daily or take your daily dose as two injections.
Dosage for type 1 diabetes
The recommended insulin dosage for type 1 diabetes is 0.4 to 1 unit of insulin per kilogram (kg)* of body weight per day. Basal insulin such as Humulin N should make up about half of your daily insulin. The table below gives Humulin N dosage ranges that are commonly recommended.
|Body weight||Humulin N dosage range for type 1 diabetes|
|40 kg (about 88 lb)||8 to 20 units per day|
|55 kg (about 121 lb)||11 to 28 units per day|
|82 kg (about 180 lb)||17 to 41 units per day|
|109 kg (about 240 lb)||22 to 55 units per day|
* One kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lb).
Dosage for type 2 diabetes
For basal insulins like Humulin N, 0.1 to 0.2 units of insulin per kg of body weight per day is the recommended dosage range for type 2 diabetes. The table below gives Humulin N dosage ranges that are commonly recommended.
|Body weight||Humulin N dosage range for type 2 diabetes|
|40 kg (about 88 lb)||4 to 8 units per day|
|55 kg (about 121 lb)||6 to 11 units per day|
|82 kg (about 180 lb)||8 to 16 units per day|
|109 kg (about 240 lb)||11 to 22 units per day|
The manufacturer of Humulin N does not make specific dosing recommendations for children with diabetes. Your child’s doctor will determine their dose based on the severity of their diabetes, their blood sugar levels, their weight and age, and other factors. (See “Factors that can affect your dosage” below for details.)
The recommended insulin dosages for children are:
- For type 1 diabetes: 0.7 to 1 unit of insulin per kilogram (kg)* of body weight per day. Basal insulin such as Humulin N should make up about 30% to 45% of your child’s daily insulin.
- For type 2 diabetes: 0.25 to 0.5 units of insulin per kg of body weight per day.
The table below gives Humulin N dosage ranges that are commonly recommended for children.
|Child’s body weight||Humulin N dosage range: type 1 diabetes||Humulin N starting dosage range: type 2 diabetes|
|25 kg (about 55 lb)||8 to 11 units per day||6 to 13 units per day|
|40 kg (about 88 lb)||13 to 18 units per day||10 to 20 units per day|
|55 kg (about 121 lb)||17 to 25 units per day||14 to 28 units per day|
If you would like more information about the best dosing of Humulin N for your child, talk with their doctor.
* One kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lb).
Humulin N is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Humulin N is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely use it long term.
The Humulin N dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of your diabetes
- your target blood sugar levels
- other medications you’re taking
- your diet and exercise habits
- your weight
- your age
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Humulin N dosage.
Your doctor may recommend adjustments to your Humulin N dosage in certain situations. Be sure to tell your doctor if you develop any changes in your overall health, especially any of the following:
- kidney problems
- liver problems
- changes in other drugs you’re taking, including other forms of insulin
- changes in your diet or exercise patterns
- changes in your weight
You should adjust your Humulin N dosage only as recommended by your doctor. Be sure to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and let your doctor know about any significant changes.
Humulin N is given as a subcutaneous injection, either once or twice per day. Before you start Humulin N treatment, your doctor or pharmacist will show you how to inject your dose.
The drug should be injected at about the same time(s) of day. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body, which helps to keep your blood sugar levels consistent.
Humulin N liquid suspension comes in two forms:
- A KwikPen. You’ll attach a pen needle to the KwikPen and use a dial on the pen to select your prescribed dose.
- Vials. You’ll attach a needle to an insulin syringe and use this to draw up your prescribed dose.
You can inject Humulin N into your abdomen, thigh, upper arm, or buttocks. Be sure to change injection sites with each dose, to help lower your risk of side effects. For example, if you inject a dose into your abdomen, use a different place on your abdomen for the next injection, or a different body area. And be sure to use a new needle for each dose.
For step-by-step guidance, see the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use Humulin N vials or KwikPens.
Be sure to check your blood sugar as recommended by your doctor. They might have you check your levels more frequently when you first start treatment or after adjusting your dosage.
Accessible drug labels and containers
If you’re having trouble reading your prescription label, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does
If you miss a dose of Humulin N, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. In some cases, they may recommend taking your dose as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose of Humulin N, they may recommend skipping your missed dose and injecting your next dose at the usual time.
To help make sure you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
If you use more Humulin N than your doctor prescribes, you may develop serious side effects. It’s important that you don’t inject more of the drug than your doctor advises.
Symptoms of an overdose
Overdose symptoms of Humulin N can include low blood sugar or low potassium, which may cause:
- muscle twitching or weakness
If you use more than the recommended amount of Humulin N
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve injected too much Humulin N. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Humulin N, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Humulin N without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Humulin N that’s right for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Humulin N. These additional resources might be helpful:
- More about Humulin N. For information about other aspects of Humulin N, refer to this article.
- Side effects. To learn about side effects of Humulin N, see this article. You can also look at the drug’s prescribing information.
- Details about diabetes. For more information about diabetes, see our diabetes hub and these related articles.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.