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Humulin R U-500 Basics

Sep 20, 2013
 
If a new patient says they are taking “Humulin R” we need to be absolutely sure what they are talking about. We’ve prepared this selection of basic facts and resources for you to keep handy for easy reference in dealing with these questions….
  • Is only FDA approved for subcutaneous injection
  • The action profile for Humulin R U-500 is very different from Humulin R U-100. The onset of action of Humulin R U-500 is within 30 minutes, and the duration of action can be up to 24 hours
  • If you draw up Humulin U-500 insulin in a U-100 insulin syringe, here are some examples of what you need to know:
    • 0.3ml (looks like 30 units on syringe) of Humulin R U-500 insulin = 150 units of insulin
    • 0.2ml (looks like 20 units on syringe) of Humulin R U-500 insulin = 100 units of insulin
    • 0.15ml (looks like 15 units on syringe) of Humulin R U-500 insulin = 75 units of insulin
  • Humulin R U-500 comes in 20ml vials has as much insulin as 10 vials of U100 and is the only available U-500 insulin is Humulin R U-500
Here are some guidelines from National Institutes of Health:

If patient needs………………Use

less than 200 units a day………….Humulin R U-100
200-300 units a day………………….Humulin R U-500 BID
300-750 units a day………………….Humulin R U-500 TID

750-2,000 units a day……………….Humulin R U-500 TID plus a 4th dose at bed time

Over 2,000 units a day……..Some reports are presented using Humulin R U-500 in insulin pumps, however, the FDA has not approved Humulin R U-500 for use in insulin pumps

Further references: