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Know About Humulin N (NPH) Insulin Onset, Peak Time and Duration

Know About Humulin N (NPH) Insulin  Onset, Peak Time and Duration

What is Humulin N?

It is a human insulin that is used to treat diabetes mellitus in both adults and children. Insulin is a natural hormone that is produced by the beta cells in the pancreas. This hormone works by helping glucose enter cells that can convert it into energy. Without insulin, glucose stays in the bloodstream. People with diabetes cannot make enough insulin or they become resistant to it. Because of this, they experience high blood sugar levels. If left untreated, high blood sugar levels can lead to health complications such as nerve or kidney damage. This is where Humulin N comes in. This man-made insulin works similarly to the natural hormone that is produced in the body. Humulin N is produced after combining protamine sulfate and human insulin under the right condition so that crystals can be formed. When this solution is injected subcutaneously, it helps to control blood sugar levels. This medication is part of a treatment program that also includes exercise, diet, weight control, and testing blood glucose regularly.

Humulin N (NPH) insulin onset, peak time and duration

Humulin N is intermediate acting insulin that is administered using an injection pen or syringe. After injection under the skin, the drug starts to work slowly and the effects can last up to 18 hours. Humulin N onset refers to how fast this insulin starts to work to reduce blood sugar levels. Humulin N peak is the time it takes before the maximum effects are felt. This medication has an onset time of 2 to 4 hours. The peak time of this medication is between 4 to 12 hours. This drug can cover your insulin needs for half a day or overnight. Intermediate acting insulin, such as Humulin N, can be taken together with short or rapid acting insulin.

How to inject

Humulin N is injected subcutaneously into the fat tissue of the upper arm, thigh or buttocks. To reduce the risk of lipodystrophy, you should not administer the injection in the same place twice in a row. This medication should not be administered intramuscularly or intravenously. You should not use this medicine if you are experiencing low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include

  • irritability
  • trouble concentrating
  • sweating
  • hunger
  • headache
  • dizziness

Hypoglycemia can be treated by taking fast-acting sugar like hard candy, non diet soda or glucose tablets. Discuss the best way to treat hypoglycemia with your doctor.


The dosage of this medication will depend on a patient’s metabolic needs, glycemic control goal, and the results of blood glucose monitoring. The drug dosage may need to be adjusted in case of changes in meal patterns or changes in physical activity. Strictly follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this medication to avoid complication. Humulin N is a cloudy sterile solution. You should not take this medication if it has particles inside it. Humulin N solution is available as 10ml vials, 3ml vials, 3ml prefilled pens and 3ml KwikPen.


Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.
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