What are NPH and regular insulin?

HomeArticlesWhat are NPH and regular insulin?

Diabetes mellitus – a disease many people out there struggle with nowadays. This condition can significantly affect one’s life quality, as well as be the reason for many other unfortunate health problems. Probably, that’s why there are so many available treatment options and effective brands meant for blood sugar control in patients. And typically, a wide variety of medications can be confusing for people who are new in this sphere.

So, today’s article is dedicated to two types of insulin injectables – NPH and regular insulins. What are those? Can they be mixed? Is it possible to buy insulin online? What are the main benefits of using them? All answers are going to be mentioned here!


Primary information about the injections

Not everyone is aware of this fact, but different types of insulin can sometimes be mixed in order to provide a better effect and boost one’s blood glucose levels to the optimal numbers. NPH and regular insulins belong to those types and can be used together to “complement” each other’s results. However, before discussing their effectiveness when combined, it is better to learn primary information about both remedies separately. So, without further ado, let’s start!

NPH insulin

Insulin NPH is also known under the name of Neutral protamine Hagedorn insulin. This crystalline suspension of insulin includes zinc and protamine, which provides additional characteristics to the medication. For example, this intermediate-acting insulin with an onset of action of 1 to 3 hours, 24 hours of action duration, and 6 to 8 hours of peak action. Typically, mixing this kind of insulin with rapid-acting insulin analogs is recommended to provide a better effect. It is often used with regular insulin; however, now, this method has become less popular and has been replaced with various insulin analogues because of frequent cases of severe hypoglycemia (severe low blood sugar).

Regular insulin

Regular human insulin is a type of basal insulin used for blood sugar control in patients. It has an onset of action of 30 minutes to an hour, reaches its peak effect in 2 to 4 hours, and lasts up to 8 hours. Based on its characteristics, you can see that we are talking about fast-acting insulin. This medication can be used for patients with both diabetes type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

*It is crucial to have a valid prescription from a doctor to buy insulin online; otherwise, it can be dangerous for an individual’s health and general well-being. Many people prefer purchasing Canadian insulin because of the extremely high prices in the USA; this option can be discussed with a medical specialist or someone who has already had such an experience. 

Can I use NPH and regular insulin for blood glucose control?

For better blood sugar control, insulin dose and type of remedy are always individually picked based on one’s needs, health condition, diabetes variant, and other different factors. The amount of the medication can only be calculated by a doctor, and the dose should be changed if a person loses or gains weight, adds something new to their diet, switches the exercise program, or has other vital changes in their lifestyle (however, it can only be done together with a specialist after all medical examinations). Together, these medications can guarantee up to 12 hours of effective blood sugar control, but they can vary based on specific individual factors.

blood glucose control

When it comes to the combination of regular and NPH insulins, which can be used for type 1 and 2 diabetes, the frequency of the injections should be defined together by a doctor. Before the administration, it is essential to gently mix the solution by rotating the vial or the cartridge approximately 10 times (but it is forbidden to shake it!). In the end, it should look evenly cloudy; don’t use it if it has clumps or particles stuck to the walls/bottom.

The recommended places of administration are the abdomen, upper arm, thighs, etc. It is better to switch the area of injection to avoid irritation and damage to the skin.

Adverse reactions

Typical side effects include injection site reactions (redness, pain, irritations), as well as slight weight gain. Those should cause not more than insignificant discomfort, so a doctor’s help is typically not required. However, if you notice any severe symptoms, a specialist should be informed immediately. What exactly are we talking about?

  • Irregular heartbeat;
  • Muscle weakness;
  • Severe allergic reactions;
  • Hypoglycemia (extremely low blood sugar);
  • Trouble breathing.

It’s not the complete list because we decided to mention only the most common side effects. All risks should be discussed with a doctor to make sure all dangerous signs are noticed on time.


As there are indications for the remedy, there are always limitations as well. There are not too many, so it doesn’t take a lot of time to talk them over with a specialist:

  • Allergies or intolerance of certain drug’s components;
  • Current low blood sugar episode;
  • A medical history of liver or kidney disease, thyroid problems, etc.;
  • Etc.

It is normal to change the type of insulin or dosing because our bodies and, as follows, their needs constantly change. However, this step can only be done together with a doctor; self-treatments can be dangerous and lead to great harm.

To sum up

NPH and regular insulin are often combined in order to provide the best blood sugar control results to an individual. They are both practical and are able to complement each other, thus are often used together. Like all insulins, they belong to prescription medications and, therefore, can be purchased only with a doctor’s valid prescription. That’s it for today; thank you for reading, and stay safe!

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