Actrapid® 10 mL vial
Protaphane® 10 mL vial

insulin (rys)


Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

What insulin is used for

Before you use insulin

How to use insulin

While you are using insulin

Side effects

After using insulin

Product Description

Further information

This leaflet answers some common questions about insulin 10 mL vials. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor, diabetes education nurse or pharmacist.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you using insulin against the benefits they expect it will have for you.

If you have any concerns about using this medicine, ask your doctor, diabetes education nurse or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.

What insulin is used for

Insulin is used to treat diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a condition where your pancreas does not produce enough insulin to control your blood sugar (glucose) level. Extra insulin is therefore needed.

There are two types of diabetes mellitus:

Type 1 diabetes – also called juvenile onset diabetes

Type 2 diabetes – also called maturity onset diabetes

Patients with type 1 diabetes always require insulin to control their blood sugar levels.

Some patients with type 2 diabetes may also require insulin after initial treatment with diet, exercise and tablets.

Insulin lowers your blood sugar level after injection. Each of the following insulins is available in a 10 mL vial:

Actrapid® is Neutral Insulin Injection, a fast-acting insulin. This means that it will start to lower your blood sugar level about half an hour after you inject it, and the effect will last for approximately 8 hours. Actrapid® is often used in combination with longer-acting insulin products.

Protaphane® is Isophane Insulin Injection, an intermediate-acting insulin. This means that it will start to lower your blood sugar level about one and a half hours after you inject it, and the effect will last for approximately 24 hours. Protaphane® is often used in combination with fast- or rapid-acting insulin products.

As with all insulins, the duration of action will vary according to the type of insulin, the dose, injection site, blood flow, temperature and level of physical activity.

Actrapid® is also used by doctors to treat some people with diabetes in emergency situations.

Insulin is not addictive.

Insulin is available only with a doctor’s prescription.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why insulin has been prescribed for you.

Before you use insulin

When you must not use it

Do not use insulin if:

  1. you have an allergy to:
  • any medicine containing insulin
  • any of the ingredients listed in the “Ingredients” section of this leaflet.
    Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
    – redness, swelling, rash and itching at the injection site
    – rash, itching or hives on the skin
    – shortness of breath
    – wheezing or difficulty breathing
    – swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body.
  1. you are experiencing a low blood sugar level (a “hypo”) when the dose is due.

If you have a lot of hypos discuss appropriate treatment with your doctor.

If you are not sure whether you should start using this medicine, talk to your doctor.

Do not inject Protaphane® into a vein.

Do not use Protaphane® to treat a condition known as diabetic ketoacidotic coma.

Do not use this medicine after the expiry date pri