Humulin R U-500 (Page 2 of 5)

5.4 Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is the most common adverse reaction associated with insulins, including HUMULIN R U-500. Severe hypoglycemia can cause seizures, may be life-threatening or cause death. Severe hypoglycemia may develop as long as 18 to 24 hours after an injection of HUMULIN R U-500. Hypoglycemia can impair concentration ability and reaction time; this may place the patient and others at risk in situations where these abilities are important (e.g., driving, or operating other machinery).

Hypoglycemia can happen suddenly and symptoms may differ in each patient and change over time in the same patient. Symptomatic awareness of hypoglycemia may be less pronounced in patients with longstanding diabetes, in patients with diabetic neuropathy, in patients using medications that block the sympathetic nervous system (e.g., beta-blockers) [see Drug Interactions (7.3, 7.4)], or in patients who experience recurrent hypoglycemia.

Risk Factors for Hypoglycemia

The timing of hypoglycemia usually reflects the time-action profile of the administered insulin formulation. As with all insulin preparations, the glucose lowering effect time course of HUMULIN R U-500 may vary in different individuals or at different times in the same individual and depends on many conditions, including the area of injection as well as the injection site blood supply and temperature.

Other factors which may increase the risk of hypoglycemia include changes in meal pattern (e.g., macronutrient content or timing of meals), changes in level of physical activity, or changes to concomitant drugs [see Drug Interactions (7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4)]. Patients with renal or hepatic impairment may be at higher risk of hypoglycemia [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6, 8.7)].

Risk Mitigation Strategies for Hypoglycemia

Patients and caregivers must be educated to recognize and manage hypoglycemia. Self-monitoring of blood glucose plays an essential role in the prevention and management of hypoglycemia. In patients at higher risk for hypoglycemia and patients who have reduced symptomatic awareness of hypoglycemia, increased frequency of blood glucose monitoring is recommended. To minimize the risk of hypoglycemia do not administer HUMULIN R U-500 intravenously or in an insulin pump or dilute or mix HUMULIN R U-500 with any other insulin products or solutions [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)].

5.5 Hypersensitivity Reactions

Severe, life-threatening, generalized allergy, including anaphylaxis, can occur with insulins, including HUMULIN R U-500. If hypersensitivity reactions occur, discontinue HUMULIN R U-500; treat per standard of care and monitor until symptoms and signs resolve [see Adverse Reactions (6)].

5.6 Hypokalemia

All insulins, including HUMULIN R U-500, cause a shift in potassium from the extracellular to intracellular space, possibly leading to hypokalemia. Untreated hypokalemia may cause respiratory paralysis, ventricular arrhythmia, and death. Use caution in patients who may be at risk for hypokalemia (e.g., patients using potassium-lowering medications, patients taking medications sensitive to serum potassium concentrations).

5.7 Fluid Retention and Heart Failure with Concomitant Use of PPAR-gamma Agonists

Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), which are peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-gamma agonists, can cause dose-related fluid retention, when used in combination with insulin. Fluid retention may lead to or exacerbate heart failure. Patients treated with insulin, including HUMULIN R U-500, and a PPAR-gamma agonist should be observed for signs and symptoms of heart failure. If heart failure develops, it should be managed according to current standards of care, and discontinuation or dose reduction of the PPAR-gamma agonist must be considered.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are discussed elsewhere:

  • Hypoglycemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
  • Hypokalemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].

The following additional adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of HUMULIN R U-500. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or to establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is the most commonly observed adverse reaction in patients using insulin, including HUMULIN R U-500.

Allergic Reactions

Severe, life-threatening, generalized allergy, including anaphylaxis, generalized skin reactions, rash, angioedema, bronchospasm, hypotension, and shock may occur with insulins, including HUMULIN R U-500 and may be life threatening.

Lipodystrophy

Long-term use of insulin, including HUMULIN R U-500, can cause lipodystrophy at the site of repeated insulin injections. Lipodystrophy includes lipohypertrophy (thickening of adipose tissue) and lipoatrophy (thinning of adipose tissue) and may affect insulin absorption. Rotate insulin injections sites within the same region to reduce the risk of lipodystrophy [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)].

Localized Cutaneous Amyloidosis

Localized cutaneous amyloidosis at the injection site has occurred. Hyperglycemia has been reported with repeated insulin injections into areas of localized cutaneous amyloidosis; hypoglycemia has been reported with a sudden change to an unaffected injection site.

Injection Site Reactions

Patients taking HUMULIN R U-500 may experience injection site reactions, including injection site hematoma, pain, hemorrhage, erythema, nodules, swelling, discoloration, pruritus, warmth, and injection site mass.

Weight Gain

Weight gain can occur with insulins, including HUMULIN R U-500, and has been attributed to the anabolic effects of insulin.

Peripheral Edema

Insulins, including HUMULIN R U-500, may cause sodium retention and edema, particularly if previously poor metabolic control is improved by intensified insulin therapy.

Immunogenicity

As with all therapeutic proteins, insulin administration may cause anti-insulin antibodies to form. The presence of antibodies that affect clinical efficacy may necessitate dose adjustments to correct for tendencies toward hyper- or hypoglycemia.

The incidence of antibody formation with HUMULIN R U-500 is unknown.

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS

Table 1: Clinically Significant Drug Interactions with HUMULIN R U-500
Drugs That May Increase the Risk of Hypoglycemia
Drugs: Antidiabetic agents, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blocking agents, disopyramide, fibrates, fluoxetine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, pentoxifylline, pramlintide, salicylates, somatostatin analog (e.g., octreotide), and sulfonamide antibiotics.
Intervention: Dose adjustment and increased frequency of glucose monitoring may be required when HUMULIN R U-500 is co-administered with these drugs.
Drugs That May Decrease the Blood Glucose Lowering Effect of HUMULIN R U 500
Drugs: Atypical antipsychotics (e.g., olanzapine and clozapine), corticosteroids, danazol, diuretics, estrogens, glucagon, isoniazid, niacin, oral contraceptives, phenothiazines, progestogens (e.g., in oral contraceptives), protease inhibitors, somatropin, sympathomimetic agents (e.g., albuterol, epinephrine, terbutaline), and thyroid hormones.
Intervention: Dose adjustment and increased frequency of glucose monitoring may be required when HUMULIN R U-500 is co-administered with these drugs.
Drugs That May Increase or Decrease the Blood Glucose Lowering Effect of HUMULIN R U 500
Drugs: Alcohol, beta-blockers, clonidine, and lithium salts. Pentamidine may cause hypoglycemia, which may sometimes be followed by hyperglycemia.
Intervention: Dose adjustment and increased frequency of glucose monitoring may be required when HUMULIN R U-500 is co-administered with these drugs.
Drugs That May Blunt Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
Drugs: Beta-blockers, clonidine, guanethidine and reserpine
Intervention: Increased frequency of glucose monitoring may be required when HUMULIN R U-500 is co-administered with these drugs.

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