Humulin ® (human insulin)

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Humulin S (insulin human): Intravenous use

Humulin S (insulin human) 100 units/ml in vials is commonly used for IV infusion


Continuous IV infusion, using Humulin S, is a method of insulin delivery specifically for use in hospitalized patients.1-3

For IV use, Humulin S may be administered under medical supervision with close monitoring of BG and potassium levels to avoid hypoglycemia and hypokalemia.4

When administered IV in doses ranging from 0.1 to 0.2 units/kg, the pharmacologic effect of Humulin S

  • begins approximately 10 to 15 minutes after administration, and

  • ends approximately 4 hours (range: 2-6 hours) after administration.4

Typically, IV insulin infusions are mixed to a concentration of 1 unit/mL in normal saline and infused into a dedicated IV line. If the patient requires volume restriction, a more concentrated solution may be used.2

Dosing and Stability in IV Bags

For IV use, Humulin S can be diluted at 

  • concentrations from 0.1 to 1 unit/mL

  • with 0.9% sodium chloride solution for injection.4

Infusion bags prepared with Humulin S are stable when

  • stored in a refrigerator (2°C to 8°C) for 48 hours and then

  • may be used at room temperature for up to an additional 48 hours.4

Priming of IV Sets

The priming of IV sets to accommodate the adsorption of insulin is included in several institutional protocols.5-7

A study designed to quantify the insulin adsorption losses to IV lines

  • added 100 units of Humulin S to each of 20 polyvinyl bags containing 100 mL of 0.9% sodium chloride for injection

  • delivered the resultant solutions (1 unit/mL) through standard polypropylene infusion sets, and

  • collected samples at 10-mL intervals from 0 to 50 mL.

The authors concluded that, for standard IV insulin infusions, a priming volume of 20 mL was sufficient to minimize the effect of insulin adsorption losses to IV lines.7


1. American Diabetes Association. 15. Diabetes Care in the Hospital: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2020. Diabetes Care. 2020;43(suppl 1):S193-S202.

2. Clement S, Braithwaite SS, Magee MF, et al. Diabetes in Hospitals Writing Committee. Management of diabetes and hyperglycemia in hospitals. Diabetes Care. 2004;27(2):553-591.

3. Moghissi ES, Korytkowski MT, DiNardo M, et al. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American Diabetes Association consensus statement on inpatient glycemic control. Endocr Pract. 2009;15(4):353-369.

4. Data on file, Eli Lilly and Company and/or one of its subsidiaries.

5. Quevedo SF, Sullivan E, Kington R, Rogers W. Improving diabetes care in the hospital using guideline-directed orders. Diabetes Spectr. 2001;14(4):226-233.

6. Goldberg PA, Roussel MG, Inzucchi SE. Clinical results of an updated insulin infusion protocol in critically ill patients. Diabetes Spectr. 2005;18(3):188-191.

7. Goldberg PA, Kedves A, Walter K, et al. “Waste not, want not”: determining the optimal priming volume for intravenous insulin infusions. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2006;8(5):598-601.


BG = blood glucose

DKA = diabetic ketoacidosis

IV = intravenous

SC = subcutaneous

T1DM = type 1 diabetes mellitus

T2DM = type 2 diabetes mellitus

Date of Last Review: 23 January 2020

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