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Actrapid (Actrapid 100units/ml solution for injection 10ml vials)



Information specific to: Actrapid 100units/ml solution for injection 10ml vials when used in Diabetes.

Actrapid (Act-rapid) is a medicine which is used in diabetes mellitus. Actrapid contains insulin soluble human. It is supplied by Novo Nordisk Limited.

The information in this Medicine Guide for Actrapid varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.

Your medicine

Actrapid is used as a substitute for the body's insulin in people with diabetes. Insulin is a hormone produced in the body. It helps the body to use the sugar in the blood properly and it helps to prevent the blood sugar level from becoming too high.

In diabetes, there is a problem with insulin. The body may not be able to produce enough insulin or the insulin that it produces may not have the full effect. In some instances, the body may not be able to produce any insulin at all.

It is very important that your blood sugar level is well controlled. Blood sugar levels which are too high or too low can be dangerous. Very high blood sugar levels may lead to ketoacidosis; very low blood sugar levels may lead to coma– all of these may be life-threatening. Your prescriber or a member of your diabetes team will be able to give you information on how to recognise the warning signs of high and low blood sugar levels. They will also be able to tell you what to do if either of these occurs.

Warning signs can vary from person to person. If the usual warning signs of poorly controlled blood sugar levels change or disappear, you should contact your prescriber or a member of your diabetes team.

The amount of Actrapid you need to control your blood sugar levels will be worked out by your prescriber or your diabetes team. You may be advised to measure your blood sugar regularly and vary the amount of Actrapid that you use depending on the result of the measurement. Your prescriber or a member of your diabetes team will show you how to measure your blood sugar. If you are having problems controlling or measuring your blood sugar, you should contact your prescriber or a member of your diabetes team.

At times the amount of Actrapid you need to use may change depending on your circumstances. These could include changes to your diet; irregular meal times, changes to your health during periods of illness or emotional stress; changes to the amount of physical activity that you are doing; or if you change to a different insulin. For more information about how to vary your dose when your circumstances change, make sure you have spoken to your prescriber or a member of your diabetes team.

Other information about Actrapid:

  • when changing to Actrapid from another insulin product, your prescriber will gradually reduce the dose of the other medicines

Actrapid needs to be injected. Your prescriber will show you how to inject this medicine yourself.

There should also be instructions on how to inject this medicine in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine or on the pharmacy label.

The pharmacy label on your medicine tells you how much medicine you should have. It also tells you how often you should have your medicine. This is the dose that you and your prescriber have agreed you should have. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your prescriber.

Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, then talk to your prescriber.

Whether this medicine is suitable for you

Actrapid is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:

  • are aged over 65 years
  • are allergic or sensitive to or have had a reaction to any of the ingredients in the medicine
  • have adrenal or pituitary gland problems
  • have an infection
  • have kidney problems
  • have liver problems
  • have low blood sugar levels just before you are due to have Actrapid– this is because Actrapid will further lower blood sugar levels which can be dangerous
  • have thyroid problems

As part of the process of assessing suitability to take this medicine a prescriber may also arrange tests:

  • to check that this medicine is having the desired effect

Over time it is possible that Actrapid can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Actrapid has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.


Alcohol can interact with certain medicines.

In the case of Actrapid:

  • this medicine may interact with alcohol

You should seek advice from your prescriber as to whether you may drink alcohol while taking this medicine.


Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your prescriber may advise you to avoid certain foods.

In the case of Actrapid:

  • Actrapid is not known to interact with food. You should continue on the diet advised by your dietician or prescriber

For more advice speak to your prescriber, dietitian or pharmacist.

Driving and operating machinery

When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.

In the case of Actrapid:

  • some people with diabetes are prone to high or low blood sugar levels. Your ability to drive or operate machinery may be affected if your blood sugar levels are high or low

You should see how this medicine affects you before you judge whether you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt about whether you should drive or operate machinery, talk to your prescriber.

Family planning and pregnancy

Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.

In the case of Actrapid:

  • insulin can be used during pregnancy
  • in order to maintain good control of diabetes during pregnancy your dose of insulin may need to be adjusted and your blood sugar levels may need to be monitored more carefully
  • if you are having Actrapid and are planning to have a baby you must contact your prescriber

If you are taking this medicine and become pregnant, make sure that everyone involved in your medical care knows that you are pregnant and are taking Actrapid. For more information on managing your diet and your diabetes during your pregnancy, talk to your prescriber or a member of your diabetes or antenatal team.


Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.

In the case of Actrapid:

  • insulin may be used by women who are breast-feeding. You may need to make adjustments to your diet or your dose of insulin while breast-feeding

If you are taking this medicine while breast-feeding, make sure that you tell everyone involved in your medical and postnatal care. For more information on managing your diet and your diabetes while breast-feeding, talk to your prescriber or a member of your diabetes or antenatal team.

Taking other medicines

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. At times your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, in other cases this may not be appropriate.

The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.

Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.

The following medicines may interact with Actrapid:

  • danazol
  • lanreotide
  • octreotide
  • pioglitazone

The following types of medicine may interact with Actrapid:

  • ACE inhibitors
  • anabolic steroids
  • beta-blockers
  • glucocorticosteroids
  • growth hormones
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • oral contraceptives
  • oral hypoglycaemics
  • salicylates
  • sulphonamides
  • sympathomimetics
  • thiazide diuretics
  • thyroid hormones

If you are taking Actrapid and one of the above medicines or types of medicines, make sure your prescriber knows about it.

Complementary preparations and vitamins

Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins. In general, there is not much information available about interactions between medicines and complementary preparations or vitamins.

If you are planning to take or are already taking any complementary preparations and vitamins you should ask your prescriber whether there are any known interactions with Actrapid.

Your prescriber can advise whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact. They can also discuss with you the possible effect that the complementary preparations and vitamins may have on your condition.

If you experience any unusual effects while taking this medicine in combination with complementary preparations and vitamins, you should tell your prescriber.

Content provided by Datapharm

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