Canine Diabetes Wiki
ReliOn/Novolin NPH
NPH/Isophane by Novo Nordisk
U40, U100 isophane
Action in dogs:
  • onset 0.5-3h,
  • peak 2-10h, [1]
  • duration 4-24h [2]
Line: Novolin
Also known as: Novolin N, Insulatard,
Protaphan,  Protaphane
Similar to: Humulin I, Huminsulin Basal, Humulin N, Humulin NPH, Humulina NPH, Humuline NPH, Humuline N, Umuline NPH, Humulin ReliOn N
Insuhuman Basal, Winthrop Basal
Insuman Basal, Isuhuman Basal

Names of Lilly r-DNA/GE/GM insulins worldwide
Use and Handling:
Shelf Life: 30 months Type: cloudy
When Opened: 6 weeks room temp.
In Pen: 6 weeks room temp.
Notes: Protect from light and heat
Do Not Freeze, Resuspend
Do not use if product does not re-suspend
Do not use intravenously [3]
N insulin

ReliOn Novolin NPH insulin.

An NPH/isophane crystal insulin. [4][5] As of October 2010, ReliOn brand insulin was no longer made by Novo Nordisk, who had been responsible for producing the ReliOn insulins since 2000. [6][7] The ReliOn insulins are still offered in the same types, R, NPH, and 70/30 mix, but they are produced by Eli Lilly and branded as Humulin/ReliOn insulins. [8][9][10] Novolin insulins have NOT been discontinued; these insulins are available as Novolin N, Novolin R, and Novolin 70/30. Only the ReliOn/Novolin branded insulins have been phased out.

This type of insulin tends to have an onset of 2-4 hours, a peak action of 4-10 hours, and a total duration of 10-20 hours, in humans.

It was a protamine suspension insulin, made by Novo Nordisk especially for Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. [11][12]

The only difference between the vials was the addition of the ReliOn name and the cheaper price. There was no quality difference between this insulin and Novolin N[13], Insulatard or Protaphane [14]

Other comparable insulins by other manufacturers are: Umuline NPH, Humuline NPH, Humulina NPH, Huminsulin Basal, Humulin N, [15][16] Humulin I, [17]--the "I" an abbreviation for isophane, [18][19] Insuman Basal, [20][21] and Winthrop Basal.

Specifications of NPH/isophane insulin[]

British National Formulary [22] defines this type as: A sterile suspension bovine or porcine or of human insulin in the form of a complex obtained by the addition of protamine sulphate or another suitable protamine.

British Pharmacoepia and United States Pharmacopia definitions: [23]

Isophane Insulin

Sterile buffered suspension of insulin in the form of a complex obtained by addition of suitable protamine. Prepared from crystalline insulin. pH 6.9 - 7.5 iso-osmotic with blood. Contains for each 100 units of insulin, 300 - 600 g protamine sulphate and not more than 40 g zinc, a suitable bactericide and sodium phosphate as buffering agent.

USP specification: Sterile suspension of zinc insulin crystalline and protamine sulphate in buffered water for injection. Solid phase contain crystals of insulin protamine and zinc; 40, 80, 100 units/ml. Contains glycerol, metacresol, phenol sodium phosphate and zinc.

NPH/isophane insulins[]

The following commercial insulins are all generically NPH insulins:

Other commonly used names are:

  • NPH insulin, NPH
  • isophane insulin


  1. Insulins. North American Veterinary Conference (2005).
  2. Ruchinsky, Renee, et. al. (2010). Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats-page 7. American Animal Hospital Association.
  3. Maddison, Jill E.,Page, Stephen W.,Church, David B. (2008). Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology. Saunders Ltd..
  4. Scientific Discussion-Insulatard. EMEA.
  5. Prescribing Novo Insulins.
  6. A Change to ReliOn Insulin. ReliOn.
  7. Low Cost Insulin Available through major retailer. Diabetes Health (1 December 2000).
  8. Wal-Mart Changes Insulin Partners. Wall Street Journal (22 June 2010).
  9. Wal-Mart Press Release (22 June 2010).
  10. ReliOn insulins. ReliOn.
  11. ReliOn/Novolin insulins.
  12. ReliOn/Novolin NPH.
  13. Novolin N. Revolution Health.
  14. Scientific Discussion-Protaphane. EMEA.
  15. Humulin N. Eli Lilly.
  16. Humulin N NPH/Isophane Insulin. Revolution Health.
  17. Humulin I Prescribing Information.
  18. Patient Information Leaflet-Humulin I. Eli Lilly.
  19. Lilly EU/UK Product Sheet & Time Activity Profiles. Eli Lilly.
  20. Patient Information Leaflet-Insuman Basal. Sanofi-Aventis.
  21. Insuman Prescribing Information.
  22. British National Formulary-Isophane/NPH Insulin Definition. InChem.
  23. British Pharmacoepia (BP) & United States Pharmacoepia (USP)-Isophane/NPH Insulin Defined. InChem.
  24. Hypurin Bovine Isophane Patient Information. Net
  25. Hypurin Bovine Isophane. Wockhardt UK.
  26. Prescribing Bovine Insulin.
  27. Response to Withdrawal of Novo Porcine Insulins. CP/Wockhardt UK.
  28. Prescribing Porcine Insulin.
  29. Response to Withdrawal of Novo Porcine Insulins. CP/Wockhardt UK.
  30. Prescribing Novo Animal Insulin.
  31. Patient Information Leaflet-Pork Insulatard. Novo Nordisk.

More Information[]

Related Pages
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Humulin I
Humulin N
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Humulin ReliOn N