This information is intended for use by health professionals
Insuman Comb 25 SoloStar 100 IU/ml suspension for injection in a pre-filled pen
Each ml contains 100 IU insulin human (equivalent to 3.5 mg).
Each pen contains 3 ml of suspension for injection, equivalent to 300 IU insulin.
One IU (International Unit) corresponds to 0.035 mg of anhydrous human insulin*.
Insuman Comb 25 is a biphasic isophane insulin suspension consisting of 25% dissolved insulin and 75% crystalline protamine insulin.
* Human insulin is produced by recombinant DNA technology in Escherichia coli.
For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.
Suspension for injection.
After resuspension, milky-white suspension.
Diabetes mellitus where treatment with insulin is required.
The desired blood glucose levels, the insulin preparations to be used and the insulin dose regimen (doses and timings) must be determined individually and adjusted to suit the patient's diet, physical activity and life-style.
Daily doses and timing of administration
There are no fixed rules for insulin dose regimen. However, the average insulin requirement is often 0.5 to 1.0 IU per kg body weight per day. The basal metabolic requirement is 40% to 60% of the total daily requirement. Insuman Comb 25 is injected subcutaneously 30 to 45 minutes before a meal.
SoloStar delivers insulin in doses from 1 to 80 units in steps of 1 unit. Each pen contains multiple doses.
Secondary dose adjustment
Improved metabolic control may result in increased insulin sensitivity, leading to a reduced insulin requirement. Dose adjustment may also be required, for example, if
- the patient's weight changes,
- the patient's life-style changes,
- other circumstances arise that may promote an increased susceptibility to hypo- or hyperglycaemia (see section 4.4).
Elderly population (≧65 years old)
In the elderly, progressive deterioration of renal function may lead to a steady decrease in insulin requirements.
In patients with renal impairment, insulin requirements may be diminished due to reduced insulin metabolism.
In patients with severe hepatic impairment, insulin requirements may be diminished due to reduced capacity for gluconeogenesis and reduced insulin metabolism.
Method of administration
Insuman Comb 25 must not be administered intravenously and must not be used in infusion pumps or external or implanted insulin pumps.
Insuman Comb 25 is administered subcutaneously. Insuman Comb 25 must never be injected intravenously.
Insulin absorption and hence the blood-glucose-lowering effect of a dose may vary from one injection area to another (e.g. the abdominal wall compared with the thigh). Injection sites within an injection area must be rotated from one injection to the next in order to reduce the risk of lipodystrophy and cutaneous amyloidosis (see section 4.4 and 4.8).
Insuman Comb 25 SoloStar100 IU/ml in pre-filled pen is only suitable for subcutaneous injections. If administration by syringe is necessary, a vial should be used (see section 4.4).
Before using SoloStar, the Instructions for Use included in the Package Leaflet must be read carefully.
For further details on handling, see section 6.6.
Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.
In order to improve the traceability of biological medicinal products, the name and the batch number of the administered product should be clearly recorded.
Patients hypersensitive to Insuman Comb 25 for whom no better tolerated preparation is available must only continue treatment under close medical supervision and – where necessary – in conjunction with anti-allergic treatment.
In patients with an allergy to animal insulin intradermal skin testing is recommended prior to a transfer to Insuman Comb 25, since they may experience immunological cross-reactions.
In case of insufficient glucose control or a tendency to hyper- or hypoglycaemic episodes, the patient's adherence to the prescribed treatment regimen, injection sites and proper injection technique and all other relevant factors must be reviewed before dose adjustment is considered.
Transfer to Insuman Comb 25
Transferring a patient to another type or brand of insulin should be done under strict medical supervision. Changes in strength, brand (manufacturer), type (regular, NPH, lente, long-acting, etc.), origin (animal, human, human insulin analogue) and/or method of manufacture may result in the need for a change in dose.
The need to adjust (e.g. reduce) the dose may become evident immediately after transfer. Alternatively, it may emerge gradually over a period of several weeks.
Following transfer from an animal insulin to human insulin, dose regimen reduction may be required in particular in patients who
- were previously already controlled on rather low blood glucose levels,
- have a tendency to hypoglycaemia,
- previously required high insulin doses due to the presence of insulin antibodies.
Close metabolic monitoring is recommended during the transition and in the initial weeks thereafter. In patients who require high insulin doses because of the presence of insulin antibodies, transfer under medical supervision in a hospital or similar setting must be considered.
Patients must be instructed to perform continuous rotation of the injection site to reduce the risk of developing lipodystrophy and cutaneous amyloidosis. There is a potential risk of delayed insulin absorption and worsened glycaemic control following insulin injections at sites with these reactions. A sudden change in the injection site to an unaffected area has been reported to result in hypoglycaemia. Blood glucose monitoring is recommended after the change in the injection site, and dose adjustment of antidiabetic medications may be considered.
Hypoglycaemia may occur if the insulin dose is too high in relation to the insulin requirement.
Particular caution should be exercised, and intensified blood glucose monitoring is advisable in patients in whom hypoglycaemic episodes might be of particular clinical relevance, such as in patients with significant stenoses of the coronary arteries or of the blood vessels supplying the brain (risk of cardiac or cerebral complications of hypoglycaemia) as well as in patients with proliferative retinopathy, particularly if not treated with photocoagulation (risk of transient amaurosis following hypoglycaemia).
Patients should be aware of circumstances where warning symptoms of hypoglycaemia are diminished. The warning symptoms of hypoglycaemia may be changed, be less pronounced or be absent in certain risk groups. These include patients:
- in whom glycaemic control is markedly improved,
- in whom hypoglycaemia develops gradually,
- who are elderly,
- after transfer from animal insulin to human insulin,
- in whom an autonomic neuropathy is present,
- with a long history of diabetes,
- suffering from a psychiatric illness,
- receiving concurrent treatment with certain other medicinal products (see section 4.5).
Such situations may result in severe hypoglycaemia (and possibly loss of consciousness) prior to the patient's awareness of hypoglycaemia.
If normal or decreased values for glycated haemoglobin are noted, the possibility of recurrent, unrecognised (especially nocturnal) episodes of hypoglycaemia must be considered.
Adherence of the patient to the dose regimen and dietary regimen, correct insulin administration and awareness of hypoglycaemia symptoms are essential to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia. Factors increasing the susceptibility to hypoglycaemia require particularly close monitoring and may necessitate dose adjustment. These include:
- change in the injection area,
- improved insulin sensitivity (e.g. by removal of stress factors),
- unaccustomed, increased or prolonged physical activity,
- intercurrent illness (e.g. vomiting, diarrhoea),
- inadequate food intake,
- missed meals,
- alcohol consumption,
- certain uncompensated endocrine disorders (e.g. in hypothyroidism and in anterior pituitary or adrenocortical insufficiency),
- concomitant treatment with certain other medicinal products (see section 4.5).
Intercurrent illness requires intensified metabolic monitoring. In many cases, urine tests for ketones are indicated, and often it is necessary to adjust the insulin dose. The insulin requirement is often increased. Patients with type 1 diabetes must continue to consume at least a small amount of carbohydrates on a regular basis, even if they are able to eat only little or no food, or are vomiting etc. and they must never omit insulin entirely.
Handling of the pen
Insuman Comb 25 SoloStar 100 IU/ml in pre-filled pen is only suitable for subcutaneous injections. If administration by syringe is necessary, a vial should be used (see section 4.2).
Before using SoloStar, the Instructions for Use included in the Package Leaflet must be read carefully. SoloStar has to be used as recommended in these Instructions for Use (see section 6.6).
Medication errors have been reported in which other Insuman formulations or other insulins have been accidentally administered. Insulin label must always be checked before each injection to avoid medication errors between insulin human and other insulins.
Combination of Insuman with pioglitazone
Cases of cardiac failure have been reported when pioglitazone was used in combination with insulin, especially in patients with risk factors for development of cardiac heart failure. This should be kept in mind if treatment with the combination of pioglitazone and Insuman is considered. If the combination is used, patients should be observed for signs and symptoms of heart failure, weight gain and oedema. Pioglitazone should be discontinued if any deterioration in cardiac symptoms occurs.
This medicine contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per dose, that is to say essentially 'sodium-free'.
A number of substances affect glucose metabolism and may require dose adjustment of human insulin.
Substances that may enhance the blood-glucose-lowering effect and increase susceptibility to hypoglycaemia include oral antidiabetic medicinal products, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, disopyramide, fibrates, fluoxetine, monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, pentoxifylline, propoxyphene, salicylates and sulphonamide antibiotics.
Substances that may reduce the blood-glucose-lowering effect include corticosteroids, danazol, diazoxide, diuretics, glucagon, isoniazid, oestrogens and progestogens (e.g. in oral contraceptives), phenothiazine derivatives, somatropin, sympathomimetic medicinal products (e.g. epinephrine [adrenaline], salbutamol, terbutaline), thyroid hormones, protease inhibitors and atypical antipsychotic medicinal products (e.g. olanzapine and clozapine).
Beta-blockers, clonidine, lithium salts or alcohol may either potentiate or weaken the blood-glucose-lowering effect of insulin. Pentamidine may cause hypoglycaemia which may sometimes be followed by hyperglycaemia.
In addition, under the influence of sympatholytic medicinal products such as beta-blockers, clonidine, guanethidine and reserpine, the signs of adrenergic counter-regulation may be reduced or absent.
For insulin human, no clinical data on exposed pregnancies are available. Insulin does not cross the placental barrier. Caution should be exercised when prescribing to pregnant women.
It is essential for patients with pre-existing or gestational diabetes to maintain good metabolic control throughout pregnancy. Insulin requirements may decrease during the first trimester and generally increase during the second and third trimesters. Immediately after delivery, insulin requirements decline rapidly (increased risk of hypoglycaemia). Careful monitoring of glucose control is essential.
No effects on the suckling child are anticipated. Insuman Comb 25 can be used during breast-feeding. Breast-feeding women may require adjustments in insulin dose and diet.
No clinical or animal data with insulin human on male or female fertility are available.
The patient's ability to concentrate and react may be impaired as a result of hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia or, for example, as a result of visual impairment. This may constitute a risk in situations where these abilities are of special importance (e.g. driving a car or using machines).
Patients should be advised to take precautions to avoid hypoglycaemia whilst driving. This is particularly important in those who have reduced or absent awareness of the warning symptoms of hypoglycaemia or have frequent episodes of hypoglycaemia. It should be considered whether it is advisable to drive or use machines in these circumstances.
Summary of the safety profile
Hypoglycaemia, in general the most frequent adverse reaction of insulin therapy, may occur if the insulin dose is too high in relation to the insulin requirement. In clinical studies and during marketed use, the frequency varies with patient population and dose regimens. Therefore, no specific frequency can be presented.
Tabulated list of adverse reactions
The following related adverse reactions from clinical investigations are listed below by system organ class and in order of decreasing incidence: very common (≥1/10); common (≥1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000), not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).
Within each frequency grouping, adverse reactions are presented in order of decreasing seriousness.
MedDRA system organ classes
Immune system disorders
Immediate type allergic reactions (hypotension, angioneurotic oedema, bronchospasm, generalised skin reactions);
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
General disorders and administration site conditions
Injection site reactions
Injection site urticaria
Injection site inflammation;
Injection site pain;
Injection site pruritus;
Injection site erythema;
Injection site swelling
Description of selected adverse reactions
Immune system disorders
Immediate type allergic reactions to insulin or to the excipients may be life-threatening.
Insulin administration may cause anti-insulin antibodies to form. In rare cases, the presence of such anti-insulin antibodies may necessitate adjustment of the insulin dose in order to correct a tendency to hyper- or hypoglycaemia.
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
Severe hypoglycaemic attacks, especially if recurrent, may lead to neurological damage.
Prolonged or severe hypoglycaemic episodes may be life-threatening.
In many patients, the signs and symptoms of neuroglycopenia are preceded by signs of adrenergic counter regulation. Generally, the greater and more rapid the decline in blood glucose, the more marked is the phenomenon of counter-regulation and its symptoms.
Insulin may cause sodium retention and oedema, particularly if previously poor metabolic control is improved by intensified insulin therapy.
A marked change in glycaemic control may cause temporary visual impairment, due to temporary alteration in the turgidity and refractive index of the lens.
Long-term improved glycaemic control decreases the risk of progression of diabetic retinopathy. However, intensification of insulin therapy with abrupt improvement in glycaemic control may be associated with temporary worsening of diabetic retinopathy.
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Lipodystrophy and cutaneous amyloidosis may occur at the injection site and delay local insulin absorption. Continuous rotation of the injection site within the given injection area may help to reduce or prevent these reactions (see section 4.4).
General disorders and administration site conditions
Most minor reactions to insulins at the injection site usually resolve in a few days to a few weeks.
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.
Insulin overdose may lead to severe and sometimes long-term and life-threatening hypoglycaemia.
Mild episodes of hypoglycaemia can usually be treated with oral carbohydrates. Adjustments in dose regimen of the medicinal product, meal patterns, or physical activity may be needed.
More severe episodes with coma, seizure, or neurologic impairment may be treated with intramuscular/subcutaneous glucagon or concentrated intravenous glucose. Sustained carbohydrate intake and observation may be necessary because hypoglycaemia may recur after apparent clinical recovery.
Pharmacotherapeutic group: Drugs used in diabetes insulins and analogues for injection, intermediate-acting combined with fast-acting, ATC Code: A10AD01.
Mechanism of action
- lowers blood glucose and promotes anabolic effects as well as decreasing catabolic effects,
- increases the transport of glucose into cells as well as the formation of glycogen in the muscles and the liver, and improves pyruvate utilisation. It inhibits glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis,
- increases lipogenesis in the liver and adipose tissue and inhibits lipolysis,
- promotes the uptake of amino acids into cells and promotes protein synthesis,
- enhances the uptake of potassium into cells.
Insuman Comb 25 (a biphasic isophane insulin suspension with 25% dissolved insulin) is an insulin with gradual onset and long duration of action. Following subcutaneous injection, onset of action is within 30 to 60 minutes, the phase of maximum action is between 2 and 4 hours after injection and the duration of action is 12 to 19 hours.
In healthy subjects, the serum half-life of insulin is approximately 4 to 6 minutes. It is longer in patients with severe renal insufficiency. However, it must be noted that the pharmacokinetics of insulin do not reflect its metabolic action.
The acute toxicity was studied following subcutaneous administration in rats. No evidence of toxic effects was found. Studies of pharmacodynamic effects following subcutaneous administration in rabbits and dogs revealed the expected hypoglycaemic reactions.
sodium dihydrogen phosphate dihydrate,
hydrochloric acid (for pH adjustment),
water for injections.
This medicinal product must not be mixed with other medicinal products except those mentioned in section 6.6.
Insuman Comb 25 must not be mixed with solutions containing reducing substances such as thioles and sulphites.
Mixing of insulins
Insuman Comb 25 SoloStar 100 IU/ml in a pre-filled pen must also not be mixed with insulins of animal origin or with insulin analogues (see section 4.2, 4.4 and 6.6).
Care must be taken to ensure that no alcohol or other disinfectants enter the insulin suspension.
Shelf life after first use of the pen
The pen in-use or carried as a spare may be stored for a maximum of 4 weeks not above 25°C and away from direct heat or direct light.
The pen containing a cartridge or pens in-use must not be stored in the refrigerator.
The pen cap must be put back on the pen after each injection in order to protect from light.
Not in-use pens
Store in a refrigerator (2°C - 8°C).
Do not freeze.
Do not put Insuman Comb 25 next to the freezer compartment or a freezer pack.
Keep the pre-filled pen in the outer carton in order to protect from light.
For storage conditions after first opening of the medicinal product, see section 6.3.
Insuman Comb 25 SoloStar100 IU/ml in a pre-filled pen
3 ml suspension in a cartridge (type 1 colourless glass) with a plunger (bromobutyl rubber (type 1)) and a flanged cap (aluminium) with a stopper (bromobutyl or laminate of polyisoprene and bromobutyl rubber (type 1)).
Each cartridge contains 3 balls (stainless steel).
The cartridges are sealed in a disposable pen injector.
Injection needles are not included in the pack.
Packs of 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 or 10 pens are available.
Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
Insuman Comb 25 SoloStar 100 IU/ml in pre-filled pen is only suitable for subcutaneous injections. If administration by syringe is necessary, a vial should be used (see section 4.2 and 4.4).
Before first use, Insuman Comb 25 must be kept at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours and then resuspended to check the contents. This is best done by gently tilting the pen back and forth (at least ten times). Each cartridge contains three small metal balls to facilitate quick and thorough mixing of the contents. Later on, the insulin must be resuspended again prior to each injection.
After resuspension, the fluid must have a uniformly milky appearance. Insuman Comb 25 must not be used if this cannot be achieved, i.e. if the suspension remains clear, for example, or if clumps, particles or flocculation appear in the insulin or stick to the wall or bottom of the cartridge. These changes sometimes give the cartridge a frosted appearance. In such cases, a new pen yielding a uniform suspension must be used. It is also necessary to change to a new pen if the insulin requirement changes substantially.
Empty pens must never be re-used and must be properly discarded.
To prevent the possible transmission of disease, each pen must be used by one patient only.
It must be remembered that
- insulin protamine crystals dissolve in an acid pH range,
- the soluble insulin part precipitates out at a pH of approximately 4.5 to 6.5.
Insulin label must always be checked before each injection to avoid medication errors between insulin human and other insulins (see section 4.4).
Any unused medicinal product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.
Before using the SoloStar pre-filled pen, the Instructions for Use included in the package leaflet must be read carefully.
Aventis Pharma Limited
410 Thames Valley Park Drive
410 Thames Valley Park Drive
Date of first authorisation: 21 February 1997
Date of CAP conversion: 01 January 2021
Date of latest renewal: 21 February 2007
01 January 2021