Humalog (insulin lispro) is used to treat diabetes mellitus. Humalog is a fast-acting insulin that helps to lower blood sugar levels after eating. It starts to work about 15 minutes after injection, peaks in about 1 hour, and keeps working for 2 to 4 hours. Humalog is used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. Humalog is also used to treat type 1 diabetes in adults and children who are at least 3 years old.
Humalog is a liquid solution that’s given as a subcutaneous injection. This is an injection given directly under the skin, usually in the abdomen, upper leg, or arm. Humalog can also be given as an IV infusion by a healthcare professional. This is an injection into a vein that’s given over time, usually with other medications such as insulin lispro, regular insulin, and/or short-acting insulin. Humalog comes in several forms:
- Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humalog KwikPen. This 3-mL pen is available in two strengths: U-100 and 200 units of insulin per mL (U-200).
- Vial for use with insulin syringes or insulin pumps. Vials come in 3-mL and 10-mL sizes. Both have the same strength: 100 units of insulin per mL (U-100). An insulin pump is a device that delivers a continuous dose of insulin, and it can also give extra doses at mealtimes.
- Cartridge for use in reusable insulin pens. This 3-mL cartridge is available in one strength: U-100.
- Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humalog Junior KwikPen. This 3-mL pen is available in one strength: U-100.
- Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humalog Tempo Pen. This 3-mL pen is available in one strength: U-100.
How Does It Work
Humalog is an insulin analog (a man-made version of the natural insulin that your body makes). There are two types of Humalog: Humalog and Humalog Mix. Humalog is a fast-acting insulin. It starts to work in about 10 minutes, peaks in about 1 hour, and stops working in about 4 hours. If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to take it every day at the same time of day. Humalog Mix is a mix of fast-acting and short-acting insulins. It starts to work in about 20 minutes, peaks in about 2 hours, and stops working in about 5 hours. If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to take it every day at the same time of day.
Humalog is used to treat high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus. When injected under the skin, it helps control blood sugar levels throughout the day and night by lowering the amount of glucose released by the liver into your bloodstream.
How To Use
Read the instructions for use provided with your medicine. Follow any instructions you are given by your doctor or pharmacist carefully. If you do not understand the instructions, ask your pharmacist or doctor to explain them to you so that you will know how to properly use your medicine. Your healthcare provider will teach you how to inject Humalog by yourself. You may be able to use a syringe and needle, an injection pen, or an infusion pump. If you have questions about how to use this medicine, contact your healthcare provider. You should take it within 15 minutes before a meal, or right after eating. Step-by-step instructions on how to use Humalog and Humalog Mix KwikPen, Tempo Pen, vials, and cartridges will be provided in the pamphlet that comes with your medication.
Humalog side effects include:
low blood sugar
swelling in your hands or feet
thickening hollowing of the skin where you injected the medicine.
Signs of insulin allergy include:
redness or swelling where an injection was given
itchy skin rash over the entire body
feeling like you might pass out
swelling in your tongue or throat
If you have any of these signs, get emergency medical help right away. Call your doctor at once if you have:
weight gain, swelling in your hands or feet, feeling short of breath;
low blood sugar – headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, fast heart rate, and feeling anxious or shaky; or
low potassium – leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling.
Unopened Humalog and Humalog Mix vials, KwikPens, Tempo Pens, and cartridges need to be refrigerated at a storage temperature of 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Make sure they don’t freeze. If kept in a refrigerator, the unopened products should last until the expiration date printed on their packaging. If needed, you can keep unopened Humalog products at room temperature no higher than 86°F (30°C). If you store them out of the refrigerator, here’s how long they’ll be good for:
- Humalog vials, KwikPens, Tempo Pens, and cartridges: 28 days
- Humalog Mix vials: 28 days
- Humalog Mix KwikPens: 10 days
Humalog is a brand-name medication that contains the active drug insulin lispro. The manufacturer of Humalog has also made insulin lispro available in biosimilar form. Insulin lispro is a rapid-acting insulin analog that works by reducing blood glucose levels by decreasing glucose uptake in muscle and fat tissue and increasing glucose uptake by the liver. Insulin lispro is most commonly used for treating type 1 diabetes, but it can also be used to manage type 2 diabetes when combined with other oral medications or injections.
Despite these similarities, there are a few key differences between Humalog and its biosimilar version. The most important difference is that Humalog is more likely to cause hypoglycemia than its biosimilar counterpart. In addition, Humalog may be less effective at controlling blood sugar levels in some patients than the biosimilar version. Humalog may also be used to treat diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and other conditions that require additional insulin.
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