What is Humalog® U-100 Insulin?
Humalog (insulin lispro) is fast-acting insulin used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients manage their blood sugar levels.
Insulin lispro is closely related to human insulin which is the natural hormone produced by the pancreas.
This man-made insulin is both safe and effective in treating both adults and children over the age of 3. It is unknown whether Humalog is safe and effective for children with type 1 diabetes under the age of 3 or children with type 2 diabetes.
Humalog is a substitute for human insulin and used to control glucose levels. Since the molecules in this insulin have been modified, it works faster than normal human insulin.
It increases the rate at which the body converts glucose to glycogen which is stored in the muscle to later be used as energy.
Each vial contains 1000 units (10 millilitres). Humalog 100 units/ml solution for injection in vial comes in a pack of 1 vial, 2 vials or a multipack of 5 x 1 vial.
The other ingredients are glycerol, m-cresol, zinc oxide, dibasic sodium phosphate 7 H2O and water for injection. Hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide may have been used to adjust the acidity.
How to Use Humalog Insulin?
Humalog comes already dissolved in water so you don’t need to mix it however it should only be used if it appears clear, colorless with no particles, like water.
Humalog works very quickly and can last for shorter periods than soluble insulin. Typically this insulin is used 15 minutes within starting your meal.
Your doctor may recommend taking Humalog insulin vials in combination with longer-lasting insulin.
1. First wash your hands
2. Clean the skin and rubber stopper on vial as instructed before injection.
3. Use a clear, sterile syringe to pierce the rubber stopper to draw the recommended dosage amount.
4. Inject insulin under the skin within 1cm from the last injection.
5. After injection leave the need in the skin for 5 seconds to ensure you have taken the full dose
Rotate injection sites as instructed. Medication can be used in the thigh, upper arm, buttock or abdomen.
Do not rub the area after injection.
Do not share insulin with other people as this can spread blood-borne pathogens.
Do not inject directly into a vein.
Do not mix Humalog with other insulin manufacturers or with animal insulin.
Do not administer Humalog insulin intravenously. This should only be done by a doctor.
Side Effects with Humalog Insulin
Similar to any medication, Humalog insulin may cause side effects however not everyone experiences them. Humalog insulin side effects may include:
- Increased heart beat
- Difficulty breathing/wheezing
- Drop in blood pressure
- Rash all over the body
Some experienced localized allergy at the site of injection which may include swelling, itching or redness. Typically it clears up within a few days to weeks. Notify your doctor if you experience allergic reactions.
Amyloid (lumps under the skin) may be caused at injection sites due to a build up of protein. Repetitive injecting into a single site may also cause lipohypertrophy (skin thickening) or lipoatrophy (shrinking of fatty tissue). To avoid these skin issues from happening you should rotate injection sites.
Oedema (fluid retention;swelling of ankles and arms) has been reported at the start of treatment or during changes of blood glucose control.
If you are feeling ill after taking Humalog insulin you made need to adjust your dosage levels. Even if your eating habits have changed, you still require insulin. Test your blood & urine and consult a doctor.
Also speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects including those not listed above.
Common problems with diabetes:
Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar means there is not a sufficient amount of sugar in the blood. This can be caused if:
- you take too much insulin
- you delay or miss meals or change your diet
- you exercise too much before/after meals
- you have an illness or infection
- you have trouble with your heart, liver or kidneys
- alcohol may affect blood sugar levels
Symptoms of low blood sugar usually are immediate and include:
- shakiness or nervousness
- cold sweats
- increased heartbeat
- feeling sick
Hyperglycemia or too much sugar in the blood can lead to ketoacidosis. It happens when your body does not have enough insulin and can be brought about by:
- not taking your prescription insulin like Humalog
- taking less insulin that advised
- fever, emotional stress or infection
- eat more than your recommended diet allows
Symptoms may include:
- flushed face
- increased thirst
- no appetite
- feeling sick
- fruit smell on breath
- rapid pulse
- heavy breathing
If you are feeling any of these symptoms you should contact your doctor.
Warnings and precautions
Humalog may cause a drop in blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia)
Always check your insulin labels when receiving them from your pharmacy or before use so it is not potentially confused for other medications you are taking.
Some patients have reported experiencing hypoglycemia when they switched to human insulin from animal insulin.
Your insulin dosage my need to change if you are taking any of the following medications:
- contraceptive pills
- oral hypoglycemics
- thyroid medication
- sulpha antibiotics
- acetyl salicyclic acid
- beta blockers
Speak with your doctor if you are taking any medications or supplements not listed above.
If you are pregnant or breast-feeding then you may require adjusting your insulin dosages. Typically dosage amounts may drop during the first trimester of pregnancy and increase during the second and third. Consult your doctor about recommended dosage.
It’s possible that your ability to concentrate my be affected due to hypoglycemia. For this reason you should not drive or operate machinery while using this insulin. Symptoms may differ for each patient.
Some may experience heart failure, shortness of breath, increased weight gain and localized swelling (oedema).
Rotate injection sites to avoid causing skin damage such as lumps. Humalog will not work well if injected into a lumpy area.
Your doctor may recommend monitoring your blood sugar levels closely and adjust your insulin dosage and other antidiabetic medications.
Carry glucose tablets, candy or sugary drinks just in case you experience low blood sugar (mild hypoglycemia).
Do NOT use Humalog if..
- You are experiencing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- If you have an allergy to insulin lispro or other ingredients in this medication
Humalog Insulin Storage
- Before first use, Humalog insulin vials should be stored in a refrigerator with temperatures between 2°C – 8°C.
- When in use you may keep it refrigerated (between 2°C – 8°C) or at room temperature.
- Never store this medication in a freezer or near heat or sunlight.
- Keep insulin out of reach from children.
- Discard medication after 28 days.
- Do not dispose via wastewater or household water. Speak to your pharmacist about how to properly dispose of medication. Proper insulin disposal helps protect the environment.
Notify your doctor if you feel that symptoms have not improved after starting treatment.