Apidra is a type of insulin used to control blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes. Specifically, the drug is a fast-acting insulin that is used to control the spike in blood sugar levels after meals. The medication is injected just under the skin of the stomach, upper arm, or thigh. Potential side effects include low blood sugar levels and reactions at the injection site.
What Is Apidra?
Apidra® (insulin glulisine) is a prescription form of insulin used to treat type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes in adults. It is a rapid-acting insulin used to help control the spike in blood sugar levels that occurs after meals. It is typically used in combination with a long-acting insulin. Apidra can also be used in an insulin pump.
Studies have shown that Apidra worked as well as insulin lispro (Humalog®), another rapid-acting insulin. Studies have also shown that Apidra worked well even with flexible mealtime dosing (from 15 minutes before to just after the meal).
How Does It Work?
Apidra is a form of insulin, which is a hormone that is naturally produced by the pancreas. This hormone is important for several functions, such as controlling blood sugar. Insulin helps the cells of your body remove glucose ("sugar") from your bloodstream. This sugar fuels your body's cells, giving them the energy they need to work properly.
Normally, your body is able to maintain proper levels of sugar in your blood and inside your cells. However, in people with type 1 diabetes (and sometimes type 2 diabetes), the pancreas has trouble making insulin. This causes too much sugar to accumulate in the blood.
Too much sugar can also accumulate in the blood if your body has trouble responding to normal levels of insulin, as is common in people with type 2 diabetes. Over time, high levels of sugar in the blood can lead to serious health problems in the eyes, feet, hands, kidneys, and heart.
You may need to take insulin if your pancreas has trouble making enough, which is the case in people with type 1 diabetes and in some people who have type 2 diabetes.
Apidra is a rapid-acting insulin medication. It starts working quickly, produces a sharp peak in insulin levels, and then drops off quickly. It is designed to help control the blood sugar spike that occurs after meals. Almost everyone who takes Apidra will also need to use a long-acting insulin, which can provide a steady background level of insulin to help control blood sugar throughout the day.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Apidra [package insert]. Bridgewater, NJ: sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC;2009 February.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed May 5, 2008.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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