Humalog is a prescription medication approved to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The insulin, which is injected within 15 minutes before or after meals, is designed to help control the blood sugar spike that occurs after meals. Potential side effects of Humalog include low blood sugar, skin reaction at the injection site, and thickening or pitting of the skin at the injection site.
What Is Humalog?
Humalog® (insulin lispro) is a prescription form of insulin used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is a rapid-acting insulin, used to help control the spike in blood sugar that occurs after meals. It is typically used in combination with a long-acting insulin. The medication can also be used in an insulin pump.
Studies have shown that Humalog worked as well as regular human insulin. People with type 1 diabetes taking the drug may have a lower chance of nighttime hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), compared to those taking regular human insulin.
How Does It Work?
Humalog 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. You may need to take insulin if your pancreas has trouble making enough insulin, which is the case in people with type 1 diabetes and in some people who have type 2 diabetes.
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 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.
Humalog is a rapid-acting insulin medication. It starts working quickly, produces a sharp peak in insulin levels, and drops off quickly. It is designed to help control the blood sugar spike that occurs after meals. Most people who take the drug will also need a long-acting insulin to 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):
Humalog [package insert]. Indianapolis, IN: Lily USA, LLC;2013 March.
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 August 8, 2013.
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