Generic Name: insulin lispro (IN soo lin LISS pro)
Brand Names: Humalog Cartridge, KwikPen or Pen

What is Humalog?

Humalog is used to treat type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes in adults. Insulin lispro is a fast-acting form of insulin. It is usually given together with another long-acting insulin. It works by lowering levels of glucose in the blood.

Humalog is also used together with oral (taken by mouth) medications to treat type 2 (non insulin-dependent) diabetes in adults.

Humalog may also be used for other purposes not listed here.

Important information

Humalog is a fast-acting insulin that begins to work very quickly. If you use this medication with meal, use it within 15 minutes before or just after you eat.

Take care to keep your blood sugar from getting too low, causing hypoglycemia. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include headache, nausea, hunger, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, fast heartbeat, sweating, tremor, or trouble concentrating. Carry a piece of non-dietetic hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar. Also be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.

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Also watch for signs of blood sugar that is too high (hyperglycemia). These symptoms include increased thirst, loss of appetite, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry skin, and dry mouth. Check your blood sugar levels and ask your doctor how to adjust your insulin doses if needed.

Never share an injection pen or cartridge with another person. Sharing injection pens or cartridges can allow disease such as hepatitis or HIV to pass from one person to another.

Humalog is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, foot care, eye care, dental care, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.

Before using Humalog

Do not use Humalog if you are allergic to insulin, or if you are having an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Before using Humalog, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease.

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including any oral (by mouth) diabetes medications.

Humalog is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, foot care, eye care, dental care, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.

Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

FDA pregnancy category B. Humalog is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether Humalog passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use Humalog?

Use Humalog exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Humalog is given as an injection (shot) under your skin, using a needle and syringe or an insulin pump. Your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will give you specific instructions on how and where to inject this medicine. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

Humalog is a fast-acting insulin that begins to work very quickly. If you use this medication with meal, use it within 15 minutes before or just after you eat.

Humalog should be thin, clear, and colorless. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Choose a different place in your injection skin area each time you use Humalog. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

If you use this medication with an insulin pump, do not mix or dilute Humalog with any other insulin. Call your doctor at once if you think your infusion pump is not working properly.

Use each disposable needle only one time. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Some insulin needles can be used more than once, depending on needle brand and type. But a reused needle must be properly cleaned, recapped, and inspected for bending or breakage. Reusing needles also increases your risk of infection. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you are able to reuse your insulin needles.

Infusion pump tubing, catheters, and the needle location on your skin should be changed every 48 hours. Throw away any medication leftover in the reservoir.

Never share an injection pen or cartridge with another person. Sharing injection pens or cartridges can allow disease such as hepatitis or HIV to pass from one person to another.

Check your blood sugar carefully during a time of stress or illness, if you travel, exercise more than usual, or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your Humalog dose may also need to change.

Watch for signs of blood sugar that is too high (hyperglycemia). These symptoms include increased thirst, loss of appetite, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry skin, and dry mouth. Check your blood sugar levels and ask your doctor how to adjust your insulin doses if needed.

Ask your doctor how to adjust your Humalog dose if needed. Do not change your dose without first talking to your doctor. Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you have diabetes, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are diabetic. Storing unopened vials, cartridges, or injection pens: Keep in the carton and store in a refrigerator, protected from light. Throw away any Humalog not used before the expiration date on the medicine label. Unopened vials, cartridges, or injection pens may also be stored at room temperature for up to 28 days, away from heat and bright light. Throw away any insulin not used within 28 days. Storing after your first use: You may keep "in-use" vials in the refrigerator, protected from light. Use within 28 days. Do not refrigerate an in-use cartridge or injection pen. Keep it at room temperature and use within 28 days.

Do not freeze Humalog, and throw away the medication if it has become frozen.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Humalog is used before meals, you may not be on a timed dosing schedule. Whenever you use Humalog, be sure to eat a meal within 15 minutes. Do not use extra Humalog to make up a missed dose.

It is important to keep Humalog on hand at all times. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An insulin overdose can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia.

Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include extreme weakness, blurred vision, sweating, trouble speaking, tremors, stomach pain, confusion, seizure (convulsions), or coma.

What should I avoid?

Do not change the brand of Humalog or syringe you are using without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist. Avoid drinking alcohol. Your blood sugar may become dangerously low if you drink alcohol while using Humalog. Do not expose Humalog to high heat.

Humalog side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of insulin allergy: itching skin rash over the entire body, wheezing, trouble breathing, fast heart rate, sweating, or feeling like you might pass out.

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is the most common side effect of Humalog. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include headache, nausea, hunger, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, fast heartbeat, sweating, tremor, trouble concentrating, confusion, or seizure (convulsions). Watch for signs of low blood sugar. Carry a piece of non-dietetic hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar.

Humalog can also cause hypokalemia (low potassium levels in the blood). Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms such as dry mouth, increased thirst, increased urination, uneven heartbeats, muscle pain or weakness, leg pain or discomfort, or confusion.

Tell your doctor if you have itching, swelling, redness, or thickening of the skin where you inject Humalog.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Humalog?

Using certain medicines can make it harder for you to tell when you have low blood sugar. Tell your doctor if you use any of the following:

  • albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin);

  • clonidine (Catapres);

  • reserpine;

  • guanethidine (Ismelin); or

  • beta-blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), bisoprolol (Zebeta), labetalol Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), timolol (Blocadren) and others.

There are many other medicines that can increase or decrease the effects of Humalog on lowering your blood sugar. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Humalog.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.
Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01. Revision Date: 04/24/2009 11:50:16 AM.
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