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Insulin lispro

Generic Name: insulin lispro (IN soo lin LISS pro)
Brand Name: Admelog, HumaLOG, Lyumjev

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Sep 27, 2020.

What is insulin lispro?

Insulin Lispro is a hormone that works by lowering levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Insulin lispro is a fast-acting insulin that starts to work about 15 minutes after injection, peaks in about 1 hour, and keeps working for 2 to 4 hours.

Insulin lispro is used to improve blood sugar control in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.

Admelog and HumaLOG are used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults, or type 1 diabetes in adults and children who are at least 3 years old.

Lyumjev is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

Important Information

Do not share your Insulin lispro with another person. This includes any pens, cartridge devices, needles, or syringes, even if the needle has been changed. Sharing may pass infections from one person to another. This includes infections you may not know you have.

Low blood sugar may happen with insulin lispro. Very low blood sugar can lead to seizures, passing out, long lasting brain damage, and sometimes death.

Low blood potassium may also happen with insulin lispro. If not treated, this can lead to a heartbeat that is not normal, very bad breathing problems, and sometimes death.

It may be harder to control blood sugar during times of stress such as fever, infection, injury, or surgery. A change in physical activity, exercise, or diet may also affect blood sugar.

Do not drive if your blood sugar has been low. There is a greater chance of you having a crash.

Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol or take products that have alcohol in them.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use insulin lispro if you are allergic to it, or if you are having an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Insulin lispro should not be given to a child younger than 3 years old. Insulin lispro should not be used to treat type 2 diabetes in a child of any age.

To make sure Insulin lispro is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • heart problems; or

  • low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia).

Tell your doctor if you also take medicine that contains pioglitazone or rosiglitazone. Taking certain oral diabetes medicines while you are using insulin lispro may increase your risk of serious heart problems.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Follow your doctor's instructions about using insulin lispro if you are pregnant or you become pregnant. Controlling diabetes is very important during pregnancy, and having high blood sugar may cause complications in both the mother and the baby.

How should I use insulin lispro?

Use Insulin lispro exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Insulin lispro is injected under the skin with a syringe and needle, an injection pen, or with an infusion pump. A healthcare provider will teach you how to properly use insulin lispro by yourself.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Prepare your injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine looks cloudy, has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Admelog or HumaLOG are given within 15 minutes before a meal, or right after eating. Lyumjev is given at the start of a meal or within 20 minutes after eating.

Your healthcare provider will show you where on your body to inject insulin lispro. Use a different place each time you give an injection. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row. Do not inject into skin that is damaged, tender, bruised, pitted, thickened, scaly, or has a scar or hard lump.

Concentrated insulin lispro (200 units) must not be given with an insulin pump, or mixed with other insulins. Do not transfer insulin lispro from an injection pen to a syringe or a severe overdose could occur.

Never share an injection pen, cartridge, or syringe with another person, even if the needle has been changed. Sharing these devices can allow infections or disease to pass from one person to another.

You may have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and feel very hungry, dizzy, irritable, confused, anxious, or shaky. To quickly treat hypoglycemia, eat or drink a fast-acting source of sugar (fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, or non-diet soda).

Your doctor may prescribe a glucagon injection kit in case you have severe hypoglycemia. Be sure your family or close friends know how to give you this injection in an emergency.

Also watch for signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) such as increased thirst or urination.

Blood sugar levels can be affected by stress, illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol use, or skipping meals. Ask your doctor before changing your dose or medication schedule.

Keep insulin lispro in its original container protected from heat and light. Do not freeze insulin lispro or store it near the cooling element in a refrigerator. Throw away any insulin lispro that has been frozen.

Storing unopened (not in use) insulin lispro:

  • Refrigerate and use until expiration date; or

  • Store at room temperature and use within 28 days.

Storing opened (in use) insulin lispro:

  • Store the vial in a refrigerator or at room temperature and use within 28 days.

  • Store the cartridge or injection pen (without a needle attached) at room temperature and use within 28 days.

Use a needle and syringe only once and place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Follow state or local laws about how to dispose of this container. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since insulin lispro is used with meals, you may not be on a timed dosing schedule. Whenever you use insulin lispro, follow the directions for your specific brand about whether to use the medicine before of after you eat. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Insulin overdose can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia. Symptoms include drowsiness, confusion, blurred vision, numbness or tingling in your mouth, trouble speaking, muscle weakness, clumsy or jerky movements, seizure (convulsions), or loss of consciousness.

What should I avoid while using insulin lispro?

Insulin can cause low blood sugar. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how insulin lispro will affect you.

Avoid medication errors by always checking the medicine label before injecting your insulin lispro.

Avoid drinking alcohol.

Insulin lispro side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of insulin allergy: redness or swelling where an injection was given, itchy skin rash over the entire body, trouble breathing, fast heartbeats, feeling like you might pass out, or swelling in your tongue or throat.

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.

Common Insulin lispro side effects may include:

  • low blood sugar;

  • weight gain;

  • swelling in your hands or feet;

  • itching; or

  • thickening or hollowing of the skin where you injected the medicine.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect insulin lispro?

Many other medicines can affect your blood sugar, and some medicines can increase or decrease the effects of insulin. Some drugs can also cause you to have fewer symptoms of hypoglycemia, making it harder to tell when your blood sugar is low. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Insulin lispro only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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