Apidra and Humalog are both injectable insulins that are used to treat people with diabetes. These drugs help to reduce high blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Both insulin medications are rapid-acting insulin analogs, meaning that they start to work quickly compared to other insulin analogs. However, there are differences between them, hence they cannot be used interchangeably. If your doctor prescribes either Apidra or Humalog, you may need to take them together with long-acting insulin.

What is Apidra?

Apidra is a fast-acting insulin that has insulin glulisine. Insulin glulisine starts to work after 15 minutes and peaks after 1 hour. As a fast-acting insulin, it is recommended you take this medication 15 minutes before you eat, or 20 minutes after you eat. This medicine is only part of a treatment program which includes a diet plan, an exercise program, weight control and blood sugar testing. Your blood sugar will be affected in case you change any of these factors. It is used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and type 1 diabetes in adults and children above the age of 4. However, the drug should not be taken by children younger than the age of 4.

What is Humalog?

Humalog refers to another fast-acting insulin which is taken by people with diabetes to lower blood sugar levels. When injected under the skin, the medication starts to work after 15 minutes to lower your blood sugar levels. If you take this insulin drug with a meal, you should take it within 15 minutes before you eat or just after you take a meal. This medication should be used as it is prescribed by your doctor. Make sure you carefully follow the instructions on the prescription label. It should not be used to treat children of any age with type 2 diabetes.

Similarities and differences between Humalog vs. Apidra


Both Apidra and Humalog are fast-acting insulin which is used to lower blood sugar in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Also, they both have an onset of action that occurs within 15 minutes, and a peak action period that occurs after about an hour. Onset refers to how long it takes before the medication starts to work in the body. On the other hand, peak action refers to the period of time when the maximum effect of the medication is felt in the body. These medications are injected under the skin using an injection pen, or into a vein using an IV. Your doctor will show you how to inject yourself with these medications at home. If you choose to take one of these medications with an insulin pump, you should not mix them with other insulins. After injection, these drugs will keep working inside your body for about 2 to 4 hours. When it comes to side effects, the medications can result in hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar in patients taking these medications.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include

  • shakiness
  • sweating
  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • hunger
  • fatigue
  • heart palpitations.

You can help treat these symptoms by eating some carbohydrates, such as hard candy, non-diet soda, or juice.


Humalog is a brand name of insulin lispro, while Apidra is a brand name of insulin gluisine. Both drugs are brand names, hence they are expensive medications. However, Humalog is slightly more expensive compared to Apidra. There is also a difference in terms of who can take these medications. Most children and adults with type 1 diabetes may be prescribed Humalog. However, it is not yet known if Humalog can be used to treat type 1 diabetes in children below the age of 3. Humalog can also be prescribed to adults with type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, Apidra is used to treat diabetes in adults and children above 4 years old.

Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.