What are Humalog Mix Cartridges?
Humalog Mix Cartridges contain insulin lispro, which is a genetically engineered insulin analog.
What is it used for?
Humalog Mix Cartridges are used in insulin pens for the treatment of patients living with diabetes mellitus who need insulin to maintain blood sugar level control. They are also indicated for the initial stabilization of diabetes mellitus. They are used to control your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level.
How does it work?
The Humalog Mix Cartridges contain a mixture of two types of man-made insulin: fast-acting insulin lispro and the long-acting insulin lispro protamine.
insulin lispro belongs to a group of insulin analogs called mealtime, or bolus insulin. They have a quick onset of action and begin to work in minutes. This provides you with the coverage you need for the spikes of blood sugar that occur during and after a meal. It begins to work about 15 minutes after the injection, achieving peak blood levels in 30 to 70 minutes and lasts for approximately 2 to 5 hours. It should be taken about 15 minutes prior your meal and, if need be, can be taken within 20 minutes of the beginning of the meal.
Insulin lispro protamine is a long-acting insulin that belongs to the intermediate-acting insulin analog group. Small proteins, called protamines, are added to the insulin lispro formulation to slow down the onset and prolong the duration of the insulin action. The activity profile of insulin lispro protamine is similar to that of NPH, or isophane insulin, which is a commonly prescribed insulin that has an onset of about 90 minutes and a duration of approximately 24 hours.
Together, the combination of both types of insulin provides you with a full day’s coverage of your blood sugar control needs, including before, during and after your meals.
Common negative effects may include:
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Injection site irritation
Less common negative effects may include:
- Lipodystrophy (lipoatrophy)
The most common side effect of Humalog is hypoglycemia, otherwise known as low blood sugar.
Symptoms of low blood sugar include
- fast heartbea
- blurred vision
- trouble concentrating
- seizure (convulsions).
Injection site irritation, such as redness, itching and swelling in patients is also common. This usually settles in a few days to a few weeks. This may not be due to the Humalog 50/50 mixture and may be related to other things such as contaminants in a skin cleansing product or an improper injection technique.
Less common side effects may include hypokalemia, which occurs when there is an appearance of dangerously low levels of potassium (K+) in the blood, and lipodystrophy, which is a disorder of fat production, specifically lipoatrophy, the localized loss of fat tissue. Serious side effects may also include anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) and other hypersensitivity or allergic reactions.
How to take this medication
Prior to first use, Humalog Cartridges should be stored in a refrigerator between 2° and 8°C, be careful not to freeze the insulin. Be sure to read the patient information leaflet provided by your doctor before you begin using Humalog and each time you get a refill. The suspension mixture should be white. It should be administered subcutaneously (under the skin). You must be careful not to hit any major blood vessels when injecting your insulin.
Humalog 50/50 and 25/75 should be given between 15 minutes before a meal, or up to 20 minutes after you have begun eating.
Despite these suggestions, always follow your doctor’s instructions above all others when taking this medication.
Always carefully follow your doctor’s directions about your dosage, as well. Specifically, on which insulin to use, how much, and when and how often to inject it. Each case of diabetes is unique and your doctor will likely personalize your dosing schedule for you, specifically. Your dose and schedule may be affected by changes in the food you eat, your activity level, or your schedule at work. Other factors that may effect your dose are pregnancy, illness, other medications, exercise and travel.
You should administer your dose within 15 minutes of the start of your meal or within 20 minutes of eating your meal. The most common injection sites include the abdomen, thigh, upper arm, or buttocks. To help reduce the risk of lipodystrophy, which is a disorder in fat production, rotate your injection site within the same region between doses.
Warnings and Precautions
When this medication should not be used:
- When your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia). After treating your low blood sugar, follow your doctor’s instructions on the use of Humalog.
- If you are allergic to anything in Humalog.
Before using it, tell your doctor if:
- You have or had problems with your kidneys or liver.
- You drink alcohol (including wine and beer).
- You are sick.
- You exercise more than usual, or if you want to change your usual exercise or diet routine.
- You are pregnant, or you are planning on becoming pregnant.
- You are traveling across more than two time zones.
- Take other prescription medicine(s).
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