What are Humalog vials?
Humalog is the brand name of a variety of insulin analog products that includes insulin lispro, which is a rapid-acting insulin analog solution. Rapid-acting insulin analogs are also referred to as bolus, or mealtime insulin. It is genetically engineered from a safe laboratory strain of E. coli. bacteria specifically to help control the spike in blood sugar level during and after eating.
Humalog vials contain insulin lispro for subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. It is available as Humalog (insulin lispro) in a 10 mL 100 IU/mL vial.
What is it used for?
Humalog insulin lispro injection is used for the treatment of adults and children living with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. It has also shown effectiveness in helping prevent diabetic nephropathy, diabetic neuropathy, and cardiovascular disease, although it has not been officially approved for the prevention of any of these conditions. It is indicated for the treatment of those people who need insulin for maintenance of blood sugar levels and also for the initial stabilization of diabetes mellitus. It is short-acting, and it is meant for use together with a longer acting insulin, such as Humulin N (insulin isophane NPH), except when used in a subcutaneous (under the skin) insulin infusion pump.
How does it work?
Diabetes arises due to either your pancreas not making enough insulin, or your body not responding properly to the insulin that is being produced by your body. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the sugar levels in your blood. It regulates the breakdown of food and facilitates the absorption of sugar from the blood into fat cells, liver cells and skeletal muscle cells.
Humalog insulin lispro is a rapid-acting human insulin analog used to help maintain your blood sugar levels during and after meals. Following subcutaneous injection, it begins to work in approximately 15 minutes, it achieves peak effectiveness about 30 to 70 minutes after injection, and it lasts a relatively short amount of time; 2-5 hours. Its rapid absorption and shortened delay of onset has advantages over naturally occurring, human insulin, which requires a longer wait period before the start of a meal after injection. This allows for a more flexible dosing schedule, so you can adjust your insulin according to any changes in your daily meal times.
Humalog side effects
Common side effects may include:
- Injection site irritation
Less common side effects may include:
The most common side effect of insulin lispro is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms of which may include headache, fast heartbeat, nausea, hunger, drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, blurred vision, tremor, sweating, trouble concentrating, confusion, or seizure (convulsion).
Skin irritation at the site of injection (local allergy) in patients is also common. Redness, itching and swelling can occur at your insulin lispro injection site. This usually settles in a few days to a few weeks. In some cases, it may be related to other things than the insulin lispro itself, such as irritants in the skin cleansing agent or due to a poor injection technique.
Other common side effects can include hypokalemia (low levels of potassium in the blood) and lipodystrophy (a disorder in fat production). Some serious side effects can include anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), and hypersensitivity reactions (allergic reaction).
How to take this medication
Its rapid onset of activity requires that you take Humalog insulin lispro within 15 minutes of the start of a meal, and if necessary, it may be given shortly after a meal (within 20 minutes of the beginning of the meal).
Only use it if it is a clear and colorless solution. Do not use it if it appears cloudy, thick, or slightly colored, or if any solid particles are visible.
If mixing insulin, the shorter-acting insulin should be drawn into the syringe first, before the longer-acting insulin to prevent contamination of the vial. The mixing of the two insulins beforehand or just prior the injection should be on advice of your doctor. However, a consistent routine should be followed.
Your doctor will tell you which type of insulin to use, how much, when to inject it and how often to inject it. Because each case of diabetes is different, this schedule has been personalized specifically for you. Your usual dose can be influenced by changes in your food, physical activity, or work schedule. Always carefully follow your doctor’s directions. Some other things that may impact your dose are pregnancy, illness, other medications, exercise and travel.
Your dose should be administered within 15 minutes before the start a meal or immediately after the meal. The injection goes into the subcutaneous tissue of your abdomen, upper arm, thigh or buttocks. To decrease the risk of lipodystrophy (a disorder in fat production), change the injection site within the same region between injections. Generally, you should complement your short-acting Humalog dose with an intermediate or long-acting insulin.
Warnings and Precautions
Humalog should not be used if your blood sugar is too low, or you are suffering from hypoglycemia. After you have your low blood sugar treated, follow your doctor’s instructions on how to use it. Your blood sugar levels can be influenced by stress, illness, medical procedures, exercise, alcohol use, or missing meals. Always ask your doctor before changing your insulin schedule or dose.
Humalog should not be used if you have allergies to anything in Humalog products.
Never share your injection pen, cartridge, or syringe with any other person, even if you have changed the needle.