Humalog

1 What is Humalog?

Brand: Humalog, Lispro-PFC

Generic: Insulin Lispro

Humalog is an ultra-short acting type of insulin. Insulin is a hormone normally produced by the pancreas. It lowers the blood sugar level.

In patients with Diabetes Mellitus, there is a lack of insulin production or function, so the glucose levels rise abnormally after the meals. Therefore, these patients have to take insulin as an injection in order to maintain their blood sugar levels, as very high levels of sugar are dangerous for the body.

Humalog has a short half-life, therefore, its effect does not last much longer. It is usually prescribed in combination with long-acting insulin.

This medicine is available only through a doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Suspension

2 What To Know Before Using

Before using Humalog, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing the drug and will inform you about them.

Following factors should be considered before taking this drug:

Allergies

If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.

Age-specific problems

The data regarding the effects of this medicine specific to the pediatric age group have not revealed any specific side effect. Its safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 3 years of age.

The studies specific to the geriatric age group have not been carried out, therefore its safety and efficacy have not been established in older age group. However, geriatric population is more prone to having kidney, liver and heart problems.

Pregnancy

Regarding the safety of usage of this drug during pregnancy, it comes under “B” category, which means that clinical trials on animals have revealed no harmful effects to the developing fetus or relevant studies have not been performed.

Drug Interactions

Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect. On the other hand, certain drugs are allowed to be used together.

So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug.

This medication should be used cautiously with the following drugs:

  • Besifloxacin
  • Balofloxacin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Enoxacin
  • Flumequine
  • Fleroxacin
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Lanreotide
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Lomefloxacin
  • Liraglutide
  • Metreleptin
  • Nadifloxacin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Norfloxacin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Octreotide
  • Pasireotide
  • Pazufloxacin
  • Pioglitazone
  • Pefloxacin
  • Pramlintide
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Prulifloxacin
  • Rufloxacin
  • Tosufloxacin
  • Sparfloxacin

Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions. Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco.

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from, especially:

  • Underactive adrenal gland
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting—These conditions lower blood sugar and may lower the amount of insulin or insulin lispro you need
  • Underactive pituitary gland
  • Fever
  • Emotional disturbances
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood)—May makes this condition worse and increases your chance of having serious side effects
  • Infection
  • Illness
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)—Should not be used in patients with this condition
  • Stress—These conditions increase blood sugar and may increase the amount of insulin you need
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease

3 Proper Usage

To use Humalog properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. This medicine is usually administered under the supervision of a doctor or a trained healthcare professional.

Insulin is usually given through an injection in your veins or under your skin. Your doctor may also teach you how to give the shot of insulin to yourself. Try using different areas of the body for each injection like in the forearm, in the skin of your belly, on the thighs.

Follow the meal plan given by your doctor carefully. It is usually injected 15 minutes after or just before a meal. Following the meal plan is as important as the medicine.

This drug should be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor in order to avoid adverse effects. Do not overuse or misuse this drug and do not use it longer than the recommended time. Read all the instructions mentioned in the medication guide.

Do not miss any dose. The dose of this drug varies according to the condition of each person. The number of doses per day, the time interval between the doses and the length of time you have to take the medicine depends on your condition individually and all these factors should only be determined by your healthcare provider. Follow each and every instruction of your doctor and also read the label carefully.

This medicine should be stored in a refrigerator within a closed container, away from heat, direct light, and moisture. Keep this drug out of the reach of children. Do not store expired or outdated medicines or the medicine no longer needed.

4 Precautions To Take

In using Humalog, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. You should never share any insulin syringes or pens with any other person.

One pen or syringe should only be used for one person. Sharing can result in transmission of various infectious agents like Hepatitis and HIV viruses.

Injecting too much insulin can cause Hypoglycemia, which can be a dangerous condition. Make sure that you know about the symptoms and signs of Hypoglycemia especially dizziness, sweating, confusion, drowsiness, behavior changes and shakiness.

Keep some sweets like a candy or sugar cube in your pocket and immediately eat them when you feel these symptoms. Contact your doctor immediately.

It is very important to follow carefully any instructions from your doctor about:

  • Alcohol—because drinking alcohol may cause low blood sugar levels.
  • Travel— tell your doctor about your recent prescription and your medical history. Keep all the records with you. Be prepared for an emergency as you would normally. Make allowances for changing time zones and keep your meal times as close as possible to your usual meal times.
  • Counseling—Family members of the patient need to learn how to prevent side effects or help with side effects if they occur. Furthermore, counseling regarding contraception and pregnancy may be needed because of the problems that can occur in patients with diabetes during pregnancy.

Regular follow-up is necessary during the treatment. It is important to allow your doctor to monitor your progress and to make sure that there aren’t any side effects from the medication. Contact your doctor if you experience any of the side effects.

Avoid taking any other medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Humalog. Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

This medication is associated with the following side effects:

  • Behavior change similar to being drunk
  • Anxious or nervous feeling
  • Cold sweats
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion or difficulty thinking
  • Depression
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Excessive hunger
  • Drowsiness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Fever or chills
  • Irritability or abnormal behavior
  • Nightmares
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Shakiness
  • Restless sleep
  • Slurred speech
  • Unconsciousness
  • Tingling in the hands, feet, lips, or tongue
  • Body aches or pain
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Voice changes
  • Tender, swollen glands in the neck

Seek medical help instantly, if you experience any of these symptoms while on this drug. Also contact your health care professional immediately, if you have overdosed on this drug. If any of these side effects becomes more bothersome or does not go away, contact your doctor.

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