Humalog is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s FDA-approved to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

There are two different types of Humalog: Humalog and Humalog Mix.

Humalog and Humalog Mix are approved for use in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Humalog is also approved for use in children ages 3 years and older with type 1 diabetes.

Ingredients

Humalog contains insulin lispro, which is a rapid-acting insulin analog. (An analog is a man-made version of the natural insulin that your body makes.)

Humalog Mix contains a premixed combination of insulin lispro and a longer-acting insulin called insulin lispro protamine.

Humalog forms and how they’re given

Humalog is a liquid solution that’s given as a subcutaneous injection. This is an injection given directly under the skin.

Humalog can also be given as an intravenous injection by a healthcare provider. This is an injection into a vein.

Humalog comes in several forms:

  • Vial for use with insulin syringes or insulin pumps. Vials come in 3-mL and 10-mL sizes. Both have the same strength: 100 units of insulin per mL (U-100). An insulin pump is a device that delivers a continuous dose of insulin, and it can also give extra doses at mealtimes.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humalog KwikPen. This 3-mL pen is available in two strengths: U-100 and 200 units of insulin per mL (U-200).
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humalog Junior KwikPen. This 3-mL pen is available in one strength: U-100.
  • Cartridge for use in reusable insulin pens. This 3-mL cartridge is available in one strength: U-100.

Humalog Mix forms and how they’re given

Humalog Mix is given as a subcutaneous injection.

Humalog Mix comes as a 50/50 mixture, containing 50% insulin lispro protamine and 50% insulin lispro. It’s also comes as a 75/25 mixture, containing 75% insulin lispro protamine and 25% insulin lispro. Both are suspensions (a type of mixture in liquid) that come in these forms:

  • Vial for use with insulin syringes. This 10-mL vial is available in one strength: U-100.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humalog Mix KwikPen. This 3-mL pen is available in one strength: U-100.

Effectiveness

For information on the effectiveness of Humalog, see the section “Humalog uses” below.

Humalog is available as a generic drug called insulin lispro.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved a generic form of Humalog Mix 75/25, which will be available on the market in the future. The generic drug is known as insulin lispro protamine/insulin lispro.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

The generic versions of Humalog and Humalog Mix 75/25 are produced by Eli Lilly, the same company that makes Humalog. The company uses the same processes to create both Humalog and Humalog Mix 75/25. This is why insulin lispro protamine/insulin lispro (the generic form of Humalog Mix 75/25) is referred to as a generic.

In some cases, the brand-name drug and the generic version may come in different forms and strengths.

Follow-on version

There’s also a follow-on version of Humalog available, called Admelog. This is a different company’s version of Humalog.

A follow-on drug is sometimes called a biosimilar, and it’s a bit like a generic version of a biologic drug. (A biologic drug is a medication that’s created from parts of living organisms.) A follow-on drug is very similar to the parent biologic drug. However, because a biologic drug is made using living cells, the follow-on drug isn’t totally identical.

Follow-on drugs are used to treat the same conditions as the parent drug. And they’re considered to be as safe and effective as the parent drug. Humalog is the parent drug of Admelog.

Humalog is a biologic, so it would typically have just a follow-on version. Therefore, it’s unique that one of Humalog’s forms (Humalog Mix 75/25) also comes as a generic (insulin lispro protamine/insulin lispro).

For more information on insulin as a generic or follow-on, see the American Diabetes Association explanation.

Humalog insulin is an insulin analog (a man-made version of the natural insulin that your body makes). There are two types of Humalog insulin: Humalog and Humalog Mix.

Insulin treatment is used in people with diabetes to replace or enhance their natural insulin production. Several different types of insulin are available. They are classified by how quickly they start working and how long their effects last. The three main groups of insulin are:

  • Fast-acting insulin. This includes:
    • Rapid-acting insulin. This starts working within 5 to 15 minutes, and lasts for around 4 to 6 hours.
    • Regular human insulin (also called short-acting insulin). This starts working within 30 minutes to 1 hour, and lasts for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Intermediate-acting insulin. This starts working within 1 to 2 hours, and lasts for about 12 to 18 hours.
  • Long-acting insulin. Long-acting insulin is also called basal insulin. It starts working within 1.5 to 2 hours, and lasts for 18 to 24 hours or longer.

Humalog is a rapid-acting insulin that contains insulin lispro. It starts working within 15 minutes and lasts for about 4 to 6 hours.

Humalog Mix is a premixed insulin. It contains insulin lispro and insulin lispro protamine. Insulin lispro is a rapid-acting insulin, while insulin lispro protamine is an intermediate-acting insulin. So Humalog Mix has the properties of both types. It starts working within 15 minutes, and lasts for about 22 hours.

You may wonder how Humalog compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Humalog and NovoLog are alike and different.

Ingredients

Humalog contains insulin lispro, while NovoLog contains insulin aspart. These are both rapid-acting insulins.

Humalog and NovoLog are also available as premixed insulins, called Humalog Mix and NovoLog Mix. These contain a rapid-acting insulin with an intermediate-acting insulin. Humalog Mix contains insulin lispro with insulin lispro protamine, while NovoLog Mix contains insulin aspart with insulin aspart protamine.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Humalog and NovoLog to help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Humalog, Humalog Mix, NovoLog, and NovoLog Mix are all approved for use in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Humalog and NovoLog are also approved for use in children with type 1 diabetes. Humalog can be used by children ages 3 years and older, while NovoLog is for children ages 2 years and older.

Drug forms and administration

Humalog, Humalog Mix, NovoLog, and NovoLog Mix are all given as subcutaneous injections. These are injections given just under the skin.

Humalog and NovoLog can also be given as intravenous injections by a healthcare provider. These are injections into a vein.

Insulin types

Humalog and NovoLog are rapid-acting insulin analogs. (An analog is a man-made version of the natural insulin that your body makes.) They’re typically taken at mealtimes to control spikes in blood sugar that occur after eating. You take Humalog 15 minutes before a meal. You take NovoLog 5 to 10 minutes before a meal.

Humalog Mix and NovoLog Mix are premixed insulins that act fast but also last for a long time. They help control mealtime surges in blood sugar, and then help manage blood sugar between meals or at night. Each dose is intended to cover two meals, or one meal and a snack.

Forms of Humalog

Humalog is a liquid solution that comes in several forms:

  • Vial for use with insulin syringes or insulin pumps. Vials contain 3 mL or 10 mL of Humalog. An insulin pump is a device that delivers a continuous dose of insulin, and it can also give extra doses at mealtimes.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humalog KwikPen. Each pen contains 3 mL of the drug.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humalog Junior KwikPen. Each pen contains 3 mL of the drug.
  • Cartridge for use in reusable insulin pens. Each cartridge contain 3 mL of the drug.

Forms of NovoLog

NovoLog is a liquid solution that comes in several forms:

  • Vial for use with insulin syringes or insulin pumps. Each vial contains 10 mL of NovoLog.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called NovoLog FlexPen. Each pen contains 3 mL of the drug.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called NovoLog FlexTouch. Each pen contains 3 mL of the drug.
  • PenFill cartridge for use in reusable insulin pens. Each cartridge contains 3 mL of the drug.

Forms of Humalog Mix

Humalog Mix comes as a 50/50 mix, containing 50% insulin lispro protamine and 50% insulin lispro. It also comes as a 75/25 mix, containing 75% insulin lispro protamine and 25% insulin lispro. Both are suspensions (a type of mixture in liquid) that come in these forms:

  • Vial for use with insulin syringes. Each vial contains 10 mL of Humalog Mix.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humalog Mix KwikPen. Each pen contains 3 mL of the drug.

Forms of NovoLog Mix

NovoLog Mix comes as a 70/30 mixture containing 70% insulin aspart protamine and 30% insulin aspart. It’s a suspension that comes in these forms:

  • Vial for use with insulin syringes. Each vial contains 10 mL of NovoLog Mix.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called NovoLog Mix FlexPen. Each pen contains 3 mL of the drug.

Side effects and risks

Humalog and NovoLog are both forms of insulin. Therefore, these medications can cause very similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

Examples of the most common mild side effects that can occur with both Humalog and NovoLog (when taken individually) include:

  • injection site reactions, such as pain, redness, itchiness, or swelling around the area of your injection
  • lipodystrophy (skin thickening or pitting around the injection site)
  • rash
  • itching
  • swelling of your feet or ankles
  • weight gain

Serious side effects

Examples of serious side effects that can occur with both Humalog and NovoLog (when taken individually) include:

Effectiveness

The only conditions both Humalog and NovoLog are used to treat are type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Humalog and NovoLog haven’t been directly compared in large clinical studies. However, a 2017 study examined the results of treatment with Humalog or Novalog by looking at insurance claims of people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The study looked at complications of diabetes that worsened and changes in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels. HbA1c is a measure of average blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months.

The results didn’t show any significant differences in the people who took either drug. It can be concluded that these drugs are similarly effective for helping people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to manage their blood sugar.

One small study compared the use of Humalog Mix 50/50 with NovoLog Mix 70/30 in people with type 2 diabetes. These premixed insulins were found to be similarly effective for reducing HbA1c levels and improving the control of blood sugar.

Costs

Humalog and NovoLog are both brand-name drugs. Generic forms of both drugs (including the premixed forms) are available. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, the costs of Humalog and NovoLog will vary depending on your treatment plan. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Like NovoLog (above), the drug Humulin has uses similar to those of Humalog. Here’s a comparison of how Humalog and Humulin are alike and different.

Ingredients

There are two different types of Humalog:

  • Humalog contains insulin lispro.
  • Humalog Mix contains a mixture of insulin lispro and insulin lispro protamine.

And there are three different types of Humulin:

  • Humulin R contains insulin human.
  • Humulin N contains isophane insulin human.
  • Humulin 70/30 contains a mixture of insulin human and isophane insulin human.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Humalog and Humulin to help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Humalog and Humalog Mix are approved for use in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Humalog is also approved for use in children ages 3 years and older with type 1 diabetes.

Humulin R and Humulin N are approved for use in adults and children with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Humulin 70/30 is approved only for use in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Drug forms and administration

Humalog, Humalog Mix, Humulin R, Humulin N, and Humulin 70/30 are all given as subcutaneous injections. These are injections given just under the skin. Humalog and Humulin R can also be given as intravenous injections by a healthcare provider. These are injections into a vein.

Insulin types

Humalog and Humulin R are both fast-acting insulins used to manage mealtime surges in blood sugar:

  • Humalog is a rapid-acting insulin analog that you typically take 15 minutes before meals. (An analog is a man-made version of the natural insulin that your body makes.)
  • Humulin R is a short-acting insulin that you typically take 30 minutes before meals.

Humulin N is an intermediate-acting insulin. You take it to manage blood sugar between meals and at night.

Humalog Mix and Humulin 70/30 are premixed insulins that act fast but also last a long time. They help control mealtime surges in blood sugar, and then help manage blood sugar between meals or at night. You typically take Humalog Mix 15 minutes before a meal. For Humulin 70/30, you typically take it 30 to 45 minutes before a meal.

Forms of Humalog

Humalog is a liquid solution that’s available in several forms:

  • Vial for use with insulin syringes or insulin pumps. Vials contain 3 mL or 10 mL of Humalog. An insulin pump is a device that delivers a continuous dose of insulin, and it can also give extra doses at mealtimes.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humalog KwikPen. Each pen contains 3 mL of the drug.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humalog Junior KwikPen. Each pen contains 3 mL of the drug.
  • Cartridge for use in reusable insulin pens. Each cartridge contains 3 mL of the drug.

Forms of Humulin R

Humulin R is a liquid solution that comes in these forms:

  • Vial for use with insulin syringes or insulin pumps. Vials contain 3 mL or 10 mL of Humulin R.
  • Vial for use with insulin syringes. Each vial contains 20 mL of the drug.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humulin R KwikPen. Each pen contains 3 mL of the drug.

Forms of Humulin N

Humulin N is a suspension (a type of mixture in liquid) that comes in these forms:

  • Vial for use with insulin syringes. Vials contain 3 mL or 10 mL of Humulin N.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humulin N KwikPen. Each pen contains 3 mL of the drug.

Forms of Humalog Mix

Humalog Mix comes as a 50/50 mixture, containing 50% insulin lispro protamine and 50% insulin lispro. It also comes as a 75/25 mix, containing 75% insulin lispro protamine and 25% insulin lispro. Both are suspensions that come in these forms:

  • Vial for use with insulin syringes. Each vial contains 10 mL of Humalog Mix.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humalog Mix KwikPen. Each pen contains 3 mL of the drug.

Forms of Humulin 70/30

Humulin 70/30 is a suspension that comes in these forms:

  • Vial for use with insulin syringes. Vials contain 3 mL or 10 mL of Humulin 70/30.
  • Disposable, prefilled injection pen called Humulin 70/30 KwikPen. Each pen contains 3 mL of the drug.

Side effects and risks

Humalog and Humulin are both forms of insulin. Therefore, these medications can cause very similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

Examples of the most common mild side effects that can occur with both Humalog and Humulin (when taken individually) include:

  • injection site reactions, such as pain, redness, itchiness, or swelling around the area of your injection
  • lipodystrophy (skin thickening or pitting around the injection site)
  • rash
  • itching
  • swelling of your feet or ankles
  • weight gain

Serious side effects

Examples of serious side effects that can occur with both Humalog and Humulin (when taken individually) include:

Effectiveness

Humalog and Humulin are both FDA-approved to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Results from two clinical studies

These drugs have been directly compared for treating diabetes in two clinical studies. One study looked at type 1 diabetes, and the other looked at type 2 diabetes. Researchers measured the effect of Humalog and Humulin R on hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels. HbA1c is a measure of average blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months.

In people with type 1 diabetes:

  • average HbA1c levels decreased by 0.1% in those who took Humalog
  • average HbA1c levels increased by 0.1% in those who took Humulin R

In people with type 2 diabetes, average HbA1c levels decreased by 0.7% in people who took either drug.

The studies found Humalog and Humulin R to be similarly effective for helping people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar.

Results from a large review of studies

The effectiveness of Humalog and Humulin for treating diabetes has been compared more recently in a large review of studies. Researchers examined the effects of rapid-acting insulins, such as Humalog, and regular human insulin, such as Humulin R. The people in the studies had type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

The researchers compared the effects of both types of insulin on various measures of blood sugar. These measures included blood sugar levels after meals and HbA1c levels.

Type 1 diabetes

For type 1 diabetes, the review found that rapid-acting insulins were better than regular human insulin at controlling blood sugar levels after meals. Rapid-acting insulins were also found to be more effective at reducing HbA1c levels.

The researchers concluded that rapid-acting insulins, such as Humalog, are better at helping people with type 1 diabetes manage their blood sugar than regular human insulin, such as Humulin R.

Type 2 diabetes

However, the same conclusions couldn’t be made for type 2 diabetes. The review found that more information is needed to determine whether fast-acting insulins or regular human insulin are more effective for people with type 2 diabetes.

Costs

Humalog and Humulin are both brand-name drugs. Generic forms of Humalog are available, but there are currently no generic forms of Humulin. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, the costs of Humalog and Humulin will vary depending on your treatment plan. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

A sliding scale for diabetes is a chart that displays a dosage scale for insulin treatment. It’s sometimes used for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who have trouble calculating their insulin dosage. The chart gives the dose of insulin you should take with each meal, depending on what your blood sugar level is.

A healthcare provider works with you to create a custom sliding scale. However, the scales are very rigid. They rely on you consuming a certain amount of carbohydrates with each meal and having your meals at a set time each day. Sliding scales also rely on you having consistent physical activity day to day.

If you make changes to any of these factors, you could be at risk for both high blood sugar and low blood sugar. In general, sliding scales aren’t a good way to effectively manage your diabetes, and most doctors advise against using them.

Humalog can be dosed using a sliding scale. But it’s more likely that you’ll calculate your dose of Humalog each time you take it. You’ll base the dose on several factors, including:

  • your premeal blood sugar level
  • the amount of carbohydrates in your meal
  • how physically active you plan to be over the next few hours

Your healthcare provider can teach you how to calculate your dose of Humalog.

The Humalog dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of your diabetes
  • the form of Humalog you take
  • your weight
  • your diet and exercise habits
  • your blood sugar level goals
  • other medical conditions you may have
  • other medications you may take

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. There’s no maximum dose for Humalog. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

Your Humalog dosage may sometimes need to be adjusted. How much of the drug you need can change if you alter your usual diet or your normal amount of physical activity. You may also need a different Humalog dosage during times of emotional stress or if you get sick, especially with an infection or a fever. Talk with your doctor about whether you’ll need to make any changes to your Humalog dosage.

Be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs. Humalog dosages are prescribed in units.

Drug forms and strengths

There are two different types of Humalog: Humalog and Humalog Mix.

Humalog is available in two strengths: U-100 (100 units of insulin per mL) and U-200 (200 units of insulin per mL). It contains insulin lispro.

Humalog Mix is available in only one strength: U-100. It contains a mixture of insulin lispro and insulin lispro protamine.

Humalog U-100

The U-100 strength of Humalog comes in four different forms:

  • Vials. Humalog vials come in 3-mL and 10-mL sizes. You can use the vials with two different devices. One is an insulin syringe. You should use a U-100 insulin syringe to measure your dose of Humalog from the vial. The other device is called an insulin pump. It delivers a continuous dose of insulin, and it can also give extra doses at mealtimes.
  • KwikPen. This is a 3-mL disposable, prefilled injection pen. It can provide up to 60 units of insulin with one injection.
  • Junior KwikPen. This is a 3-mL disposable, prefilled injection pen. It can provide up to 30 units of insulin with one injection.
  • Cartridge. This is a 3-mL cartridge that’s used with reusable insulin pens, such as HumaPen Luxura HD.

Humalog U-200

The U-200 strength of Humalog comes in one form:

  • KwikPen. This is a 3-mL disposable, prefilled injection pen. It can provide up to 60 units of insulin with one injection.

Humalog Mix 50/50

Humalog Mix 50/50 contains a mixture of 50% insulin lispro protamine and 50% insulin lispro. It comes in two different forms, and each has a strength of U-100. These forms are:

  • Vial. This 10-mL vial is used with insulin syringes. You should use a U-100 insulin syringe to measure your dose of Humalog Mix 50/50 from the vial.
  • KwikPen. This is a 3-mL disposable, prefilled injection pen. It can provide up to 60 units of insulin with one injection.

Humalog Mix 75/25

Humalog Mix 75/25 contains a mixture of 75% insulin lispro protamine and 25% insulin lispro. It comes in two different forms, and each has a strength of U-100. These forms are:

  • Vial. This 10-mL vial is used with insulin syringes. You should use a U-100 insulin syringe to measure your dose of Humalog Mix 75/25 from the vial.
  • KwikPen. This is a 3-mL disposable, prefilled injection pen. It can provide up to 60 units of insulin with one injection.

Supplies you’ll need

You’ll need to purchase certain supplies for use with certain forms of Humalog or Humalog Mix:

  • Vials of either Humalog or Humalog Mix: appropriate insulin syringes and needles. You should use a new needle and a new insulin syringe for each dose.
  • Humalog or Humalog Mix KwikPens: appropriate needles to use with the pens. You should use a new needle for each dose of insulin given with the pen.
  • Humalog cartridges: an appropriate reusable pen and needles to use with the pen. You should use a new needle for each dose of insulin given with the pen.

Dosage for type 1 diabetes

The product information for Humalog and Humalog Mix doesn’t give exact dosage recommendations for treating type 1 diabetes. That’s because the recommended dosage depends on many individual factors, including those listed above.

Your doctor will calculate your total daily insulin dosage, based on how much you weigh. According to the American Diabetes Association, a typical daily insulin dosage for type 1 diabetes is about 0.4 to 1.0 unit of insulin for each kilogram of your body weight. (One kilogram is about 2.2 pounds.)

Most people take about half their daily insulin dose as a fast-acting insulin, such as Humalog, at mealtimes. They take the rest as an intermediate- or long-acting insulin once or twice a day.

You’ll typically take Humalog up to 15 minutes before each meal or right after each meal. How much Humalog you should take with each meal may vary. Your healthcare provider will teach you how to adjust your dose. The dosage is typically based on your premeal blood sugar level, the amount of carbohydrates in your meal, and how physically active you are.

Depending on the dosage you need, you may require more than one injection.

Insulin pump

In addition to being given as injections, Humalog U-100 can also be used in an insulin pump. If you’re using Humalog in an insulin pump, your doctor will explain how and when to take the medication.

Intravenous injection

Another way you can receive Humalog is by having a healthcare provider give it to you as an intravenous injection (injection into your vein). Your doctor will determine the appropriate dosage for you.

Humalog Mix

Humalog Mix contains a combination of fast- and intermediate-acting insulins.

You can usually split your total daily insulin dosage into two injections. You’ll typically have one injection 15 minutes before breakfast and the other 15 minutes before dinner. This helps manage mealtime surges in blood sugar, and then blood sugar level changes between meals or at night.

Each dose of Humalog Mix is intended to cover two meals, or one meal and a snack.

Dosage for type 2 diabetes

The product information for Humalog and Humalog Mix doesn’t give exact dosage recommendations for treating type 2 diabetes. That’s because the recommended dosage depends on many individual factors, including those listed above.

When you start using insulin for type 2 diabetes, you’ll typically use a long-acting insulin once or twice a day. If this doesn’t manage your blood sugar well enough, then you’ll start using a fast-acting insulin such as Humalog at mealtimes as well.

Humalog

If you’re using Humalog, the American Diabetes Association recommends a starting dosage of about 4 units, or 10% of your long-acting insulin dosage, each day.

To start with, you’ll typically take Humalog up to 15 minutes before or right after your largest meal of the day. Depending on how well this manages your blood sugar, your doctor may also want you to take Humalog with other meals as well. They’ll adjust your dosage of Humalog to help you reach your blood sugar level goals.

Humalog Mix

If you’re using Humalog Mix, you’ll typically split your total daily insulin dosage into two injections. You’ll typically have one injection 15 minutes before breakfast and the other 15 minutes before dinner.

Humalog Mix contains a combination of fast and intermediate-acting insulin. This helps manage mealtime surges in blood sugar, and then blood sugar level changes between meals or at night.

Each dose of Humalog Mix is intended to cover two meals, or one meal and a snack.

Depending on the dosage you need, you may have to have more than one injection of Humalog Mix.

People with type 2 diabetes typically need high doses of insulin. If you need to take high doses of Humalog, talk with your doctor. It might be more convenient and comfortable for you to use the concentrated U-200 strength of Humalog KwikPen.

Pediatric dosage

Humalog is approved for use in children ages 3 years and older with type 1 diabetes.

The product information for Humalog doesn’t give specific dosage recommendations for children. Your child’s doctor will follow the same dosing guidelines used for adults taking Humalog. See the section above called “Dosage for type 1 diabetes” for more information.

Humalog Mix isn’t approved for use in children.

What if I miss a dose?

You’ll typically take Humalog and Humalog Mix up to 15 minutes before you eat a meal. If you forget, you can take your dose right after you finish your meal. But if it’s been more than an hour since you ate, you should wait and take your next dose as planned. If you take Humalog or Humalog Mix too long after eating, you could develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try setting a reminder on your phone. A medication timer may be useful, too.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Humalog is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Humalog is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Humalog can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Humalog. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Humalog, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to report to the FDA a side effect you’ve had with Humalog, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects of Humalog and Humalog Mix can include:*

  • injection site reactions, such as pain, redness, itchiness, or swelling around the area of your injection
  • lipodystrophy (skin thickening or pitting around the injection site)
  • rash
  • itching
  • swelling of your feet or ankles
  • weight gain

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Humalog. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or visit the Humalog Patient Information for the form of the drug that you’re taking:

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Humalog aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

Other serious side effects, explained in more detail below in “Side effect details,” include:

Side effects in children

The side effects of Humalog in children are similar to those in adults who took the drug. Examples of these side effects are listed above.

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug. Here’s some detail on several of the side effects this drug may cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Humalog. But it’s not known how often this occurs.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth and redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Humalog. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Weight gain

Weight gain is a common side effect of all insulins, including Humalog.

Type 1 diabetes study

In a clinical study of adults and teenagers with type 1 diabetes:

  • those who used Humalog gained an average of about 3.1 lb (1.4 kg) over 12 months
  • those who used a different short-acting insulin called insulin human (Humulin R) gained an average of 2.2 lb (1 kg) over the same time period

People in both groups also used a long-acting insulin.

Type 2 diabetes study

In a clinical study of adults with type 2 diabetes:

  • those who used Humalog gained an average of 1.8 lb (0.8 kg) over 3 months
  • those who used the short-acting insulin Humulin R gained an average of 2 lb (0.9 kg) over 3 months

People in both groups also used a long-acting insulin.

Reason for weight gain

The weight gain is related to how insulin works in your body. Insulin helps cells remove excess sugar from your blood. Some of this excess sugar is stored for future use as body fat. Over time, this can lead to some weight gain.

Humalog and thiazolidinediones

If you’re concerned about weight gain while using Humalog, talk with your doctor. They can suggest tips to help you maintain a healthy weight.

However, if you take Humalog with a type of diabetes drug called a thiazolidinedione, see your doctor right away if you suddenly gain a lot of weight. This can be a symptom of fluid retention that can lead to or worsen heart failure. Examples of thiazolidinediones include pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia).

Allergy symptoms

Some people can have an allergic reaction to Humalog (see above). But some people using Humalog can also have other allergy-like symptoms. These symptoms can be similar to those of hay fever and include rhinitis (a runny or stuffy nose).

In a clinical study of adults with type 1 diabetes, rhinitis was reported in:

  • 24.7%of people who used Humalog
  • 29.1% of people who used a different short-acting insulin called Humulin R

In a clinical study of adults with type 2 diabetes, rhinitis was reported in:

  • 8.1% of people who used Humalog
  • 6.6% of people who used Humulin R

If you develop allergy symptoms with Humalog, talk with your doctor about how best to manage them.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar, is the most common side effect of all insulin medications, including Humalog.

It’s hard to say how often hypoglycemia occurs in people who use Humalog. Many different factors can affect your blood sugar. For example, you’re more likely to have low blood sugar if you skip meals or if you’re more active than usual.

Talk with your doctor about how often you should test your blood sugar and what your level should be. Also, be sure to discuss how you can avoid low blood sugar.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia

The symptoms of low blood sugar can vary from person to person. You may also find that your symptoms change over time. However, typical early symptoms of low blood sugar can include:

Symptoms of more severe hypoglycemia can include:

  • weakness
  • trouble concentrating
  • confusion
  • slurred speech
  • being unreasonable or getting into arguments
  • coordination problems (such as trouble walking)

If low blood sugar isn’t corrected, it can quickly become serious. Very low blood sugar can lead to seizures or coma, and in rare cases, death.

If you start to have symptoms of low blood sugar while taking Humalog, eat or drink something that contains sugar your body can quickly absorb. Examples include a glucose tablet, piece of candy, or glass of juice. A diet soda or a diet or sugar-free candy won’t treat hypoglycemia. Talk with your doctor about how to manage episodes of low blood sugar.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Humalog.

What are the onset and peak times of Humalog?

In general, the onset time for Humalog and Humalog Mix is within 15 minutes, and their peak effect occurs after about 2 hours. Humalog and Humalog Mix are the two types of Humalog.

Onset time refers to how long a drug takes to start working. Peak time is when a drug has its maximum effect. Onset and peak times for Humalog can vary between people. These times can also change for the same person.

Factors that can affect how long Humalog takes to work include the area of your body where you have the injection and whether you’ve been exercising. Humalog tends to work faster when it’s injected into the abdomen (belly) than when it’s injected into other areas.

If you have questions about when Humalog will work for you, talk with your doctor.

Is Humalog a fast-acting or a long-acting insulin?

There are two types of Humalog, and both are fast-acting insulins. But one kind also lasts a long time.

The two kinds of Humalog are Humalog and Humalog Mix:

  • Humalog contains insulin lispro, which is a fast-acting insulin. It’s also called a rapid-acting insulin. It starts working within 15 minutes and lasts for about 4 to 6 hours.
  • Humalog Mix is a premixed insulin. It contains the fast-acting insulin lispro as well as insulin lispro protamine, which is an intermediate-acting insulin. So Humalog Mix has the properties of both insulin types. This means it acts fast (within 15 minutes) and lasts a long time (about 22 hours). Although Humalog Mix works for a long time, it’s not considered a long-acting insulin.

If you have questions about how quickly or how long Humalog will work for you, talk with your doctor.

How long does Humalog last?

The general length of time Humalog lasts is about 4 hours, and Humalog Mix lasts for about 22 hours. Humalog and Humalog Mix are the two types of Humalog.

How long Humalog and Humalog Mix last can vary between people. And the times can also change for the same person. This could depend on your dose, the area of your body where you had the injection, and how physically active you’ve been.

If you have questions about how long Humalog may last for you, talk with your doctor.

What should I do if my Humalog insulin isn’t working?

If you think that Humalog isn’t working well enough to manage your blood sugar, talk with your doctor. They may need to adjust your dosage. Or you may have to change the spot where you inject Humalog. For example, if you’ve been giving yourself injections into damaged areas of skin, Humalog may not work as well.

If your Humalog KwikPen isn’t working, check the brochure that comes with the pen for instructions. Or ask your doctor or pharmacist for help. If the dose knob is hard to push, the needle may be blocked. So you can try using a new needle. Or there may be something inside the pen, such as dust or food. In this case, you’d need to get a new pen.

Other drugs are available that can be used to treat diabetes. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Humalog, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Alternative insulins for type 1 and type 2 diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin because their body can’t make its own insulin. People with type 2 diabetes are mainly treated with drugs other than insulin (see below). But if these drugs aren’t working well enough for them, they may also need to take insulin.

Examples of insulins, other than Humalog, that may be used to help manage blood sugar levels in people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes include:

  • short-acting insulins, such as:
  • rapid-acting insulins, such as:
    • insulin glulisine (Apidra)
  • intermediate-acting insulins, such as:
    • isophane insulin human (Novolin N, Humulin N)
  • long-acting insulins, such as:
  • premixed insulins, such as:
    • insulin human and isophane insulin human (Novolin 70/30, Humulin 70/30)

Alternatives other than insulin for type 2 diabetes

Several drugs other than insulin can be used to help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Examples of these drugs include:

  • biguanides, such as:
    • metformin (Glucophage)
  • dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, such as:
    • alogliptin (Nesina)
    • linagliptin (Tradjenta)
    • saxagliptin (Onglyza)
  • glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists, such as:
    • lixisenatide (Adlyxin)
  • sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, such as:
    • ertugliflozin (Steglatro)
  • sulfonylureas, such as:
    • glipizide (Glucotrol)
    • glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase)
  • thiazolidinediones (TZDs), such as:

Always take Humalog according to your doctor’s or healthcare provider’s instructions.

There are two types of Humalog: Humalog and Humalog Mix. And they’re typically given as subcutaneous injections (injections just under the skin).

Humalog may also be used in an insulin pump, but Humalog Mix can’t be used this way. (An insulin pump is a device that delivers a continuous dose of insulin, and it can also give extra doses at mealtimes.) When you first start treatment, your healthcare provider will explain how to take your medication.

Your healthcare provider may sometimes give Humalog by intravenous injection (injection into a vein).

Step-by-step instructions on how to use Humalog and Humalog Mix KwikPen, vials, and cartridges will be provided in the pamphlet that comes with your medication. Instructions are also available on the manufacturer’s website.

Key points about taking Humalog

In addition to referring to the pamphlet and website mentioned above, here are some key points about taking Humalog:

  • If you’re using a Humalog KwikPen or Humalog cartridge in a reusable pen, don’t share your pen with another person, even if you’ve changed the needle. And if you’re using Humalog vials, don’t share needles or insulin syringes with other people. Sharing needles could put you at risk for catching or spreading infections that are carried in the blood.
  • If you use more than one type of insulin, always check the label on your insulin before having an injection. Taking the wrong insulin by accident could cause you to have low blood sugar.
  • You should inject Humalog just under the skin of your thigh, abdomen (belly), buttock, or upper arm. Don’t inject it into a vein or muscle.
  • Use a different injection site each time you inject Humalog. This reduces the risk for lipodystrophy (changes to your skin, such as pitting, thickening, or lumps).
  • Don’t inject Humalog into skin that’s tender, bruised, scaly, hard, scarred, or damaged.

When to take

You should take Humalog up to 15 minutes before you eat a meal. But you can also use it right after you finish eating.

You’ll likely take Humalog Mix twice a day, up to 15 minutes before a meal (usually with breakfast and dinner).

Don’t take Humalog or Humalog Mix at bedtime or between meals.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try setting a reminder on your phone. A medication timer may be useful, too.

Taking Humalog with food

Humalog and Humalog Mix should always be taken with food.

The best time to administer Humalog is up to 15 minutes before you eat a meal. But you can also use it right after you finish eating.

Humalog Mix should be taken up to 15 minutes before a meal.

You’ll typically use Humalog with an intermediate-acting or long-acting insulin that helps manage your blood sugar between meals and at night. Examples of these insulins include:

If you have type 2 diabetes, you’ll likely also use drugs other than insulin to help manage your blood sugar. There are many of these, and some examples include:

  • biguanides, such as metformin (Glucophage)
  • dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, such as sitagliptin (Januvia)
  • glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists, such as dulaglutide (Trulicity)
  • sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, such as canagliflozin (Invokana)
  • sulfonylureas, such as glipizide (Glucotrol)
  • thiazolidinediones (TZDs), such as pioglitazone (Actos)

When you get Humalog from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the box. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

How to store Humalog before opening

Unopened Humalog and Humalog Mix vials, KwikPens, and cartridges need to be refrigerated at a storage temperature of 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Make sure they don’t freeze. If kept in a refrigerator, the unopened products should last until the expiration date printed on their packaging.

If needed, you can keep unopened Humalog products at room temperature no higher than 86°F (30°C). If you store them out of the refrigerator, here’s how long they’ll be good for:

  • Humalog vials, KwikPens, and cartridges: 28 days
  • Humalog Mix vials: 28 days
  • Humalog Mix KwikPens: 10 days

How to store Humalog after opening

Once you open Humalog products for use, here’s how you should store the following:

  • Humalog vials and Humalog Mix vials: In a refrigerator (36° to 46°F/2° to 8°C) or at room temperature no higher than 86°F (30°C). In both cases, the opened vial will be good for 28 days.
  • Humalog KwikPens and cartridges: At room temperature no higher than 86°F (30°C). They’ll be good for 28 days.
  • Humalog Mix KwikPens: At room temperature no higher than 86°F (30°C). They’ll be good for 10 days.

Disposal

Right after you’ve used a syringe or needle, dispose of it in an FDA-approved sharps disposal container. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident or harming themselves with the needle. You can buy a sharps container online, or ask your doctor, pharmacist, or health insurance company where to get one.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information on how to dispose of your medication.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Humalog to treat certain conditions.

Humalog for type 1 diabetes

Humalog is FDA-approved to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes. This includes adults as well as children ages 3 years and older.

Type 1 diabetes explained

Type 1 diabetes is a life-long condition in which your pancreas doesn’t make a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps your body process glucose (sugar). Without insulin, your blood sugar levels can rise too high, and this can damage cells in your body.

High blood sugar levels can lead to problems in various parts of your body, especially your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. The problems can include damage to those areas.

If you have type 1 diabetes, you need to take insulin to manage your blood sugar and prevent it from getting too high.

Humalog explained

Humalog is an insulin medication. There are two different types: Humalog and Humalog Mix.

Humalog contains insulin lispro, which is a rapid-acting insulin analog. (An analog is a man-made version of the natural insulin that your body makes.) This form of insulin works very quickly. You take it at mealtimes to help manage the surge in blood sugar that can occur after eating.

Humalog Mix contains a premixed combination of insulin lispro and a longer-acting insulin called insulin lispro protamine. Humalog Mix works very quickly, but it lasts longer than Humalog. Humalog Mix helps control mealtime surges in blood sugar and then helps manage blood sugar between meals or at night. Each dose of Humalog Mix is intended to cover two meals or one meal and a snack.

Effectiveness for type 1 diabetes

Clinical studies have found Humalog to be similarly effective to insulin human (Humulin R) for managing blood sugar in people with type 1 diabetes.

Humulin R is a short-acting insulin that you take at mealtimes by using a syringe or prefilled pen. The drug can also be used with an insulin pump. An insulin pump is a device that delivers a continuous dose of insulin, and it can also give extra doses at mealtimes.

Humulin R is an exact copy of the insulin that your body makes naturally. The medication is a well-established insulin treatment that effectively controls blood sugar.

The studies compared hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels in people who took either Humalog or Humulin R. HbA1c is a measure of average blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months. The American Diabetes Association recommends an HbA1c goal of less than 7% for most adults.

Mealtime injections

Two studies compared mealtime injections of Humalog with mealtime injections of Humulin R. In these studies, people also took a long-acting insulin to manage their blood sugar between meals and at night.

In adults and children ages 12 years and older, average HbA1c levels:

  • decreased by 0.1% over 12 months in those who took Humalog
  • increased by 0.1% over 12 months in those who took Humulin R

This difference was not considered to be statistically significant.

In people ages 9 to 19 years, average HbA1c levels increased by 0.1% over 8 months in those who took Humalog. The same result was seen in those who took Humulin R.

Insulin pump use

Other studies compared Humalog with insulin human when used in an insulin pump.

In a study of adults, average HbA1c levels decreased by:

  • 0.6% over 12 weeks in those who used Humalog in their pump
  • 0.3% over 12 weeks in those who used human insulin in their pump

In a study of adults and teenagers ages 15 years and older, average HbA1c levels decreased by 0.3% over 12 weeks in those who used Humalog in their pump. By comparison, average HbA1c levels didn’t change in those who used human insulin in their pump.

Another study compared Humalog with insulin aspart (NovoLog) when used in an insulin pump in children ages 4 to 18 years. Average HbA1c levels decreased by 0.1% over 16 weeks in those who used Humalog in their pump. The same results was seen in those who used insulin aspart in their pump.

The manufacturer of Humalog Mix hasn’t provided data on the effectiveness of the drug in treating type 1 diabetes.

Humalog for type 2 diabetes

Humalog is also FDA-approved to help control blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. In addition, a second type of Humalog called Humalog Mix is approved for this same use.

Type 2 diabetes explained

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the cells in your body become resistant to the effects of a hormone called insulin.

Insulin helps your body to process glucose (sugar). If your cells become resistant to insulin, they don’t process sugar as well as they should. Insulin resistance can cause your blood sugar level to rise too high.

Over time, your pancreas may also stop making enough insulin. At this point, you’ll likely need treatment with insulin to help manage your blood sugar levels.

Humalog and Humalog Mix explained

Humalog contains insulin lispro, which is a rapid-acting insulin analog. (An analog is a man-made version of the natural insulin that your body makes.) This form of insulin works very quickly. You take it at mealtimes to help manage the surge in blood sugar that can occur after eating.

Humalog Mix contains a premixed combination of insulin lispro and a longer-acting insulin called insulin lispro protamine. Humalog Mix works very quickly, but it lasts longer than Humalog. Humalog Mix helps control mealtime surges in blood sugar and then helps manage blood sugar between meals or at night.

Each dose of Humalog Mix is intended to cover two meals or one meal and a snack.

Effectiveness for type 2 diabetes

A clinical study found Humalog to be similarly effective to insulin human (Humulin R) for managing blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.

Humulin R is a short-acting insulin that you take at mealtimes. It’s an exact copy of the insulin that your body makes naturally. Humulin R is a well-established insulin treatment that effectively controls blood sugar.

In this study, people also took a long-acting insulin to manage their blood sugar between meals and at night.

This study measured the effect of Humalog and Humulin R on HbA1c levels. HbA1c is a measure of average blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months. The American Diabetes Association recommends an HbA1c goal of less than 7% for most adults.

In this study, average HbA1c levels decreased by 0.7% in adults who took Humalog. The same result was seen in adults who took Humulin R.

The manufacturer of Humalog Mix hasn’t provided data on the effectiveness of the drug in treating type 2 diabetes.

Humalog and children

Humalog is FDA-approved to help control blood sugar levels in children ages 3 years and older who have type 1 diabetes. It’s not known if the drug is safe or effective in children younger than age 3 years. See the section “Humalog for type 1 diabetes” for more information about using Humalog in children with type 1 diabetes.

A second type of Humalog called Humalog Mix isn’t approved for use in children with type 1 diabetes. It’s not known if it’s safe or effective for children younger than age 18 years.

Humalog and Humalog Mix haven’t been studied in children with type 2 diabetes.

Humalog is used to help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

What happens with diabetes

With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t make a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps your body process glucose (sugar).

Without insulin, your blood sugar levels can rise too high, and this can damage cells in your body. High blood sugar levels can lead to problems in various parts of your body, especially your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. The problems can include damage to those areas.

If you have type 1 diabetes, you need to take insulin to manage your blood sugar and prevent it from getting too high.

With type 2 diabetes, the cells in your body become resistant to the effects insulin. This means the cells don’t process sugar as well as they should. Insulin resistance can cause your blood sugar level to rise too high.

Over time, your pancreas may also stop making enough insulin. At this point, you’ll likely need treatment with insulin to help manage your blood sugar levels.

What Humalog does

Humalog is an insulin medication that helps control your blood sugar. It works in the same way as the insulin that your body makes naturally.

Insulin controls your blood sugar levels by:

  • helping cells in your body absorb sugar from your blood so they can use the sugar for energy
  • helping your muscles use sugar for energy
  • stopping your liver from making and releasing more sugar into your blood
  • helping your body make proteins and store sugar as fat

Humalog also works in these ways to help prevent your blood sugar level from getting too high.

How long does it take to work?

Humalog and a second type of Humalog called Humalog Mix typically start to control your blood sugar within 15 minutes of being injected.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Humalog can lead to serious side effects.

Don’t use more Humalog than your doctor recommends.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose of Humalog can include:

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Humalog can interact with several other medications. Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase the number of side effects or make them more severe.

Humalog and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Humalog. This list doesn’t contain all drugs that may interact with Humalog.

Before taking Humalog, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Humalog and diabetes drugs called thiazolidinediones

The use of Humalog and a type of diabetes drug called a thiazolidinedione can cause or worsen heart failure.

Examples of thiazolidinedione drugs include rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos).

If you take Humalog with a thiazolidinedione, tell your doctor right away if you develop any new or worsening symptoms of heart failure. These can include:

  • shortness of breath
  • tiredness
  • swollen legs, ankles, or feet
  • sudden weight gain

Humalog and other diabetes drugs

Drugs for diabetes include all forms of insulin, as well as oral and injected drugs for type 2 diabetes. All drugs for diabetes work by lowering your blood sugar. So taking Humalog with any other drugs for diabetes can raise your risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Examples of other diabetes drugs include:

  • biguanides, such as metformin (Glucophage)
  • dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, such as sitagliptin (Januvia)
  • glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists, such as dulaglutide (Trulicity)
  • sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, such as canagliflozin (Invokana)
  • sulfonylureas, such as glipizide (Glucotrol)
  • thiazolidinediones (TZDs), such as pioglitazone (Actos)

If you take Humalog with any other diabetes drug, your doctor may adjust your dosage of one or both drugs. This will help reduce your risk for low blood sugar. Your doctor may also ask you to monitor your blood sugar levels more often than usual.

Humalog and other drugs that raise your risk for low blood sugar

Taking Humalog with certain other drugs can raise your risk for hypoglycemia. If you use Humalog with one of these medications, you may need to check your blood sugar levels more often than usual. Your doctor may also need to lower your dosage of Humalog.

Examples of drugs that can raise your risk for low blood sugar with Humalog include:

Humalog and drugs that increase your blood sugar levels

Certain medications can raise your blood sugar levels. If you take Humalog with one of these medications, you may need to check your blood sugar levels more often than usual. Your doctor may also need to increase your dosage of Humalog.

Examples of medications that can increase your blood sugar levels include:

  • certain antipsychotic drugs, such as:
    • chlorpromazine
    • clozapine (Clozaril, Fazaclo)
    • olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • corticosteroids, such as:
    • prednisone (Rayos)
    • prednisolone (Orapred, Prelone)
    • methylprednisolone (Medrol)
    • hydrocortisone (Cortef, many others)
  • diuretics, such as:
    • chlorthalidone
    • hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide)
    • metolazone
    • indapamide
  • protease inhibitors for HIV, such as:
    • atazanavir (Reyataz)
    • darunavir (Prezista)
    • fosamprenavir (Lexiva)
    • ritonavir (Norvir)
    • tipranavir (Aptivus)
  • oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
  • certain other medications, such as:
    • danazol
    • isoniazid
    • levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid, Tirosint, Unithroid)
    • niacin (Niaspan, Slo-Niacin, others)
    • somatropin (Genotropin, Norditropin, Saizen, others)

Humalog and certain blood pressure medications

The use of Humalog with certain blood pressure medications can make the symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) less noticeable. This can make you unaware of when your blood sugar has dropped too low, and as a result, you might not treat it.

Untreated hypoglycemia can lead to serious problems. To read more about this, see “Hypoglycemia” in the “Side effect details” section above.

Examples of blood pressure medications that can make symptoms of hypoglycemia less noticeable include:

  • metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
  • propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL)
  • clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)
  • atenolol (Tenormin)
  • nadolol (Corgard)
  • reserpine

If you take Humalog with one of these blood pressure medications, talk with your doctor. They may recommend that you check your blood sugar levels more often than you typically would.

Humalog and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Humalog. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Humalog.

Humalog and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Humalog. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Humalog, talk with your doctor.

Humalog and alcohol can both lower your blood sugar. So you’re more likely to develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you drink alcohol while using Humalog.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much is safe for you to drink during your Humalog treatment. You might need to monitor your blood sugar levels more closely.

As with all medications, the cost of Humalog can vary. To find current prices for Humalog vials (or other forms), check out GoodRx.com.

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Before approving coverage for Humalog, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Humalog, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Humalog, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Eli Lilly and Company, the manufacturer of Humalog, offers the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center to aid you in finding treatment options you can afford. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 833-808-1234 or visit the website.

Generic version

Humalog is available in a generic form called insulin lispro. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved a generic form of Humalog Mix 75/25, which will be available on the market in the future. The generic drug is known as insulin lispro protamine/insulin lispro.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs. To find out how the Humalog cost compares with the cost of insulin lispro, visit GoodRx.com.

If your doctor has prescribed Humalog and you’re interested in using insulin lispro instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check your insurance plan, as it may only cover one or the other.

It’s not known for sure if Humalog is safe to use while pregnant. Data from some studies suggest that Humalog isn’t harmful when used during pregnancy. However, Humalog hasn’t been specifically studied in pregnant women.

Studies in animals didn’t find any harmful effects of Humalog in pregnancy. But animal studies don’t always reflect what will happen in humans.

It is known that if diabetes isn’t well-managed during pregnancy, it can lead to serious problems for both the mother and fetus. These problems include preeclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in the urine) in the mother, miscarriage, and birth defects.

The American Diabetes Association recommends insulin as the preferred treatment for managing blood sugar in pregnant women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant while using Humalog, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of the drug. Pregnancy can change your insulin requirements, so if you’ll be using Humalog, your dosage will likely change over the course of your pregnancy.

If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Humalog.

For more information about taking Humalog during pregnancy, see the “ Humalog and pregnancy” section above.

Humalog is generally considered safe to use while breastfeeding.

It’s not known if Humalog passes into breast milk. However, the body doesn’t absorb insulin (including Humalog) if you take it by mouth. This means that even if insulin does pass into your breast milk, your child can’t absorb it from breastfeeding. Insulin is usually considered safe to use during breastfeeding.

Your insulin requirements are likely to be different while you’re breastfeeding. This is because your body goes through many changes that can affect your blood sugar. You’ll also likely have different eating and sleeping patterns brought about by having a new baby. Talk with your doctor about how your Humalog dosage may need to change.

Before taking Humalog, talk with your doctor about your health history. Humalog may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Hypoglycemia. Don’t take Humalog if you’re having an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).Using Humalog while your blood sugar is already low can lead to life threatening hypoglycemia. (See “Hypoglycemia” in the “Side effect details” section above to learn more.)
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Humalog or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take Humalog. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Hypokalemia. Humalog can cause and worsen hypokalemia (a low level of potassium in your blood). This can raise your risk for serious side effects. (See the “Serious side effects” list above to learn more.) If you already have low potassium, or you’re are at risk for this problem, your doctor may monitor your potassium level while you take Humalog.
  • Kidney or liver problems. If you have kidney or liver problems, you’re more likely to have low blood sugar levels with Humalog. These problems include kidney and liver failure. Talk with your doctor about steps you can take to help prevent low blood sugar.
  • Heart failure. If you take Humalog with diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones, such as pioglitazone (Actos) or rosiglitazone (Avandia), this can worsen heart failure. If you have heart failure and your symptoms get worse, talk with your doctor. Symptoms of worsening heart failure include shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, and sudden weight gain. You may need to stop taking thiazolidinediones with Humalog.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known for sure if Humalog is safe to take during pregnancy. For more information, see the section “Humalog and pregnancy” above.
  • Breastfeeding. Humalog is generally considered safe to use while breastfeeding. However, you may need changes to your dosage. For more information, see the section “Humalog and breastfeeding” above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Humalog, see the “Humalog side effects” section above.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Humalog and Humalog Mix have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help manage blood glucose in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Humalog has not been studied in children younger than age 3 years with type 1 diabetes or in children younger than age 18 years with type 2 diabetes.

Humalog Mix has not been studied in children younger than age 18 years.

Administration

Humalog is administered by subcutaneous injection. Humalog U-100 is also suitable for use in insulin pumps. Humalog U-100 may also be administered intravenously by a healthcare professional where close monitoring of glucose and potassium levels are available.

Humalog Mix is administered by subcutaneous injection only. It is not suitable for use in insulin pumps.

Mechanism of action

Humalog contains insulin lispro, a rapid-acting insulin analog. Humalog Mix is a premixed insulin that contains insulin lispro with insulin lispro protamine, an intermediate-acting insulin. Humalog Mix has properties of both.

Humalog increases glucose uptake in muscle and fat tissue and decreases hepatic gluconeogenesis. It also inhibits breakdown of proteins and fats, and increases protein synthesis. In addition, Humalog lowers blood glucose and improves glycemic control in diabetes.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Humalog has an onset of action within 15 minutes of subcutaneous injection. Peak serum level is reached in 30 to 90 minutes. Peak effect is seen after approximately 2 hours, and duration of action is approximately 4 to 6 hours.

Humalog Mix has an onset of action within 15 minutes of subcutaneous injection. Peak serum level is reached in a median of 60 minutes. Peak effect is seen after approximately 2 hours, and duration of action is approximately 22 hours.

Insulin lispro is metabolized in the same way as regular human insulin.

After subcutaneous injection, the half-life of Humalog is 1 hour. After an intravenous injection of a 0.1 unit/kg dose, Humalog has an average half-life of 51 minutes. After an intravenous injection of a 0.2 unit/kg dose, it has an average half-life of 55 minutes.

It’s not possible to give a true half-life for Humalog Mix, due to the variability in absorption rates of the insulin mix.

Contraindications

Humalog should not be administered during episodes of hypoglycemia.

Humalog is contraindicated in people with hypersensitivity to insulin lispro or any other ingredients contained in the drug.

Storage

The following are instructions on storing unopened and opened Humalog products.

Before opening

Store unopened Humalog and Humalog Mix vials, KwikPens, and cartridges in a refrigerator (36°F to 46°F/2°C to 8°C). Make sure they do not freeze. If kept refrigerated, they will last until the expiration date printed on the packaging.

Unopened Humalog products can also be stored out of the refrigerator at room temperature no higher than 86°F (30°C) for the following lengths of time:

  • Humalog vials, KwikPens, and cartridges: 28 days
  • Humalog Mix vials: 28 days
  • Humalog Mix KwikPens: 10 days

After opening

Once Humalog products have been opened for use, they should be stored as follows:

  • Humalog vials and Humalog Mix vials: In a refrigerator or at room temperature no higher than 86°F (30°C) for a maximum of 28 days.
  • Humalog KwikPens and cartridges: At room temperature no higher than 86°F (30°C) for a maximum of 28 days.
  • Humalog Mix KwikPens: At room temperature no higher than 86°F (30°C) for a maximum of 10 days.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.