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Generic Name:

insulin-lispro, Injectable solution

Generic Name:
Humalog,Humalog KwikPen

insulin-lispro, Injectable solution

All Brands

  • Humalog
  • Humalog KwikPen
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for insulin-lispro

Injectable solution
1

Insulin lispro is used to control blood sugar in people with diabetes. Make sure you carry identification that says you have diabetes and are taking insulin.

2

Insulin lispro belongs to a class of drugs called insulin. Insulin lispro is rapid-acting insulin.

3

The main side effect caused by insulin lispro is low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Symptoms of low blood sugar levels include hunger, nervousness, shakiness, sweating, dizziness, fast heartbeat, light-headedness, sleepiness, confusion, vision changes, headache, mood changes, and irritability.

4

Your doctor, pharmacist, or diabetes educator will show and tell you how you should inject insulin and how to check your blood sugar levels.

5

You inject your dose 15 minutes before your meal or immediately after your meal. Inject it under your skin in your upper arm, stomach, or thigh.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

May cause low blood sugar

This is called “hypoglycemia.” Low blood sugar symptoms occur most frequently when your blood sugar level is less than 70 mg/dL. Symptoms of low blood sugar include hunger, nervousness, shakiness, sweating, dizziness, fast heartbeat, feeling light-headed, sleepiness, confusion, vision changes, headache, mood changes, and irritability.

If you have a low sugar reaction, you need to treat it. If you don’t, you can have a seizure, pass out, get brain damage, or even die.

May cause low potassium

Let your doctor know if you have low potassium levels or are taking any drugs that may cause low potassium levels. Taking this drug can lower your potassium levels even further. This could lead to breathing problems, heart problems, and death.

What is insulin lispro?

This drug is a prescription insulin drug. It’s available as a self-injectable solution and solution for an insulin pump.

This drug is only available as the brand-name drug Humalog. It isn’t available as a generic drug. 

You may need to take this drug along with a long-acting insulin.

Why it's used

This drug is used to decrease blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas can’t make insulin. This drug replaces the part of the insulin your body needs when you eat.

More Details

How it works

This drug helps your body transfer sugar from your blood to your muscles and tissues. It also helps your body store sugar in your liver and convert sugar to fat or muscle. It can stop your liver from making sugar and prevent your body from breaking down fat or protein to get sugar.

Why it's used

This drug is used to decrease blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas can’t make insulin. This drug replaces the part of the insulin your body needs when you eat. This helps your body use up or store the sugar (carbohydrates), protein, and fat you get from your meals. You also take longer-acting insulin with this drug so that you have enough insulin to help the cells in your body work.

If you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas may not make enough insulin, or your body doesn’t use the insulin your pancreas is making (insulin resistance). This drug provides additional insulin for your body. You may take this drug with oral drugs or long-acting insulins when you have type 2 diabetes.

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SECTION 2 of 4

insulin-lispro Side Effects

Injectable solution

More Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with insulin lispro include:

  • lower than normal blood sugar level. Symptoms may include:

    • sweating
    • dizziness
    • shakiness
    • hunger
    • fast heartbeat
    • tingling lips and tongue
    • confusion
    • blurry vision
    • slurred speech
    • anxiety
    • headaches
  • weight gain

  • swelling of hands and feet

  • reaction on your skin where you injected the medication, including:

    • redness
    • swelling
    • itching

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • very low blood sugar, which can cause seizures, feelings of passing out, and death

  • low potassium levels (hypokalemia). Symptoms may include:

    • confusion
    • feeling disoriented
    • weakness
    • muscle discomfort
    • cramps during exercise
    • leg discomfort when sitting still
    • severe, potentially fatal symptoms, which can cause:
      • body weakness
      • limpness (paralysis) in of your body or lung muscles
      • abnormal heart beat
  • injection site skin reactions, including:

    • skin thickening
    • indentations
    • pits
  • allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • a rash all over your body
    • itching
    • trouble breathing
    • fast heartbeat
    • sweating
    • feeling faint
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug does not cause drowsiness.

This drug has a predictable post-dose side effect. It may decrease blood sugar to a level that’s lower than normal.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

insulin-lispro May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable solution

Insulin lispro can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist 

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Food interactions

Carbohydrates that you eat can increase your blood sugar level. This can have an effect on your dose of insulin lispro. Your doctor may give you information about how you can limit the number of carbohydrates in your diet so that your dose of insulin lispro doesn’t have to be adjusted often.

It’s important not to skip meals after taking insulin lispro. If you have injected a dose, you must eat to prevent low blood sugar levels. This can cause a reaction that can be harmful. Symptoms of very low blood sugar levels include:

  • sweating
  • dizziness
  • shakiness
  • hunger
  • fast heartbeat
  • tingling lips and tongue
  • confusion
  • blurry vision
  • slurred speech
  • anxiety
  • headaches

Alcohol interaction

Drinking alcohol while taking insulin lispro can affect your blood sugar levels. Avoid drinking while taking this medication.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Diabetes drugs

Examples are: 

  • pramlintide
  • metformin
  • glipizide
  • glyburide

These drugs may also lower you blood sugar level. Your dose of insulin lispro may need to be lowered.

Depression drugs
  • fluoxetine
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) 

These drugs may also lower you blood sugar level. Your dose of insulin lispro may need to be lowered.

High blood pressure drugs
  • enalapril
  • lisinopril
  • captopril 

These drugs may also lower you blood sugar level. Your dose of insulin lispro may need to be lowered.

Heart rate disorders drug
  • disopyramide

This drug may also lower you blood sugar level. Your dose of insulin lispro may need to be lowered.

Drugs to lower triglycerides
  • fibrates, such as:
    • fenofibrate
    • gemfibrozil
    • clofibrate

These drugs may also lower you blood sugar level. Your dose of insulin lispro may need to be lowered.

Pain drugs
  • aspirin and other salicylate drugs 

These drugs may also lower you blood sugar level. Your dose of insulin lispro may need to be lowered.

Tumor drugs

These belong to a class of drugs called somatostatin analogs. An example is:

  • octreotide

This drug may also lower you blood sugar level. Your dose of insulin lispro may need to be lowered.

Blood thinner
  • pentoxifylline

This drug may also lower you blood sugar level. Your dose of insulin lispro may need to be lowered.

Antibiotics

These drugs may also lower you blood sugar level. Your dose of insulin lispro may need to be lowered. 

Examples are: 

  • sulfamethoxazole with or without trimethoprim
  • sulfisoxazole
  • antimicrobial:
    • pentamidine. This drug can lower your blood sugar level at first and raise it later when you take the drug with insulin lispro. Your doctor may monitor your blood sugar level regularly to see if your dose of insulin lispro needs to be changed.

Allergies or asthma drugs
  • corticosteroids
  • epinephrine
  • albuterol
  • terbutaline 

These drugs can increase your blood sugar level. Your insulin lispro dose may need to be increased when you take them.

Oral contraceptives
  • estrogens
  • progesterone

These drugs can increase your blood sugar level. Your insulin lispro dose may need to be increased when you take them.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drugs

These belong to a class of drugs called protease inhibitors. Examples are:

  • ritonavir
  • saquinavir 

These drugs can increase your blood sugar level. Your insulin lispro dose may need to be increased when you take them.

Antipsychotics
  • olanzapine
  • clozapine
  • phenothiazine

These drugs can increase your blood sugar level. Your insulin lispro dose may need to be increased when you take them.

Drugs to reduce heart disease risk
  • niacin
  • water pills (diuretics) 

These drugs can increase your blood sugar level. Your insulin lispro dose may need to be increased when you take them.

Tuberculosis drug
  • isoniazid

This drug can increase your blood sugar level. Your insulin lispro dose may need to be increased when you take this drug.

Hormone-related conditions drugs
  • danazol
  • glucagon
  • somatropin
  • thyroid hormones

These drugs can increase your blood sugar level. Your insulin lispro dose may need to be increased when you take them.

High blood pressure and heart drugs
  • propranolol
  • metoprolol
  • atenolol
  • clonidine
  • guanethidine
  • resrpine

These drugs can either raise or lower your blood sugar level when they’re taken with insulin lispro. Your doctor may check your blood sugar level when taking these drugs with insulin lispro. This will help determine whether your insulin lispro dose needs to be changed. These drugs can also hide symptoms of low blood sugar levels.

Mood disorder drug
  • lithium

Lithium can either raise or lower your blood sugar level when it’s taken with insulin lispro. Your doctor should check your blood sugar level when taking lithium with insulin lispro. This will help determine whether your insulin lispro dose needs to be changed.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
kidney problems
People with kidney problems

You may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug if you have kidney problems. Your doctor may need to lower your dosage of this drug.

liver problems
People with liver problems

Your body may not clear insulin from your body well if you have liver disease. This could cause a buildup of insulin in your body, which could be harmful. You doctor may need to lower your dosage of this drug.

low blood sugar
People with low blood sugar

Don’t use this drug if you already have a low blood sugar level. The drug may lower your blood sugar level further, which could lead to a harmful reaction.

low potassium
People with low potassium

If you have a low potassium level, this drug can make it lower. This could lead to breathing problems, heart problems, and death.

fluid buildup
People with fluid buildup (edema)

This drug may cause your body to retain salt. If you have edema, this could cause even more of a fluid buildup in the tissues of your body, especially your hands, feet, arms, and legs.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

This drug is a pregnancy category B drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies of the drug in pregnant animals have not shown risk to the fetus.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show the drug poses a risk to the fetus.
breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if this drug passes through breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you’ll take this drug or breastfeed. If you do take this drug while breastfeeding, your doctor may need to lower your dosage.

children
For children

Keep this drug and all the additional equipment out of reach of children. If children accidently inject themselves with this drug, their blood sugar level could drop to low, which could be deadly.

Don’t throw out individual needles into trashcans or recycling bins. Never flush them down the toilet. Ask your pharmacist for a needle clipper and container for disposing used needles and syringes. 

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Tell your doctor if you’re:

  • sick
  • not eating
  • throwing up
  • or if you’ve changed your meal or exercise schedule

Your dose may need to be adjusted. You may need to be checked for severe complications of high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), such as ketoacidosis.

Tell your doctor if you have started or stopped medicines or over-the-counter medicines, herbal products, or supplements. Your dose may need to be adjusted.

allergies
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • itching
  • feeling faint
  • rash all over your body
  • fast heartbeat
  • sweating

Redness, slight swelling, or itching at the injection site is usually not an allergic reaction.

Don’t take this drug if you’ve taken it before and had an allergic reaction. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take insulin-lispro (Dosage)

Injectable solution

All possible dosages may not be included here. Your doctor may adjust your dose according to: 

  • your age
  • your health
  • other conditions you have
  • other medicines you’re taking
  • your diet
  • your blood glucose monitoring results

What are you taking this medication for?

Type 1 diabetes

Brand: Humalog

Form: Injectable solution
Strengths:
  • 100 unit/mL 10 mL vial
  • 100 unit/mL 3 mL vial
  • 100 unit/mL 3 mL cartridge
Form: Prefilled syringe
Strengths:
  • 100 unit/mL 3 mL Humalog KwikPen
  • 200 unit/mL 3 mL Humalog KwikPen
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Dosage will be based on many factors, including your weight, your blood sugar level at the time you give yourself this drug, and the number of carbohydrates you have eaten.
  • Typical dose: 0.5-1 unit per kilogram of body weight per day.
Child dosage (ages 3–17 years)

Dosage will be based on many factors, including your child’s weight, your child’s blood sugar level at the time this drug is to be given, and the number of carbohydrates your child has eaten.

Child dosage (ages 0–2 years)

Dosage for children younger than 3 years hasn’t been established.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

This drug should be used with caution if you’re over 65 years of age. It may be more difficult to recognize signs and symptoms of low blood sugar. You may also be more sensitive to the effects of insulin because your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you with a lower dose and increase your dose gradually if necessary.

Type 2 diabetes

Brand: Humalog

Form: Injectable solution
Strengths:
  • 100 unit/mL 10 mL vial
  • 100 unit/mL 3 mL vial
  • 100 unit/mL 3 mL cartridge
Form: Prefilled syringe
Strengths:
  • 100 unit/mL 3 mL Humalog KwikPen
  • 200 unit/mL 3 mL Humalog KwikPen
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Dosage will be based on many factors, including your weight, your blood sugar level at the time you give yourself this drug, and the number of carbohydrates you have eaten.
  • Typical dose: 0.5-1 unit per kilogram of body weight per day.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medication has not been studied in children with type 2 diabetes. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

This drug should be used with caution if you’re over 65 years of age. It may be more difficult to recognize signs and symptoms of low blood sugar. You may also be more sensitive to the effects of insulin because your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you with a lower dose and increase your dose gradually if necessary.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you don't take it at all, miss a dose, or stop taking it

If you forget to take your injection or don’t take this drug at all, your blood sugar level can become very high. This can cause serious symptoms, such as fainting, coma, or even death. It’s important to know the symptoms of a high blood sugar level. They include increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, extreme fatigue, and drowsiness.

If you take too much

If you take too much of this drug, your blood sugar and potassium levels may become very low. Symptoms of very low blood sugar levels include excessive sweating, dizziness, shakiness, hunger, fast heartbeat, tingling lips and tongue, confusion, blurry vision, slurred speech, anxiety, and headaches.

If you have these symptoms, get medical help right away.

You can treat mild low blood sugar by eating 3–4 glucose tablets, 5–7 pieces of candy, or drinking ½ cup of fruit juice or 1 cup of fat free milk.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose but remember shortly after your meal, inject the missed dose. If it has been a while since your meal, contact your doctor. Don’t double up doses to catch up.

How to tell if the drug is working

You may be able to tell this drug is working if your blood sugar level goes down. You should experience fewer symptoms of diabetes, like frequent urination, frequent thirst, and decreased hunger.

This is a long-term treatment.

Take this drug with food

Make sure you take it 15 minutes before your meal or right after the meal.

Make sure to store this drug at the right temperature

Unopened insulin:

  • Store all unopened vials, pens, and cartridges in the refrigerator in temperatures from 36–46°F.
  • Store them in their original container.
  • Keep it protected from light and don’t freeze the medication.
  • Don’t use frozen insulin lispro.
  • Don’t use it after the expiration date on the box or vial.

Insulin that is being used:

  • Vials and prefilled pens: Store at room temperature below 86°F (30ºC) for up to 28 days.
  • Don’t use it after 28 days.
  • Keep it away from light and direct heat.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the medication. Keep the original prescription-labeled box with you when traveling.
  • This medication needs to be refrigerated. You may need to use an insulated bag with a cold pack to maintain the temperature when traveling.
  • Needles and syringes need to be used to take this medicine. Check for special rules about traveling with medicine, needles, and syringes or insulin pumps. 

Self-management

Your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or diabetes educator will show you how to draw up and inject insulin with syringes. You’ll practice with them and then give your first dose with them. Follow directions carefully when taking this injection yourself.

  • Don’t mix this drug with any other insulin besides NPH insulin. If used together, be sure to first draw up insulin lispro into the syringe and then the NPH insulin.
  • Inject this drug 15 minutes before your meal or immediately after your meal.
  • Be sure to inject this drug under your skin (subcutaneously) in your upper arm, stomach, or thigh.
  • Change the injection site with each dose.
  • Don’t inject yourself where you have irritated or red skin.
  • Don’t use this drug if it looks cloudy, has particles, or if there is a change in color.
  • Be sure to use a needle clipper and container for safe disposal of needles and syringes.
  • Don’t reuse needles or use expired insulin.

You may need this additional equipment to take this drug:

  • needles
  • syringes
  • needle clipper and needle disposal container
  • alcohol swabs
  • lancets
  • test strips
  • glucose monitor

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may monitor you with certain blood tests before and during treatment to make sure the drug is still safe. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose of this drug based on your:

  • blood sugar level
  • glycosylated hemoglobin level
  • liver function
  • kidney function tests
  • other medications that you’re taking that may affect your blood sugar level
  • exercise
  • carbohydrate content of meals

Other tests may be done to check for complications because of high blood sugars (diabetes):

  • eye exam at least once a year
  • foot exam at least once a year
  • dental exam at least once a year
  • tests for nerve damage
  • cholesterol levels
  • blood pressure and heart rate

Besides regular monitoring, your doctor may perform tests to make sure this drug is still safe for you to use. These may include:

  • blood tests to check your potassium levels
  • blood and urine tests to check the levels of ketones in your urine or blood

Your diet

Follow the nutrition plan that your doctor, dietician, and diabetes educator discussed with you.

To make sure you have enough potassium, eat fruits (especially bananas, oranges, and melons), vegetables, meat, milk, and cheese in your meals.

Carbohydrates that you eat can increase your blood sugar level. Your doctor may give you information about how you can limit the number of carbohydrates in your diet.

It’s important not to skip meals after taking this drug. If you’ve injected a dose, you need to eat to prevent low blood sugar levels.

Hidden costs

Besides this drug, you’ll need to buy equipment to take it.

In order to test your blood sugar level at home you may also need lancets, test strips, and a home blood glucose monitor.

Insurance

Prior authorization may be needed if you’re prescribed the prefilled pens or the insulin pump.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other medicines available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.


Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on June 1, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline 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.
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