"What is the diabetes medication insulin and how does it work?
Insulin is a hormone that is produced by certain cells in the pancreas called beta cells. Insulin helps the body use blood glucose (a type of sugar) for energy. When we e"...
Never Share A HUMALOG KwikPen, Cartridge, Reusable Pen Compatible With Lilly 3 mL Cartridges, Or Syringe Between Patients
HUMALOG KwikPens, cartridges, and reusable pens compatible with Lilly 3 mL cartridges must never be shared between patients, even if the needle is changed. Patients using HUMALOG vials must never share needles or syringes with another person. Sharing poses a risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens.
Hyper-Or Hypoglycemia With Changes In Insulin Regimen
Changes in insulin strength, manufacturer, type, or method of administration may affect glycemic control and predispose to hypoglycemia [see Hypoglycemia] or hyperglycemia. These changes should be made cautiously and under close medical supervision and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring should be increased.
Hypoglycemia is the most common adverse reaction associated with insulins, including HUMALOG. Severe hypoglycemia can cause seizures, may be life-threatening, or cause death. Hypoglycemia can impair concentration ability and reaction time; this may place an individual and others at risk in situations where these abilities are important (e.g., driving or operating other machinery).
Hypoglycemia can happen suddenly and symptoms may differ in each individual and change over time in the same individual. Symptomatic awareness of hypoglycemia may be less pronounced in patients with longstanding diabetes, in patients with diabetic nerve disease, in patients using medications that block the sympathetic nervous system (e.g., beta-blockers) [see DRUG INTERACTIONS], or in patients who experience recurrent hypoglycemia.
Risk Factors for Hypoglycemia
The risk of hypoglycemia after an injection is related to the duration of action of the insulin and, in general, is highest when the glucose lowering effect of the insulin is maximal. As with all insulin preparations, the glucose lowering effect time course of HUMALOG may vary in different individuals or at different times in the same individual and depends on many conditions, including the area of injection as well as the injection site blood supply and temperature [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Other factors which may increase the risk of hypoglycemia include changes in meal pattern (e.g., macronutrient content or timing of meals), changes in level of physical activity, or changes to co-administered medication [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Patients with renal or hepatic impairment may be at higher risk of hypoglycemia [see Use In Specific Populations].
Risk Mitigation Strategies for Hypoglycemia
Patients and caregivers must be educated to recognize and manage hypoglycemia. Self-monitoring of blood glucose plays an essential role in the prevention and management of hypoglycemia. In patients at higher risk for hypoglycemia and patients who have reduced symptomatic awareness of hypoglycemia, increased frequency of blood glucose monitoring is recommended.
Hypoglycemia Due To Medication Errors
Accidental mix-ups between basal insulin products and other insulins, particularly rapid-acting insulins, have been reported. To avoid medication errors between HUMALOG and other insulins, instruct patients to always check the insulin label before each injection.
Do not transfer HUMALOG U-200 from the HUMALOG KwikPen to a syringe. The markings on the insulin syringe will not measure the dose correctly and can result in overdosage and severe hypoglycemia [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and Hypoglycemia].
Severe, life-threatening, generalized allergy, including anaphylaxis, can occur with insulin products, including HUMALOG. If hypersensitivity reactions occur, discontinue HUMALOG; treat per standard of care and monitor until symptoms and signs resolve [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. HUMALOG is contraindicated in patients who have had hypersensitivity reactions to HUMALOG or any of its excipients [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
All insulin products, including HUMALOG, cause a shift in potassium from the extracellular to intracellular space, possibly leading to hypokalemia. Untreated hypokalemia may cause respiratory paralysis, ventricular arrhythmia, and death. Monitor potassium levels in patients at risk for hypokalemia if indicated (e.g., patients using potassium-lowering medications, patients taking medications sensitive to serum potassium concentrations).
Fluid Retention And Heart Failure With Concomitant Use Of PPAR-gamma Agonists
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), which are peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-gamma agonists, can cause dose-related fluid retention, particularly when used in combination with insulin. Fluid retention may lead to or exacerbate heart failure. Patients treated with insulin, including HUMALOG, and a PPAR-gamma agonist should be observed for signs and symptoms of heart failure. If heart failure develops, it should be managed according to current standards of care, and discontinuation or dose reduction of the PPAR-gamma agonist must be considered.
Hyperglycemia And Ketoacidosis Due To Insulin Pump Device Malfunction
Malfunction of the insulin pump or insulin infusion set or insulin degradation can rapidly lead to hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis. Prompt identification and correction of the cause of hyperglycemia or ketosis is necessary. Interim subcutaneous injections with HUMALOG may be required. Patients using continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion pump therapy must be trained to administer insulin by injection and have alternate insulin therapy available in case of pump failure [see HOW SUPPLIED/Storage and Handling and PATIENT INFORMATION].
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION and Instructions for Use).
Never Share A HUMALOG KwikPen, Cartridge, Reusable Pen Compatible With Lilly 3 mL Cartridges, Or Syringe Between Patients
Advise patients that they must never share a HUMALOG KwikPen, cartridge, or reusable pen compatible with Lilly 3 mL cartridges with another person, even if the needle is changed. Advise patients using HUMALOG vials not to share needles or syringes with another person. Sharing poses a risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens.
Instruct patients on self-management procedures including glucose monitoring, proper injection technique, and management of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, especially at initiation of HUMALOG therapy. Instruct patients on handling of special situations such as intercurrent conditions (illness, stress, or emotional disturbances), an inadequate or skipped insulin dose, inadvertent administration of an increased insulin dose, inadequate food intake, and skipped meals. Instruct patients on the management of hypoglycemia.
Inform patients that their ability to concentrate and react may be impaired as a result of hypoglycemia. Advise patients who have frequent hypoglycemia or reduced or absent warning signs of hypoglycemia to use caution when driving or operating machinery [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Advise patients that hypersensitivity reactions have occurred with HUMALOG. Inform patients on the symptoms of hypersensitivity reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Instruct patients to always check the insulin label before each injection to avoid mix-ups between insulin products. Inform patients that HUMALOG U-200 contains 2 times as much insulin in 1 mL as HUMALOG U-100. Inform patients that the HUMALOG U-200 KwikPen dose window shows the number of units of HUMALOG U-200 to be injected and that no dose conversion is required. Instruct patients to NOT transfer HUMALOG U-200 from the HUMALOG KwikPen to a syringe. The markings on the syringe will not measure the dose correctly and this can result in overdosage and severe hypoglycemia.
Administration Instruction For HUMALOG U-200
Instruct patients to NOT mix HUMALOG U-200 with any other insulin.
Women Of Reproductive Potential
Advise females of reproductive potential with diabetes to inform their doctor if they are pregnant or are contemplating pregnancy [see Use in Specific Populations].
Instructions For Patients Using Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Pumps
Patients using external pump infusion therapy should be trained appropriately.
The following insulin pumps have been tested in HUMALOG clinical trials conducted by Eli Lilly and Company.
- Disetronic® H-Tron® plus V100, D-Tron® and D-Tronplus® with Disetronic Rapid infusion sets
- MiniMed® Models 506, 507 and 508 and Polyfin® infusion sets
HUMALOG is recommended for use in pump systems suitable for insulin infusion such as MiniMed, Disetronic, and other equivalent pumps. Before using HUMALOG in a pump system, read the pump label to make sure the pump is indicated for continuous delivery of fast-acting insulin. HUMALOG is recommended for use in any reservoir and infusion sets that are compatible with insulin and the specific pump. Please see recommended reservoir and infusion sets in the pump manual. Do not use HUMALOG U-200 in an external insulin pump.
To avoid insulin degradation, infusion set occlusion, and loss of the preservative (metacresol), insulin in the reservoir should be replaced at least every 7 days; infusion sets and infusion set insertion sites should be changed at least every 3 days.
Insulin exposed to temperatures higher than 98.6°F (37°C) should be discarded. The temperature of the insulin may exceed ambient temperature when the pump housing, cover, tubing or sport case is exposed to sunlight or radiant heat. Infusion sites that are erythematous, pruritic, or thickened should be reported to the healthcare professional, and a new site selected because continued infusion may increase the skin reaction or alter the absorption of HUMALOG.
Pump or infusion set malfunctions or insulin degradation can lead to rapid hyperglycemia and ketosis. This is especially pertinent for rapid acting insulin analogs that are more rapidly absorbed through skin and have a shorter duration of action. Prompt identification and correction of the cause of hyperglycemia or ketosis is necessary. Problems include pump malfunction, infusion set occlusion, leakage, disconnection or kinking, and degraded insulin. Less commonly, hypoglycemia from pump malfunction may occur. If these problems cannot be promptly corrected, patients should resume therapy with subcutaneous insulin injection and contact their healthcare professionals [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and HOW SUPPLIED/Storage and Handling].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Standard 2-year carcinogenicity studies in animals have not been performed. In Fischer 344 rats, a 12-month repeat-dose toxicity study was conducted with insulin lispro at subcutaneous doses of 20 and 200 units/kg/day (approximately 3 and 32 times the human subcutaneous dose of 1 unit/kg/day, based on units/body surface area). Insulin lispro did not produce important target organ toxicity including mammary tumors at any dose.
Insulin lispro was not mutagenic in the following genetic toxicity assays: bacterial mutation, unscheduled DNA synthesis, mouse lymphoma, chromosomal aberration and micronucleus assays.
Male fertility was not compromised when male rats given subcutaneous insulin lispro injections of 5 and 20 units/kg/day (0.8 and 3 times the human subcutaneous dose of 1 unit/kg/day, based on units/body surface area) for 6 months were mated with untreated female rats. In a combined fertility, perinatal, and postnatal study in male and female rats given 1, 5, and 20 units/kg/day subcutaneously (0.16, 0.8, and 3 times the human subcutaneous dose of 1 unit/kg/day, based on units/body surface area), mating and fertility were not adversely affected in either gender at any dose.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category B
All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defects, loss, or other adverse outcome regardless of drug exposure. This background risk is increased in pregnancies complicated by hyperglycemia and may be decreased with good metabolic control. It is essential for patients with diabetes or history of gestational diabetes to maintain good metabolic control before conception and throughout pregnancy. In patients with diabetes or gestational diabetes insulin requirements may decrease during the first trimester, generally increase during the second and third trimesters, and rapidly decline after delivery. Careful monitoring of glucose control is essential in these patients. Therefore, female patients should be advised to tell their physicians if they intend to become, or if they become pregnant while taking HUMALOG.
Although there are limited clinical studies of the use of HUMALOG in pregnancy, published studies with human insulins suggest that optimizing overall glycemic control, including postprandial control, before conception and during pregnancy improves fetal outcome.
In a combined fertility and embryo-fetal development study, female rats were given subcutaneous insulin lispro injections of 5 and 20 units/kg/day (0.8 and 3 times the human subcutaneous dose of 1 unit/kg/day, based on units/body surface area, respectively) from 2 weeks prior to cohabitation through Gestation Day 19. There were no adverse effects on female fertility, implantation, or fetal viability and morphology. However, fetal growth retardation was produced at the 20 units/kg/day-dose as indicated by decreased fetal weight and an increased incidence of fetal runts/litter.
In an embryo-fetal development study in pregnant rabbits, insulin lispro doses of 0.1, 0.25, and 0.75 unit/kg/day (0.03, 0.08, and 0.24 times the human subcutaneous dose of 1 unit/kg/day, based on units/body surface area, respectively) were injected subcutaneously on Gestation days 7 through 19. There were no adverse effects on fetal viability, weight, and morphology at any dose.
It is unknown whether insulin lispro is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when HUMALOG is administered to a nursing woman. Use of HUMALOG is compatible with breastfeeding, but women with diabetes who are lactating may require adjustments of their insulin doses.
HUMALOG is approved for use in children for subcutaneous daily injections [see Clinical Studies]. Only the U-100 formulation of HUMALOG is approved for use in children by continuous subcutaneous infusion in insulin pumps. HUMALOG has not been studied in pediatric patients younger than 3 years of age. HUMALOG has not been studied in pediatric patients with type 2 diabetes.
As in adults, the dosage of HUMALOG must be individualized in pediatric patients based on metabolic needs and results of frequent monitoring of blood glucose.
Of the total number of subjects (n=2834) in eight clinical studies of HUMALOG, twelve percent (n=338) were 65 years of age or over. The majority of these had type 2 diabetes. HbA1c values and hypoglycemia rates did not differ by age. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies to assess the effect of age on the onset of HUMALOG action have not been performed.
Patients with renal impairment may be at increased risk of hypoglycemia and may require more frequent HUMALOG dose adjustment and more frequent blood glucose monitoring [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Patients with hepatic impairment may be at increased risk of hypoglycemia and may require more frequent HUMALOG dose adjustment and more frequent blood glucose monitoring [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/30/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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