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Dose Adjustment and Monitoring

Glucose monitoring is essential for patients receiving insulin therapy. Changes to an insulin regimen should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision. Changes in insulin strength, manufacturer, type, or method of administration may result in the need for a change in insulin dose. Concomitant oral antidiabetic treatment may need to be adjusted.

As with all insulin preparations, the time course of action for HUMALOG may vary in different individuals or at different times in the same individual and is dependent on many conditions, including the site of injection, local blood supply, or local temperature. Patients who change their level of physical activity or meal plan may require adjustment of insulin dosages.


Hypoglycemia is the most common adverse effect associated with insulins, including HUMALOG. The risk of hypoglycemia increases with tighter glycemic control. Patients must be educated to recognize and manage hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can happen suddenly and symptoms may be different for each person and may change from time to time. Severe hypoglycemia can cause seizures and may be life-threatening or cause death.

The timing of hypoglycemia usually reflects the time-action profile of the administered insulin formulations. Other factors such as changes in food intake (e.g., amount of food or timing of meals), injection site, exercise, and concomitant medications may also alter the risk of hypoglycemia [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].

As with all insulins, use caution in patients with hypoglycemia unawareness and in patients who may be predisposed to hypoglycemia (e.g., the pediatric population and patients who fast or have erratic food intake). The patient's ability to concentrate and react may be impaired as a result of hypoglycemia. This may present a risk in situations where these abilities are especially important, such as driving or operating other machinery.

Rapid changes in serum glucose levels may induce symptoms similar to hypoglycemia in persons with diabetes, regardless of the glucose value. Early warning symptoms of hypoglycemia may be different or less pronounced under certain conditions, such as longstanding diabetes, diabetic nerve disease, use of medications such as beta-blockers [see DRUG INTERACTIONS], or intensified diabetes control. These situations may result in severe hypoglycemia (and, possibly, loss of consciousness) prior to the patient's awareness of hypoglycemia.

Hypersensitivity and Allergic Reactions

Severe, life-threatening, generalized allergy, including anaphylaxis, can occur with insulin products, including HUMALOG [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].


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. Use caution in patients who may be at risk for hypokalemia (e.g., patients using potassium-lowering medications, patients taking medications sensitive to serum potassium concentrations and patients receiving intravenously administered insulin).

Renal or Hepatic Impairment

Frequent glucose monitoring and insulin dose reduction may be required in patients with renal or hepatic impairment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Mixing of Insulins

HUMALOG for subcutaneous injection should not be mixed with insulin preparations other than NPH insulin. If HUMALOG is mixed with NPH insulin, HUMALOG should be drawn into the syringe first. Injection should occur immediately after mixing. Do not mix HUMALOG with other insulins for use in an external subcutaneous infusion pump.

Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion Pumps

When used in an external insulin pump for subcutaneous infusion, HUMALOG should not be diluted or mixed with any other insulin. Change the HUMALOG in the reservoir at least every 7 days, change the infusion sets and the infusion set insertion site at least every 3 days. HUMALOG should not be exposed to temperatures greater than 98.6°F (37°C).

Malfunction of the insulin pump or infusion set or insulin degradation can rapidly lead to hyperglycemia and ketosis. 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 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, HOW SUPPLIED/Storage and Handling, and PATIENT INFORMATION].

Drug Interactions

Some medications may alter insulin requirements and the risk for hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].

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.

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (Patient Information and Instructions for Use).

Instructions for All Patients

Patients should be instructed on self-management procedures including glucose monitoring, proper injection technique, and management of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Patients must be instructed 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. Refer patients to the HUMALOG Patient Information Leaflet for additional information.

Women with diabetes should be advised to inform their doctor if they are pregnant or are contemplating pregnancy.

Accidental mix-ups between HUMALOG and other insulins have been reported. To avoid medication errors between HUMALOG and other insulins, patients should be instructed to always check the insulin label before each injection.

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 sets3

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.

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, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and HOW SUPPLIED/Storage and Handling].

Nonclinical Toxicology

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.

Nursing Mothers

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.

Pediatric Use

HUMALOG is approved for use in children for subcutaneous daily injections and for subcutaneous continuous infusion by external insulin pump. 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 [see Clinical Studies].

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.

Geriatric Use

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.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/25/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


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