Insulin Lispro is a rapid acting insulin. It is used to reduce high blood sugar levels after a meal in patients with diabetes mellitus.
The most common side effect with the use of insulin is low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia).
Low blood sugar may occur if you:
Alcohol and some medicines can also affect your blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of low blood sugar include weakness, dizziness, hunger, sweating, trembling, blurred vision, walking unsteadily or fast heartbeat.
If you experience any of these low blood sugar symptoms, do the following immediately:
Step 1: Check your blood sugar level with a home blood sugar meter (glucometer) if available. If your blood sugar level is less than 4 mmol/L, take 15 grams of sugar such as:
Step 2: You should feel better in about 15 minutes. If you have a home blood sugar meter, you should check your blood sugar level.
Step 3: If your blood sugar level is still less than 4 mmol/L or you still have symptoms of low blood sugar, you should take another 15 grams of sugar.
See a doctor or go to the hospital immediately if your blood sugar is always low and you experience symptoms even after taking amounts of sugar as directed by your doctor or nurse (see instructions above for management of low blood sugar).
Other side effects
Some patients may also experience mild pain, redness, inflammation, bruising, swelling, shrinking or thickening of the skin at the injection site. Continuous rotation of the injection site within the recommended areas for injections will reduce the chances of developing such reactions. They also usually go away in a few days to a few weeks.
You may also gain weight with insulin injections. Thus, you are encouraged to exercise regularly (at least 3 times a week) while on this medication.
Inform your doctor if
If your doctor has informed you that you need to do a fasting blood test, do not inject insulin until after you have your blood taken and are ready to eat.
Avoid taking alcohol with this medication.
Insulin Lispro is usually given immediately or 15 minutes before a meal as an injection into the fatty tissue under the skin. Do not forget to eat after injecting Insulin Lispro. If you need to, you can inject immediately after a meal. Use the injection technique as advised by your doctor or nurse and as described in the manual. Ensure that your insulin appears clear and colourless before use. Do not use if it appears cloudy, grainy or if particles are seen in the vial. (unless you are using Humalog® Mix50 which should be a suspension and requires you to resuspend it i.e. roll the insulin pen in between your palms before use). Do not stop your insulin without checking with your doctors.
How to inject insulin •Clean the skin before injecting the insulin. •Pinch your skin to form a fold. •Insert the needle at 90 degrees, right angle to the skin. •During the injection, inject the insulin by pushing the plunger all the way down slowly with your index finger, wait for about 10 seconds before removing the needle and releasing the pinched skin. •Keep the plunger down until the needle has been taken out from the skin. This will ensure you get the full dose. Do not rub or massage the injection site. •Throw the syringe or pen needle away properly in a container that cannot be punctured
You must only use Humalog cartridges in compatible CE marked pens. Please check with your pharmacist if you are unsure.
If you miss a dose, inject the next dose at the usual time. Do not inject two doses to make up for a missed dose.
If you forget to inject your insulin, your blood sugar may get too high (hyperglycemia). Check your blood sugar with a home blood sugar meter (glucometer). When your blood sugar is high for too long, you may experience increased urination, feeling thirsty, feeling sick (nausea or vomiting), feeling drowsy or tired, abdominal pain, flushed face and a fruity (acetone) smell of the breath. These may be signs of a very serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis where there is a build-up of acid in the blood because the body is breaking down fat instead of sugar. Please see the doctor immediately if you have the above symptoms
If you take more than the instructed dose, please get medical advice immediately.
Please refer to the product insert which can be found in the medication box, for instructions for use of your specific insulin pen / penfill.
Store unopened insulin in a refrigerator between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. Do not freeze. Do not keep insulin in a hot place (e.g. in a hot, closed vehicle, on top of a television set) or expose it to heat or sunlight. Insulin that is exposed to direct sunlight for too long may give it a yellow-brown colour. Do not use the insulin if this happens.
Once the insulin is in use, it no longer has to be refrigerated, but should be thrown away after 4 weeks.
Keep this medication out of reach of children. Throw away all expired medicines.
If used at home, you may throw this injection away along with the used needles, into a metal tin, or glass jar or thick plastic container (e.g. detergent bottles) to prevent any needle stick injury.