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April 13, 2001

Insulin Analogs

Question from Chennai, Tamilnadu, India:

My 23 year old sister has had type�1 diabetes for 13 years and just switched to Humalog before dinner as part of her insulin schedule. A friend who is a diabetes specialist in diabetes said not to use Humalog because it has severe long-term side effects and is worse that Regular. We are kind of lost and confused. Would you please give us more information about the pros and cons of Humalog?


From: DTeam Staff

As a matter of fact, Humalog (lispro) is nothing more than a chemically modified analog (form) of Regular insulin which makes it have a quicker hypoglycemic effect because of faster absorption from subcutaneous tissue, and a shorter duration. This implies either a reduced incidence of late postprandial hypoglycemia (most importantly during the night) as well as an anticipated waning of its action between shots. It has also reduced the need for the timing before the injection and the beginning of the meal. Therefore, it’s often necessary to add NPH in order to avoid sudden hyperglycemia hours after injection. Beyond these rather-easy-to-manage issues, I do not see any severe side effects for using this new insulin that has helped our patients so much.