Insulin Lispro Protamine and Insulin Lispro (Subcutaneous)

Because it is made with two different types of insulin, this medication may have benefits for those with diabetes mellitus.

Overview

People with diabetes mellitus have trouble processing or creating insulin, which causes their blood sugar to rise and fall to dangerous levels. In these cases, insulin can be injected. This keeps their blood sugar in-check and protects them from blood sugar fluctuations.

Insulin Lispro Protamine and Insulin Lispro is a combination drug that contains both rapid-acting insulin and human insulin. Where the synthetic insulin works quickly to regulate blood sugar, the intermediate-acting, human insulin keeps blood sugar levels stable over time. This type of insulin is sold under the brand name Humalog Mix 75/25 or Humalog 50/50, depending on the ratio of rapid-acting to intermediate-acting insulin. Where 50/50 has an even mix of the two, 75/25 has more human insulin.

Taking insulin can greatly affect your life if you suffer from diabetes. Those that did not take insulin to treat their condition were more at risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, and loss of limbs. By controlling your blood sugar and keeping them within a healthy range, you protect yourself from a myriad of problems, including blindness and kidney failure.

Like many other insulin treatments, this drug may be prescription only. If you require insulin, make sure to schedule an appointment with a doctor to discuss your condition and what type of insulin you might need. If you have been prescribed Insulin Lispro Protamine and Insulin Lispro, make sure to read all of the information given to you by your doctor or pharmacist.

Insulin should only be used as directed, and only at the dosages recommended by your doctor. Taking too much or too little can affect your condition, and may cause complications in your treatment. If you need a refill, make sure to go the pharmacy a day before your prescription runs out. You do not want to be left without insulin if there is an issue with your refill.

For the best results, your doctor may prescribe this medication with diet and exercise. Patients with diabetes can cope with their condition much easier when they lead healthy lifestyles, so try to adjust your lifestyle after being diagnosed. Proper self-care can encourage better health and make it easier for you to manage your diabetes.

If you are currently taking insulin and are unhappy with your prescription, discuss Insulin Lispro Protamine and Insulin Lispro with your doctor. If it is right for you, it may be the good choice in treatment.

Conditions Treated

  • Diabetes mellitus

Type Of Medication

  • Insulin

Side Effects

Similar to other drugs, insulin may cause side effects besides the intended purpose. This is normal, and you should adjust to them over time. Many side effects will disappear over time, while you may simply get used to others. Your body needs some time to adjust to any new medication, and insulin is no exception.

Keep an eye on how you react, and talk to your doctor if any of these effects persist or become troublesome. While they are normal, they can be uncomfortable. Your doctor may be able to prescribe additional medications to treat these side effects, or they may give you tips on how to handle them.

While not all side effects are harmless, these are fairly normal and do not require a visit to the doctor.

  • Mild pain/swelling at the injection site. Should go away within a few hours, but if it continues or worsens, notify your doctor.
  • Change in body fat and weight distribution.

Some side effects may be a sign that you are reacting badly to your treatment. In these cases, notify your doctor as soon as possible, and stop your insulin treatment. Usually, these negative side effects will occur if you are allergic to a certain type of insulin. If you believe your life is in danger at any point, contact medical help immediately.

  • Sudden, unexplained fever
  • Severe swelling, itching, or pain at the injection site
  • Rash or hives on the body
  • Swelling of the mouth/face/tongue
  • Closing of the airways
  • Trouble breathing

If any of these symptoms occur, contact your doctor immediately. Allergies to insulin are rare, but you should never rule them out.

While these are not side effects of the insulin itself, they can occur while you are taking insulin. If you take too much/too little of your insulin treatment, or fail to manage your blood sugar properly, you may experience additional side effects. These can include:

  • Hypoglycemia (result of too much insulin/lack of calories). Symptoms include: shaking, dizziness, chills, rapid heartbeat, weakness, fainting, and blurred vision. If you begin to feel your blood sugar dropping, try to find a quick source of sugar. Glucose tablets are the recommended option, but you can also use sugar, candy, honey, or non-diet soda as an alternative.
  • Hyperglycemia (result of too little insulin/too much sugar). Symptoms include: rapid breathing, fruity breath, flushing, drowsiness, and confusion. In these cases, you need to contact a doctor right away. You may need a higher insulin dose to prevent hyperglycemia.
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium levels). Symptoms include: muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, and sudden weakness. Contact your doctor immediately if these symptoms occur.

If this is your first time taking insulin, keep track of your side effects and lifestyle changes in a journal. Discuss anything usual or troubling with your doctor, and share your progress with them until you are stabilized. Once you have found a treatment that works for you, tell your doctor that the dose is right.

Dosage

When taking insulin, your doctor will help you decide how much to take. This dose changes from person to person, and it may take some adjusting until you find the right dose for you. Make sure to follow any recommended changes by your doctor, as even the smallest change in dosage can affect your blood sugar. If your child is taking insulin, make sure to follow all of the doctor's given instructions.

Your primary responsibility is administering the medication properly. Your doctor should show you how to do this. Once you learn how, you can begin giving yourself insulin at home.

Insulin should not be stored in the refrigerator, and injecting cold insulin can be very painful. Before handling your insulin, wash your hands and roll the container between your palms to warm it. Do not shake it, but try to get it close to your body temperature. If there are any abnormalities in the container, discard that dose. Mix the insulin until it appears even, cloudy, and white.

From there, you should begin prepping the injection site. Make sure the area is clean and dry, and try to switch injection sites every day. You can administer this drug under the skin of your upper arms, thighs, and abdomen. Make sure to eat after taking your insulin dose. This can help you avoid a drop in blood sugar levels.

Try to follow your doctor's recommendations when it comes to lifestyle changes. Build a proper exercise plan, even if it just includes outdoor games, light hiking, and regular walks. Even a small amount of activity is better than no exercise. Your diet should be filling but healthy, and you should try to cut down on the amount of unnecessary sugar and calories you eat.

Make sure to monitor your blood sugar regularly. Keep a journal detailing your exercise, meal plan, and blood sugar levels throughout the day, and make notes when you encounter abnormalities in your schedule. List side effects and other conditions as well, and share this with your doctor. With certain lifestyle changes and proper vigilance, you can manage your diabetes and still lead a healthy life.

When using insulin, replace your needles every time you administer an injection. This includes the needles inside pens and the syringes used during injections. Do not throw these away in the normal garbage, and arrange for used needles to be disposed of properly. Do not share your needles or pen devices with anyone else. This can spread infection and hurt you, the person using your pen, or both of you.

Do not mix this insulin injection with other insulin brands. Do not use this insulin in a pump. Your doctor or pharmacist should give you all the necessary information and warnings when you receive this medication, so make sure to read all of it. If you do not understand something, talk to your doctor and ask for clarification. Only use this medication once you are sure you can do it properly.

Interactions

Some drugs on your prescription list may interact with your insulin treatment. These interactions may be mild, but you should avoid them where you can. Insulin does not interact directly with many medications, but some drugs can affect how you feel while taking insulin. Talk to your doctor if any of these medications make you feel unpleasant or sick, and look for other options.

Your doctor may recommend that you stop or lower the doses of some of your medications. This is normal, and while it is unpleasant, it may be for the best. If there is an alternative prescription, your doctor may switch you to that for convenience. Insulin is necessary for your health, so finding ways to work it into your treatment plan is important.

Insulin has few interactions, but it does have recorded interactions with the listed medications:

  • Certain antibiotics, including: prulifloxacin, sparfloxacin, and tosufloxacin, among others.
  • Other types of insulin.
  • Rosiglitazone or pioglitazone.
  • Beta blockers like metoprolol and propranolol.

You should avoid taking these medications with insulin if you can. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. There may be other medications that your doctor recommend you avoid taking, so be sure to go over your treatment plan and prescriptions before beginning your insulin treatment.

There are some medications that simply increase your risk of side effects while taking insulin. These medications should be avoided as well, but it will not harm you if you continue taking them together. You may experience aggravated side effects, but you may be able to cope with this if the medication is necessary. Talk to your doctor to go over these medications, and make sure to go over what might happen if you take them alongside your insulin injections.

You should avoid bitter melon while taking insulin. It can put you at risk for increased side effects and can be easily avoided. Avoid ethanol and other alcohols while taking insulin. While they do not directly interact, your blood sugar can be greatly affected by alcohol. Be safe every time you drink, and make sure to have a sober friend/family member on call in case your blood sugar drops.

When taking cough medicines, make sure to check the labels before buying. If the drug has sugar or alcohol in it, be careful while taking it. Keep an eye on your blood sugar, and try to buy sugar/alcohol-free medications when you can.

Many other drugs can affect your blood sugar. Tell your doctor before you begin any new prescriptions while taking insulin, and go over what might happen if you take them together. Notify your doctor when you begin taking these drugs, and let them know when you've stopped. Maintaining a healthy level of communication between you and your doctor is a good way to stay on top of your health.

Warnings

This drug may come with risks for those taking it. Even if you have taken insulin in the past, you should still go over the precautions with your doctor. Make sure you read and understand all the given information, and make sure to ask your doctor about risks that apply to you. Where not everyone experiences medications the same way, certain conditions and medical history can affect how you take insulin.

When using insulin, only use the insulin that is prescribed for you. Do not mix other insulin brands with this one, and do not share insulin with another person. If necessary, carry a kit with your designated insulin inside. Do not share needles, pens, or other equipment with others. Without the proper sanitation, you could easily contract blood-borne diseases like HIV.

You may need to adjust your insulin dosage after switching brands. Stay in touch with your doctor, and keep them updated on how you react to the trial doses. It may take a few tries, but eventually you will find the dose that's right for you. Do not try to change your dose yourself, as you may set it too high or too low without realizing the danger.

Insulin is meant to be used alongside an exercise and diet plan. Major changes in your diet may change how insulin affects you. This is normal, but talk to your doctor if you think you might need a dosage change. Stress and infection can also affect how much insulin you need. If you are suffering from a major infection or lots of life stress, talk to your doctor about your insulin treatment.

If you have low blood sugar, do not use insulin in that moment. Eat something or take some glucose tablets before administering the medication. After taking insulin, make sure to get proper food into your system. Regular meals are recommended when taking insulin. Test your blood sugar frequently to make sure you are not taking insulin at a low point.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about switching insulin medications. This may be necessary for your child's health, so be sure to mention plans for children to your doctor. While you and your doctor may decide that your current brand of insulin is safe, some women choose to switch to other insulin brands during and shortly after pregnancy.

Dangerously low and high blood sugar levels can be detrimental to your health. If you experience a serious drop in blood sugar, make note of it. This may be a sign that you need to change your insulin dosage. If high blood sugar occurs, contact your doctor. It may require a different treatment and method of action. Keep a detailed account of your blood sugar readings, diet, and exercise plan to give your doctor during check-ups. This can give them a better idea of how you're coping with your treatment.

Storage

Because of the nature of this drug, it may require special storage. Be sure to follow all the given instructions on how to store your insulin safely. Neglecting to do so may result in damaged medication, harmful accidents, or overdose.

While injecting cold insulin is not recommended, unopened insulin containers may need to be stored in the refrigerator. Make sure to warm them properly before use to avoid pain and swelling. If your house is under 86 degrees Fahrenheit, you may be able to store the insulin vials at room temperature. Put them somewhere safe, away from direct heat and light. Never freeze your insulin.

Do not store insulin in the bathroom. Keep your insulin vials and other equipment in a designated cabinet or desk drawer. Lock this cabinet/drawer if necessary. If you have children or pets that may get into this medication, make sure to store it somewhere out of reach. Insulin should never be consumed orally. If this occurs, contact poison control right away. Present them with the empty vial and whatever prescription information you have. Be ready to tell them when it was taken, how much was consumed, and who took it.

Discard all vials and unused insulin within 28 days of prescription. Pens should be disposed of after 10 days. Even if there is insulin left, do not take it. Expired medication may not work the same, and it is better to get rid of it and find a refill. For used needles and other insulin pens, make sure to dispose of them properly.

Dispose of any excess insulin safely, and do not pour it down the sink unless instructed to do so. If possible, look for take-back programs in your area. They should be sponsored by pharmacies or hospitals, and they can be a safe way to discard of any excess insulin.

Summary

Insulin Lispro Protamine and Insulin Lispro can be a necessary medication for those suffering from diabetes. It may be the insulin brand that works best for you, so talk to your doctor if you think you might need to switch insulin brands. After switching, keep an eye on your health and reactions to this drug. Adjust your dose as necessary, and follow your doctor's recommendations regarding dosage, storage, and administration.

Always use clean needles when administering this drug. Never share needles or equipment with another person, and make sure to dispose of all used needles responsibly. This includes any needles used during blood sugar testing.

You may need to adjust your diet or exercise plan after beginning an insulin prescription. This is normal, and try to establish a healthy lifestyle after beginning your prescription. This can help you manage your blood sugar better, and help the insulin work better. If you have been taking insulin for a while and want to make major lifestyle changes, talk to your doctor about your insulin dosage. You may need to increase/decrease your dose to accommodate any new eating/exercise habits.

If you drink often or experience high levels of stress, this may affect your insulin treatment. Talk to your doctor if you need to change your dose. Avoid alcohol when you can, and always have a designated sober friend to help you in case you experience a rise/fall in blood sugar levels.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any unusual side effects or changes in your health after beginning your insulin injections. Changing brands may take some time, and you may need to adjust your dose several times before you find one that works for you. If you think you might need this insulin brand, talk to your doctor and discuss your options.