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The Long-Term Side Effects of Humalog Insulin

written by: DulceCorazon • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 11/30/2010

Hypoglycemia is one of the long term side effects from Humalog insulin. Patients may experience palpitations, cold sweats, and may even become unconscious. Aside from these, allergic reactions and skin thickening may also be observed.

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    Overview

    Insulin is an important hormone which helps glucose or sugar get inside the cells for their energy use. Most diabetics have defects in producing insulin or have resistance to the actions of such hormone. One of the drugs frequently prescribed for diabetic patients is Insulin lispro or Humalog. This drug is a fast-acting drug which acts by lowering blood sugar content approximately 15 minutes after injection into a diabetic person's skin. It is also a short acting drug, which means that its effects is felt for only a short time. This is why this drug is often used with other long acting insulin products to provide blood sugar control throughout the day.

    Because diabetes has no known cure up to now, many patients need to control their blood sugar levels in order to prevent complications. Thus, diabetics also uses these types of medications for longer periods of time. Like other medications, there are also long term side effects from Humalog insulin that diabetics should be wary of. These include hyperglycemia or high blood sugar, and thickening of the skin at the injection site. It is also important to note one of the quick and most common side-effect of Humalog insulin use which is hypoglycemia.

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    Hypoglycemia

    Hypoglycemia usually occur as an immediate side-effect of Humalog use. This particularly happens if the person does not have enough calorie intake when administered with the drug. Hypoglycemia may also occur if the patient administered too much Insulin listro than prescribed by his physician.

    Symptoms of hypoglycemia include pale skin, cold sweats, anxiety, unexplained fatigue, dizziness, confusion, extreme hunger, and headache. They may also experience palpitations, nausea, and temporary changes in vision. Low blood sugar can also affect a person’s ability to concentrate and react, so those who take this insulin product should be wary of driving or operating machinery when they use Humalog.

    It is usually recommended that diabetics who use Humalog insulin carry with them glucose tablets in case hypoglycemia sets in. An alternative in raising blood sugar levels is to consume sugary foods such as honey, candy, and table sugar. They may also drink a glass of non-diet soda or fruit juice. In order to prevent hypoglycemia, people with diabetes are advised to eat meals regularly. Skipping meals is a no-no.

    Since hypoglycemia can cause serious problems like unconsciousness and coma, patients taking such medications are often encourage to monitor their blood sugar levels and to inform their physician if such reaction is persistently observed.The physician may then have to look into the amount of insulin the patient is taking and may need to give a new dose.

    Rarely, allergic reactions to the medication may occur. Immediate medical attention is often required in these cases. Symptoms of allergic reaction include itching, rashes and swelling particularly in the face, throat and tongue, and they may also manifest with breathing problmes, extreme dizziness, and unexplained sweating.

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    Hyperglycemia

    Some patients may report hyperglycemia with long-term use of Insulin listro. This can occur when the amount administered is low compared to what the body needs. Hyperglycemia has symptoms like unexplained thirst, irregular urination, difficulties in concentrating, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, and a foul breath odor. In case these symptoms persist, people with diabetes should inform their doctors immediately. In most cases the dosage of Humalog insulin may have to be increased to prevent such incidence from happening.

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    Other Long Term Side Effects from Humalog Insulin

    On a less serious note, the use of Humalog insulin may also leave irritation, pain or redness and skin thickening on the area where the drug is frequently administered. Although these side effects are by no means serious, users of the drug may have to inform their physician in case these symptoms persist or worsen.

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    References

    MedicineNet.com: http://www.medicinenet.com/insulin_lispro-injection/page2.htm

    Netdoctor: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/100001259.html

    WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-13818-Humalog+SubQ.aspx?drugid=13818&drugname=Humalog+SubQ