About humalog® mealtime insulin

Lower blood sugar (glucose) and help to manage diabetes

What is Humalog mealtime insulin

Blood sugar levels chart - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
  • Humalog
  • Blood sugar
  • Longer-acting insulin

The orange area shows how blood sugar levels typically rise after meals. The pattern of insulin action may vary in different individuals or within the same individual.

As you eat, your blood sugar naturally goes up or “spikes.” Humalog is a fast-acting insulin that can help manage those spikes. It can be taken within 15 minutes before eating or right after eating a meal.

People who take Humalog will usually continue to take longer-acting insulin to help manage blood sugar levels at night and between meals. Taking mealtime insulin in addition to longer-acting insulin may help to control blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is a possible side effect of Humalog which may be severe and cause unconsciousness (passing out), seizures, and death. Test your blood sugar levels as your healthcare provider instructs.

Find out how to use your Humalog® KwikPen® Learn more about Humalog U-200 KwikPen
About premixed insulins
Humalog 75/25 Humalog 50/50

Learn about Humalog Mix75/25 and Humalog Mix50/50

Humalog Mix75/25 and Humalog Mix50/50 are used to treat adults with diabetes for the control of high blood sugar. Both of these premixed insulins are combinations of two different kinds of insulin that work together to help lower blood sugar levels throughout the day, including at mealtime. Premixed insulin combines longer-acting insulin with a fast-acting insulin. Together, you and your healthcare provider should discuss which option would be best for you.

Humalog Mix75/25

Learn about Humalog Mix75/25 and Humalog Mix50/50

Humalog Mix50/50

Learn about Humalog Mix75/25 and Humalog Mix50/50
  • Long-acting insulin
  • Short-acting insulin

What are the possible side effects of Humalog, Humalog Mix75/25, and Humalog Mix50/50?

Low blood sugar is the most common side effect. There are many causes of low blood sugar, including taking too much insulin. It is important to treat it quickly. You can treat mild to moderate low blood sugar by drinking or eating a quick source of sugar right away. If severe, low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness (passing out), seizures, and death. Symptoms may be different for each person. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about low blood sugar symptoms and treatment.

Severe life-threatening allergic reactions (whole-body reactions) can happen. Get medical help right away if you develop a rash over your whole body, have trouble breathing, have a fast heartbeat, or are sweating.

Reactions at the injection site (local allergic reaction) such as redness, swelling, and itching can happen. If you keep having skin reactions or they are serious, talk to your healthcare provider. Do not inject insulin into a skin area that is red, swollen, or itchy.

Skin may thicken or pit at the injection site (lipodystrophy). Do not inject insulin into skin with these types of changes.

Other side effects include low potassium in your blood (hypokalemia) and weight gain.

Serious side effects can include swelling of your hands and feet and heart failure when taking certain pills called thiazolidinediones or “TZDs” with Humalog, Humalog Mix75/25, or Humalog Mix50/50. This may occur in some people even if they have not had heart problems before. Tell your healthcare provider if you have shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, or sudden weight gain, which may be symptoms of heart failure. Your healthcare provider may need to adjust or stop your treatment with TZDs, Humalog, Humalog Mix75/25, or Humalog Mix50/50.

These are not all of the possible side effects. Ask your healthcare providers for more information or for medical advice about side effects.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Comparing types of insulin

Take a look at our overview below to find out about the different types of insulin. You’ll notice that there are differences in when the types of insulin reach your bloodstream, when they “peak” in your body, and how long they can last (length of time the insulin keeps lowering your blood sugar).

  • Fast-acting insulin (also called rapid-acting) is absorbed quickly and starts working within minutes to lower blood sugar after meals. Humalog fast-acting insulin should be taken 15 minutes before or right after eating a meal.
    • Depending on the type of diabetes you have, you may need to take Humalog with a longer-acting insulin or oral anti-diabetes medication.
    • In people with type 1 diabetes, Humalog needs to be used with a longer-acting insulin (except when using an external insulin pump). When used in a pump, do not mix Humalog with any other insulin or liquid.
    • Humalog U-200 is a concentrated fast-acting insulin. It contains Humalog U-200 mealtime insulin, which is twice the concentration of Humalog U-100.
    Find out more about the Humalog U-200 KwikPen
  • Short-acting insulin can cover insulin needs for meals eaten within 30 minutes after injection. Short-acting insulin is also considered a mealtime insulin.
  • Intermediate-acting insulin can cover your insulin needs between meals and during the night.
  • Longer-acting or basal insulin manages blood sugar levels at night and between meals. Humalog works together with longer-acting insulin to help control your blood sugar throughout the day.

Humalog Mix75/25 and Humalog Mix50/50 contain both fast-acting and longer-acting insulin.

The times shown in our table and graph are estimates. Always work with your healthcare provider to see what type of insulin is right for you. You can also see when and how often you should check your blood sugar levels.

Types of insulin

Types of insulin - Fast-acting (Humalog), Short-Acting, Intermediate-acting, Longer-acting basal
  Fast-acting Short-acting Intermediate-acting Longer-acting basal
Starts 15 min 30-60 min 1-3 hr 1 hr
Peaks 30-90 min 2-4 hr 8 hr peakless
Lasts 3-5 hr 5-8 hr 12-16 hr 20-26 hr
  • Fast-acting (Humalog):
  • Starts: 15 min
  • Peaks: 30-90 min
  • Lasts: 3-5 hr
  • Short-acting:
  • Starts: 30-60 min
  • Peaks: 2-4 hr
  • Lasts: 5-8 hr
  • Intermediate-acting:
  • Starts: 1-3 hr
  • Peaks: 8 hr
  • Lasts: 12-16 hr
  • Longer-acting basal:
  • Starts: 1 hr
  • Peaks: peakless
  • Lasts: 20-26 hr

Select Safety Information

Do not take Humalog, Humalog Mix75/25, or Humalog Mix50/50 if your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or if you are allergic to insulin lispro or any of the ingredients in these insulins.

About high blood sugar

One of the goals of your diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar levels within the target range determined by your healthcare team. When your blood sugar level is above the target range, this is called high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Possible causes of high blood sugar

  • not taking diabetes medication
  • Not taking diabetes medication, or taking too little, or timing it wrong
  • not eating appropriate balance of food
  • Eating too much or not eating the appropriate balance of food
  • illness or infection
  • Illness or infection
  • trauma or stress
  • Trauma/stress— physical and/or emotional

What to do if you have high blood sugar

  • adjust your insulin dose
  • Adjust your insulin dose to bring the blood sugar levels back into your recommended range*
  • drink extra water
  • Drink extra water
  • check for ketones
  • Check for ketones in a blood or urine sample if your blood sugar levels are above 250 mg/dL

These are guidelines only. Please discuss specific high blood sugar recommendations with your healthcare team.

*Your recommended range as directed by your healthcare team.Your healthcare team can provide more details on how to check for ketones.

How you might feel

  • hungry
  • Hungry
  • tired
  • Tired
  • frequent urination
  • Frequent Urination
  • thirsty
  • Thirsty
  • blurred vision
  • Blurred Vision

High blood sugar can include any combination of these symptoms and/or others not listed.

Select Safety Information

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is a possible side effect of insulin that may be severe and cause unconsciousness (passing out), seizures, and death. Test your blood sugar levels as your healthcare provider instructs. Talk to your doctor about low blood sugar symptoms and treatment.

Paying for Humalog

Your co-pay or out-of-pocket costs for Humalog will depend on your insurance plan. Keep in mind that the cost of Humalog is determined by several groups/organizations, including wholesalers and pharmacies. If you have any questions, please contact The Lilly Answers Center at 1-800-LillyRx (1-800-545-5979). For additional resources and support, click here.