June 16, 2024

ExpressCare Lispro: Accelerating Wellness with Every Dose

Insulin lispro: An alternative insulin for diabetes patients

Insulin lispro, commonly sold under the brand name Humalog, is a form of rapid-acting insulin used to treat diabetes. In this article, we will explore what insulin lispro is, how it works, who can use it and its benefits over traditional insulin treatments.

What is Insulin Lispro?
Insulin lispro was developed as an alternative to regular human insulin injections. It was one of the first “designer insulins” to be developed using genetic engineering techniques. Insulin lispro differs from regular human insulin in its chemical structure – two of the amino acids near the insulin’s active end are swapped. This minor structural change allows insulin lispro to begin working more quickly after injection and also peak in concentration faster than regular human insulin.

How it Works
Due to its modified structure, insulin lispro works faster in the body than regular human insulin. After injection into fatty tissue just under the skin, insulin lispro begins lowering blood sugar levels within 5-15 minutes. It reaches its maximum effect in 30-90 minutes and continues working for 2-4 hours. This rapid onset and short duration of action makes insulin lispro a good replacement for the first phase insulin release seen after eating. Its quicker absorption allows for more precise blood sugar control around mealtimes compared to regular human insulin injections.

Who Can Use Insulin Lispro?
Insulin lispro is most commonly prescribed for adults and children with type 1 diabetes who require mealtime insulin injections. It can also be used by some people with type 2 diabetes who still produce some of their own insulin and need additional bolus insulin with meals. Insulin lispro provides a good option for flexibly controlling blood sugar levels around eating times. It is available by prescription as a single-dose injectable solution and pre-filled pen devices for convenient self-administration.

Benefits Over Regular Insulin
Given its faster onset and shorter duration of action, insulin lispro offers several advantages when compared to regular human insulin:

Reduced Risk of Hypoglycemia:
By more closely mimicking the body’s natural first-phase insulin release, insulin lispro reduces the risks of low blood sugar episodes before or after meals compared to regular insulin injections. Its quicker absorption profile helps prevent over-delivery of insulin that could cause hypoglycemia.

Improved Blood Sugar Control:
The rapid action of insulin lispro allows for tighter control of post-meal blood glucose spikes. Patients can better respond to rising blood sugars right after eating versus having to plan ahead with regular insulin injections. This leads to improved A1C levels over time.

More Treatment Flexibility:
Insulin lispro’s faster onset gives individuals greater flexibility in the timing of injections around meals. Doses can be given right before eating rather than having to plan ahead with regular insulin. Its short duration also allows adjusting of food intake or activity levels with less risk of hypoglycemia.

Ease of Use:
Pre-filled insulin pens and other user-friendly delivery methods make administering insulin lispro quick and convenient. This promotes improved insulin adherence and diabetes management compared to vial/syringe methods of delivery. The fast absorption profile also means not having to consciously time meals around insulin administration as precisely.

Safety and Side Effects
Overall, insulin lispro is well tolerated as a mealtime insulin option. Like any insulin, there is a risk of hypoglycemia if doses are incorrect or food intake is inconsistent. Close glucose monitoring is important.

In clinical trials, insulin lispro was not associated with any significant differences in hypoglycemia, allergic reactions, injection site reactions or weight gain compared to regular human insulin. Any side effects tend to be minor and similar to other short-acting insulin analogs. Care should be taken in following dosage recommendations, especially for pediatric populations.

Insulin lispro provides an effective treatment option for patients requiring mealtime insulin coverage. Its rapid onset and short duration of action has been shown to reduce the risks of hyper- and hypoglycemia compared to regular human insulin injections. With convenient delivery methods and good tolerability, insulin lispro offers improved flexibility and blood sugar control for people managing their diabetes.


  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it