Lantus vs Humalog

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For patients with diabetes, insulin therapy plays a crucial role in managing blood sugar levels and preventing complications. Lantus and Humalog are two such insulins that are commonly prescribed for individuals with diabetes. They each work in different ways to help regulate glucose levels in the body but both aim to control hyperglycemia. Lantus is a long-acting basal insulin analogue, meant to provide consistent, low-level insulin supply over approximately 24 hours. This helps keep blood sugar stable throughout the day and night without any significant peaks or troughs. In contrast, Humalog is a rapid-acting insulin used primarily to control glucose spikes during meals or snacks and immediately afterwards; it starts working within 15 minutes of injection and its effect lasts around four hours depending on individual's metabolism rate.

What is Lantus?

Insulin glargine (the generic name for Lantus) was a significant advancement in the field of insulin therapy, similar to how fluoxetine revolutionized antidepressants. Approved by the FDA in 2000, Lantus is a long-acting type of insulin that provides consistent sugar level control with just one or two daily injections. It works by mimicking the basal insulin release produced naturally by our bodies and is often prescribed for managing both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

On the other hand, Insulin lispro (the generic form of Humalog), approved by the FDA in 1996, acts quicker but has a shorter duration than Lantus. Humalog is used to manage blood sugar spikes during meals and can be taken immediately before or after eating due its rapid onset of action.

Both these insulins help regulate blood glucose levels but their onset timing and duration differ significantly which influences when they have to be administered relative to meal timings. Also, while side effects are generally low for both types of insulin, they may include hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), weight gain and allergic reactions among others.

What conditions is Lantus approved to treat?

Lantus is approved for the treatment of different types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes, where it's used in combination with short-acting insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes in adults who can't control their blood sugar levels with oral antidiabetic drugs alone.
  • It may also be used in children aged 6 years and over with type 1 diabetes, if deemed appropriate by a healthcare professional.

How does Lantus help with these illnesses?

Lantus helps to manage diabetes by providing a steady, continuous supply of insulin throughout the day and night. It does this by slowly releasing insulin into your body over 24 hours, helping to maintain more consistent blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone that allows cells to take in glucose from the bloodstream for energy or storage, depending on the body's needs. When people have diabetes, their bodies cannot make or use insulin effectively which results in high blood sugar levels. By supplying a long-acting form of insulin, Lantus can help regulate these blood sugar levels and minimize the negative effects of diabetes.

On the other hand, Humalog acts rapidly to control spikes in blood sugar that occur after meals (postprandial). It works quickly because it has been engineered so that it is absorbed into your bloodstream faster than regular human insulin would be. In essence, while both Lantus and Humalog are forms of injectable insulins used to treat high blood sugar in patients with diabetes mellitus; Lantus provides long-lasting control whereas Humalog offers quick relief during meal times.

What is Humalog?

Humalog is a brand name for insulin lispro, which is a rapid-acting human insulin analog used to lower levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It's an artificial version of natural human insulin that works faster than regular human insulin, meaning it starts reducing blood sugar soon after injection. Insulin lispro was first approved by the FDA in 1996 and has since been widely employed as a mealtime insulin due to its quick onset of action.

Unlike Lantus, Humalog doesn't provide steady levels of background basal insulin over time but instead acts quickly to manage spikes in blood sugar that occur around mealtimes. The lack of long-lasting action means its side-effect profile may be different from long-acting insulins like Lantus - for instance, hypoglycemic episodes are more likely if meals aren't consumed shortly after taking Humalog. This fast action can be beneficial for managing post-meal blood sugar spikes in patients with diabetes mellitus who don't respond well enough to "typical" longer-acting basal insulins such as Lantus.

What conditions is Humalog approved to treat?

Humalog stands out as an insulin option approved for the management of:

  • Type 1 Diabetes, where the body doesn't produce any insulin
  • Type 2 Diabetes, where the body either resists or doesn’t produce enough insulin

It's primarily used to control blood sugar levels during meals and snacks, rapidly acting to manage spikes in blood sugar.

How does Humalog help with these illnesses?

Insulin is a hormone that plays an integral role in metabolism, regulating the absorption of glucose from the bloodstream into cells for use as energy. In conditions like diabetes where insulin production or utilization is impaired, medications like Lantus and Humalog can be used to help manage blood sugar levels. Humalog is a rapid-acting insulin, which means it starts working quickly after injection (within 15 minutes) and has peak effects around one hour later. This makes it particularly useful for controlling blood sugar levels during meals. It differs from Lantus in this respect, which provides more stable long-term control with less pronounced peaks and valleys in its action profile. Because of its fast onset of action, Humalog may be preferred when immediate post-meal blood sugar control is needed such as immediately before or after meals to prevent sudden spikes in blood glucose levels.

How effective are both Lantus and Humalog?

Both insulin glargine (Lantus) and insulin lispro (Humalog) have solid track records in managing patients' blood glucose levels, receiving FDA approval only few years apart: Lantus in 2000 and Humalog in 1996. Since they act differently on the body's glucose regulation processes, they may be prescribed under different circumstances. The effectiveness of Lantus and Humalog was directly studied; both drugs were found to effectively control blood sugar levels, albeit with differences due to their pharmacokinetic profiles.

A review study showed that Lantus provides a steady release of insulin over a period of approximately 24 hours without any pronounced peak effect. This makes it an ideal basal or background insulin for maintaining consistent low-levels of insulin throughout the day irrespective of meals. It is well-tolerated among diverse populations including elderly individuals and children with Type 1 diabetes mellitus requiring long-term glycemic control.

Conversely, Humalog acts rapidly but has a short duration of action which mimics the natural mealtime spike in endogenous production providing better post-meal glucose control when compared to regular human insulins. A meta-analysis indicated that Humalog seems more effective than regular human insulin at controlling postprandial hyperglycemia while having similar safety profile in terms of hypoglycemia risks. However, due to its rapid onset and shorter duration characteristics, it's typically used as bolus or meal-time insulin often coupled with longer-acting insulins like Lantus for optimal glycemic control across the entire day.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Lantus typically prescribed?

Dosages of Lantus, an insulin glargine injection, vary greatly depending on the individual's body response and blood glucose level. It is usually administered once daily at any time during the day but should be taken at the same time every day. On the other hand, Humalog or insulin lispro is a fast-acting insulin often used before meals to control post-meal blood sugar spikes. The dosage varies significantly among individuals and may need to be adjusted based on factors like food intake, physical activity levels and blood glucose monitoring results. Importantly for both medications, dosages should always be determined by a healthcare professional as incorrect doses can lead to serious health problems.

At what dose is Humalog typically prescribed?

Humalog treatment is typically commenced as per the patient's individualized needs, with dosages being adjusted according to blood glucose levels. This insulin analogue can be taken immediately before meals, and in some cases up to 20 minutes after starting a meal. The dosage depends on factors such as the patient's diet, activity level, metabolic status and other concurrent medical conditions. On average, adults may require between 0.5 to 1 unit/kg/day of Humalog divided into multiple doses throughout the day for optimal glycemic control. It should be noted that regular monitoring of blood glucose levels is crucial when using Humalog to ensure effective diabetes management and minimize any potential risks associated with hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

What are the most common side effects for Lantus?

Potential side effects of Lantus and Humalog, two types of insulin used for diabetes management can include:

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Weight gain
  • Allergic reactions including itching, rash or trouble breathing
  • Injection site reactions such as redness, swelling or pain
  • Fatigue and general weakness
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fluid retention causing swelling in the hands or feet It's important to monitor your blood sugar regularly when taking these medications. If any unusual symptoms occur, seek medical attention promptly.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Lantus?

When comparing Lantus and Humalog, these insulin medications can cause some side effects, although not as severe as those listed in your provided text. Still, certain individuals might experience:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as itching or hives; swelling in the face or hands; swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat; chest tightness, wheezing, trouble breathing
  • Low blood sugar symptoms: dizziness, confusion, fast heartbeat, sweating excessively
  • Swelling on injection site
  • Changes in skin thickness where you inject insulin (skin may get thicker or pitted)
  • Potassium levels drop - muscle cramps or weakness, irregular heartbeats

Severe hypoglycemia can lead to seizures and loss of consciousness if untreated. Additionally note that both types of insulins should not be used during episodes of hypoglycemia nor by patients hypersensitive to Insulin glargine (Lantus) and Insulin lispro (Humalog). If experiencing these symptoms while taking either medication consult a healthcare provider immediately.

What are the most common side effects for Humalog?

Humalog, while very effective in controlling blood sugar levels, can present a series of side effects such as:

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Itching or rash over the whole body
  • Changes in how fat is spread around the body
  • Swelling of hands and feet
  • Weight gain
  • Throat pain or hoarseness
  • Mild nausea or stomach discomfort.

Less common but more serious side effects include symptoms of heart failure like shortness of breath, swelling in ankles or feet, rapid weight gain; also signs of low potassium are worth paying attention to - muscle weakness, limp feeling, slow heartbeat. Always keep open communication with your healthcare provider about any changes you experience after starting a regimen with Humalog.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Humalog?

While Humalog is an effective medication for managing blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, it's important to be aware of the potential side effects. These may include:

  • Signs of allergic reaction such as hives, itching, difficulty breathing or swelling in your face or throat
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which can cause symptoms like confusion, dizziness, blurred vision and rapid heartbeat
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) that might present with symptoms like frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Swelling in your hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath; or
  • Rapid weight gain

Remember to monitor your blood glucose regularly when using Humalog. If you experience any severe side effects listed above while taking this medication, seek immediate medical attention.

Contraindications for Lantus and Humalog?

Both Lantus and Humalog, like all insulin medications, may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in some people. If you notice signs of low blood sugar such as sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision or tingling hands/feet, it is important to have a source of glucose available and seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Lantus nor Humalog can be used if you are having an episode of hypoglycemia or if you are allergic to any ingredient in the medication. Always inform your physician about all the medications you are currently taking; certain drugs can affect blood glucose levels and require changes to insulin doses. Certain other medical conditions like liver or kidney disease may also affect how these insulins work and need careful monitoring by your doctor. Ensure a period of at least 2 hours before or after meals when injecting rapid-acting insulins like Humalog due to its faster onset action compared with long acting ones like Lantus.

How much do Lantus and Humalog cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price for one 10 mL vial of Lantus (100 units/mL) averages around $300, which works out to approximately $10/day, depending on your dose.
  • The price for one Humalog KwikPen (3 mL with 100 units/mL) is about $85, working out to around $2.80/day based on a typical daily dosage.

Thus, if you are in the higher dosage range for Lantus (i.e., 30 units/day or higher), then brand-name Humalog is less expensive on a per-day treatment basis. Please note that cost should not be a primary consideration in determining which of these drugs is right for you.

There are currently no generic versions available for either insulin glargine (Lantus) or insulin lispro (Humalog). However, biosimilar insulins such as Basaglar (a follow-on to Lantus) and Admelog (a follow-on to Humalog), may offer more affordable alternatives:

  • Basaglar costs between $60 and $130 per pen with each pen containing 3 ml at concentration of 100 unit/ml.
  • Admelog prices range from about $135-$150 per box containing five pens; each pen contains three milliliters at a concentration of 100 unit/ml.

Popularity of Lantus and Humalog

Insulin glargine, under the brand name Lantus, was prescribed to approximately 3.8 million people in the United States in 2020. It's a long-acting insulin utilized primarily for maintaining basal blood glucose levels and is typically administered once daily. This accounts for a significant proportion of all insulin prescriptions.

On the other hand, insulin lispro, also known as Humalog, was prescribed to about 2.6 million people within the same period. Humalog is a rapid-acting insulin designed specifically to control post-meal blood sugar spikes and is usually taken right before or after meals.

The overall usage trend of both these insulins has remained steady over recent years given their crucial role in diabetes management.


Both Lantus (insulin glargine) and Humalog (insulin lispro) have been extensively used in the management of diabetes mellitus, with numerous clinical trials underscoring their efficacy over placebo. In some cases, these insulins may be combined to provide optimal glucose control throughout the day; however, this requires careful titration under a healthcare provider's supervision. They differ significantly in their onset and duration of action: Lantus is a long-acting insulin often administered once daily to maintain baseline insulin levels, while Humalog is rapid-acting and typically taken before meals to manage blood sugar spikes.

Both medications are available as generics - Basaglar for Lantus and Admelog for Humalog - offering cost savings especially important for patients paying out-of-pocket. Like many drugs though, both may require an adjustment period as individuals' responses can vary widely due to factors such as diet, exercise levels and other concurrent medications.

The side effect profile between these two insulins also differs slightly due to their pharmacokinetic properties: hypoglycemia risk can occur with both but might present differently given that Humalog acts rapidly post-meals while Lantus provides sustained effects. For both insulins it's essential that patients closely monitor their blood glucose levels when starting or adjusting doses; they should seek immediate medical attention if experiencing signs of severe hypoglycemia such as confusion or loss of consciousness.