Toujeo vs Humalog

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Introduction

For patients with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, certain medications that help control blood glucose levels can make managing the disease more manageable. Toujeo and Humalog are two such drugs commonly prescribed for people with diabetes. Both insulin-based medications work to lower blood sugar but they function differently within the body's system.

Toujeo is a long-acting insulin (also known as insulin glargine), designed to release slowly over time, providing a steady level of insulin in your bloodstream over a 24-hour period, thereby helping maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day and night.

Humalog on the other hand, is categorized as rapid-acting or mealtime insulin (insulin lispro). It works quickly to manage spikes in blood sugar levels that occur when you eat. This type of medication starts working approximately 15 minutes after injection and reaches its peak around one hour later but continues to work for two to four hours.

What is Toujeo?

Toujeo (insulin glargine) is a long-acting insulin analog, which was first approved by the FDA in 2015. Known for its steady and prolonged action, Toujeo works by mimicking the body's natural insulin and helping glucose get into cells. It is typically used once daily to manage blood sugar levels in adults with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. As it steadily releases insulin over twenty-four hours, it helps maintain consistent blood glucose levels throughout the day.

On the other hand, Humalog (insulin lispro) is a rapid-acting insulin analog that was first approved by FDA in 1996. This medication acts quickly to lower blood sugar after meals or snacks, making it effective for immediate control of spikes in blood glucose levels. However, due to its quick onset and short duration of action - approximately two to five hours - multiple doses may be required throughout the day.

While both medications are types of man-made insulins designed to help people with diabetes maintain healthy blood sugar levels, their differences lie primarily in how long they take effect and how long those effects last.

What conditions is Toujeo approved to treat?

Toujeo is approved for the treatment of both types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes, in which the body does not produce insulin
  • Type 2 diabetes, where the body doesn't use insulin properly or can't produce enough It's important to note that Toujeo is used as a long-acting insulin, meaning it helps regulate your blood sugar levels throughout an entire day.

How does Toujeo help with these illnesses?

Toujeo is a long-acting insulin that aids in managing blood sugar levels by mimicking the function of naturally occurring basal insulin in the body. It works throughout 24 hours, ensuring that glucose can be utilized efficiently for energy production and maintaining stable blood sugar levels all day. On the other hand, Humalog is a fast-acting insulin used to control spikes in blood sugar level during meals. It starts working within 15 minutes after injection and peaks at about an hour later before tapering off. Both Toujeo and Humalog are essential for individuals with diabetes who need help regulating their glucose metabolism; however, they serve different purposes based on their onset of action and duration of efficacy.

What is Humalog?

Humalog is a brand name for insulin lispro, which is a rapid-acting insulin analogue. It works by mimicking the body's natural insulin response to food intake, reducing spikes in blood glucose levels following meals. It does this by promoting cellular uptake of glucose, particularly within muscle and fat cells, while also inhibiting the production of glucose in the liver. Humalog was first approved by the FDA in 1996.

Unlike long-acting insulins such as Toujeo, Humalog acts rapidly and has a shorter duration of action. This makes it ideal for use at meal times to control post-meal blood sugar spikes.

Its side-effect profile differs somewhat from that of long-acting insulins: it can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if not properly balanced with food intake and exercise; however, weight gain—a common side effect often seen with other diabetes medications—is generally less pronounced with Humalog compared to some other forms of insulin.

The rapid onset and short duration can make managing blood sugar levels more flexible for patients using Humalog versus those on traditional longer-lasting insulins like Toujeo.

What conditions is Humalog approved to treat?

Humalog is an insulin analog that has been approved for the treatment of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It's designed to help control high blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, specifically:

  • Type 1 diabetes: This form of diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and young adults.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: The most common form of diabetes, usually diagnosed in adulthood but increasingly found among younger individuals due to lifestyle factors.

How does Humalog help with these illnesses?

Insulin is a hormone that plays crucial roles in many processes within the body, significantly regulating blood sugar levels and facilitating glucose uptake into cells. This ensures our bodies have the energy needed for proper function. Humalog is a fast-acting insulin analog, rapidly reducing high blood sugar levels after meals. It works by mimicking the action of natural insulin but acting more quickly and effectively, making it beneficial for patients with diabetes who require immediate control of their post-meal blood sugar spikes. As compared to Toujeo, which is a long-acting basal insulin designed to provide consistent background insulin over 24 hours period, Humalog's rapid onset and short duration make it an ideal choice when quick action on elevated sugars is required or preferred by patients.

How effective are both Toujeo and Humalog?

Both Toujeo (insulin glargine) and Humalog (insulin lispro) are insulin-based medications designed to manage blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes, but they serve distinctly different roles. They were initially approved by the FDA several years apart – Humalog in 1996 and Toujeo in 2015.

Toujeo is a long-acting basal insulin intended for once-daily injection to provide a steady level of insulin over a full day, while Humalog is a rapid-acting mealtime insulin meant for administration right before or after meals to control post-meal spikes in blood sugar. A double-blind clinical trial conducted on both insulins demonstrated similar safety profiles; however, their effectiveness must be measured differently due to their contrasting functions.

In various clinical trials, Toujeo has shown its effectiveness at maintaining glycemic control throughout the day when used alone or alongside short-acting insulins like Humalog. The optimal dosing varies significantly between individuals based on factors such as weight, lifestyle habits and other medical conditions.

Humalog's efficacy lies mainly in controlling postprandial glucose excursions. Clinical studies have proven its quick onset of action compared to regular human insulin preparations which makes it an ideal choice for bolus injections during mealtimes.

While both insulins can contribute greatly towards achieving overall good glycemic control, choosing one over another depends entirely on the patient's specific needs and circumstances related to their condition.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Toujeo typically prescribed?

Injected dosages of Toujeo are typically between 0.2 to 0.4 units/kg daily, but studies have shown that starting at a lower dose is sufficient for managing blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. Children and adolescents may start on a dosage based on their current insulin regimen or metabolic needs. In either population, the dosage can be increased after several days if there is no satisfactory response to the initial dose. It's crucial not to exceed the maximum prescribed dosage by your healthcare provider as it could lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Similarly, Humalog doses vary greatly depending upon an individual's needs and should always be determined by a medical professional.

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At what dose is Humalog typically prescribed?

Humalog treatment is typically initiated with a dosage that aligns with the patient's mealtime insulin requirements, often starting at 50-75% of total daily insulin needs. The dose can then be adjusted based on blood glucose control, frequently divided into three doses to correspond with meals. It's important to note that Humalog has an onset of action approximately 15 minutes post-injection and should be administered right before or after meals. While there isn't a defined maximum daily dosage for Humalog, regular monitoring is crucial in ensuring appropriate response and adjusting dosages as needed.

What are the most common side effects for Toujeo?

Common side effects associated with the use of Toujeo and Humalog include:

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can cause symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, anxiety, tremors or shaking
  • Injection site reactions like redness, swelling or itching
  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Upper respiratory tract infection (symptoms similar to a common cold)
  • Flu-like symptoms including fever and muscle aches
  • Allergic reactions – these may be severe in some cases. Symptoms might include rash, itchiness, difficulty breathing.

It's important to note that not everyone experiences these side effects. If any of these become bothersome or persist over time it is recommended you contact your healthcare provider immediately.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Toujeo?

While both Toujeo and Humalog are used to manage blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes, they can sometimes cause serious side effects. For these drugs, you should be aware of:

  • Signs of allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat.
  • Low potassium--leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling;
  • Symptoms related to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) such as sudden sweating, shaking fast heartbeat and blurred vision
  • Rapid weight gain with no known cause
  • Swelling in your hands and feet
  • Shortness of breath even on mild exertion
  • Severe pain in the upper abdomen spreading to the back accompanied by vomiting

If any of these symptoms occur while using either medication it's important that you get medical assistance immediately. As always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment regimen.

What are the most common side effects for Humalog?

Humalog, a rapid-acting insulin, can cause side effects including:

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Weight gain
  • Swelling of hands and feet
  • Rash or allergic reactions
  • Itching, redness or swelling at the injection site
  • Flu-like symptoms such as sore throat and stuffy nose
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Nausea or stomach pain Though not common, it may also result in blurred vision. As with any medication, you should consult your healthcare provider if these symptoms persist.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Humalog?

Although Humalog is generally well tolerated, it can sometimes cause serious side effects. These might include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives; difficulty breathing or swallowing; swelling in your face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that could lead to seizures and/or confusion
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which may manifest as frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger
  • Changes in vision including blurred vision or other visual disturbances
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Swelling in your hands or feet due to fluid retention If you notice any of these changes while taking Humalog, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Contraindications for Toujeo and Humalog?

Both Toujeo and Humalog, like all insulin medications, may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in some people. If you notice symptoms of low blood sugar such as sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision or dizziness please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Toujeo nor Humalog should be used by patients with hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to insulin glargine or insulin lispro respectively. It's also crucial that your doctor is aware of any other medications you're taking; certain drugs may affect the way these insulins work which can lead to the need for adjustments in dosing.

It's important to note that while both are types of insulin used to manage diabetes, they serve different functions: Toujeo is a long-acting form of insulin taken once daily to help control your blood sugar levels throughout the day and night whereas Humalog is a rapid-acting form typically taken at mealtimes to help control post-mealtime blood glucose spikes. Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions about when and how much medication to take.

How much do Toujeo and Humalog cost?

For brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price for 1 Toujeo Solostar pen (450 units) averages around $150, which works out to about $5/day based on a typical dosage of 30 units per day.
  • The price of one Humalog KwikPen (300 units) is about $80, working out to approximately $8/day when using an average dose of 30 units per day.

Thus, if you use similar dosages for both medications, Toujeo may be less expensive on a per-day treatment basis. However, please note that cost should not be the primary consideration in determining which insulin is right for you as they have different profiles and mechanisms of action.

For the generic versions or "biosimilars" (for biologic drugs like insulins), costs can vary significantly:

  • Generic insulins similar to Toujeo are currently not available in many markets including the U.S., hence prices remain relatively high.
  • Insulin lispro — a short acting insulin with a profile very similar to Humalog — has been introduced at half the price ($137.35/vial) compared to branded Humalog ($275/vial). Using this biosimilar could potentially lower your daily treatment costs depending on your specific dosage needs.

Popularity of Toujeo and Humalog

Insulin glargine, in its long-acting form known as Toujeo, was prescribed to an estimated 1.2 million people in the USA in 2020. Toujeo accounted for just over 5% of insulin prescriptions across the country. As a long-acting insulin, it is typically administered once daily and provides consistent blood sugar control throughout the day and night.

Insulin lispro, available under brand names like Humalog, was given to approximately 7.4 million patients in the US during the same year. Representing about a third of rapid-acting insulin prescriptions nationwide, Humalog plays an essential role in managing blood glucose levels around meal times due to its quick onset of action and short duration effect. The prescription rates for both these medications have been relatively steady over recent years with slight increases reflecting growing prevalence of diabetes management needs.

Conclusion

Both Toujeo (insulin glargine) and Humalog (insulin lispro) are insulin-based medications with long-standing records of usage in patients with diabetes, and they have been shown in numerous clinical studies to be more effective than placebo treatments. In some cases, the drugs may be used together as part of a regimen for managing blood glucose levels, but this is subject to careful consideration by a physician due to their differing mechanisms and timing of action.

Toujeo is a long-acting insulin that's usually administered once daily to provide basal coverage over an entire day. On the other hand, Humalog is rapid-acting insulin given at meal times or when glucose monitoring indicates it's necessary.

Both insulins are available in generic form which provides significant cost savings especially for patients who must pay out-of-pocket. Both Toujeo and Humalog may require an adjustment period where dosages will need to be fine-tuned based on individual responses.

Side effects between these two types of insulins can differ slightly due mostly to their different timings of action; however both can cause hypoglycemia if not monitored properly. It’s important for individuals using either medication monitor their blood sugar regularly so appropriate dose adjustments can be made promptly should any issues arise.