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Diabetes Medication

Side Effects of Diabetes Medication

Diabetes medication is available for people who suffer from diabetes. There are two popular brands of these medications for the management of diabetes  which are fast acting insulin and they are Humalog and Novolog. They are similar diabetes medication as they are both fast acting insulins but are made by two different pharmaceutical companies.

Humalog was first introduced to the market by Eli Lilly, an American company located in Indianapolis, Indiana  in 2006 while Novolog is manufactured by Novo Nordisk, a Danish company and came out in 2001.

If you are considering taking one of these medications it is important to take a look at any possible side effects that could arise as a result of taking them. It is important that you discuss these possible issues with your doctor who can prescribe the right diabetes medication for your particular needs.

It is important to note that should you already be taking one of these medications and decide to switch to the other, you might need to consider a different dosage. You and your doctor can discuss what that dosage should be. Don’t ever consider changing medications without letting your doctor know that you have been taking another form of diabetes medication.

Are There Common Side Effects of Diabetes Medication?

Diabetes MedicationAs with any medication there can be side effects when taking diabetes medication. Some of the symptoms that some people have reported include:

  • low blood sugar
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • hunger
  • confusion
  • drowsiness
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • fast heartbeat
  • sweating
  • tremors
  • trouble concentrating
  • confusion
  • and severe cases, seizure.

Should you find that you have a tendency towards low blood sugar you should consider carrying a piece of non-dietetic hard candy or glucose tablets just in case. Some people have reported more severe symptoms such itching, swelling, redness or thickening of the skin on the injection site. If you do experience any of these, you should call your doctor right away or consider going to emergency at your local hospital.

Other Diabetes Medication Side Effects

Diabetes MedicationNovolog also can cause a number of side effects. People have reported such symptoms as back pain, diarrhea, indigestion, itching, mild pain on the injection site, runny nose and weight gain. Again, if you experience anything more severe you should call your doctor or go to emergency at your local hospital.

This is especially important if you get a rash, hives, have difficulty breathing, a tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue. Some other severe symptoms can be tingling in the arms, hands, legs or feet.

Not every person will develop issues when taking diabetes medication. Reactions depend on the age, weight, body type, ethnicity and sex of the individual. Studies have shown that men and women react differently to the same drug. Some people have mild reactions while others may experience more severe ones.

One can’t predict the type or the severity for that matter of reactions you might have to different medications. You can help to eliminate or reduce your chances of side effects by talking to your doctor as they will be able to determine the best course of action as well as the dosage for any diabetes medication you take.

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Insulin Pens

Insulin pens are a better way to live your life if you are affected by diabetes as you won’t have to draw up a measure of the correct dose every time you need to take your medication.  As well you won’t need refrigeration once your dose has been taken.  Using insulin pens makes your dosage portable, so you can take it anywhere you go.  The pen is prefilled making for easier management of your diabetes.

Medication such as Humalog (insulin lispro) is for people with diabetes so they can control high blood sugar and should be used with a longer acting insulin, except when used with sulfonylureas in people with type 2 diabetes. According to Wikipedia, sulfonylureas are a class of antidiabetic drugs that  act by increasing insulin release from the beta cells in the pancreas.  It should be noted that Humalog should not be used during episodes of low blood sugar (also called hypoglycemia).

Insulin Pen

Humalog and Using Insulin Pens

Humalog is an injectable fast acting insulin that works faster than other insulins that contain regular human insulin.  You can take Humalog about fifteen minutes before a meal or even right after eating. You can inject Humalog either with a syringe or by using different types of insulin pens.

Diabetes needs to be controlled and people with type 1 diabetes need a longer acting insulin in addition to Humalog unless they use an external insulin pump.  Whereas people with type 2 diabetes may take diabetes pills and/or a longer acting insulin in addition to taking Humalog.

Side Effects of Taking Humalog

Diabetes can be managed however there are certain side effects from some medications. Low blood sugar seems to be the most common side effect of taking Humalog.  Everyone’s symptoms are different so make sure you are away of what happens if you should have low blood sugar.  As well make sure you follow your doctor’s advise when it comes to treating low blood sugar. Other side effects can include low blood potassium, weight gain and allergic reactions especially around the injection site.

Insulin Pens

There is lots of information available on how to use insulin pens but one place to look is Wikipedia or any of the medical sites that have information on Diabetes. In fact, Wikipedia notes that there are two types of insulin pens:

  • Durable insulin pens use a replaceable insulin cartridge. When the insulin cartridge is empty, the empty cartridge is disposed of and a new one is inserted in the pen.
  • Prefilled insulin pens are entirely disposable. The pen comes pre-filled with insulin, and when the insulin cartridge or reservoir is empty, the entire unit is discarded.

How to Use Insulin Pens:

  • Screw or click on a new pen needle
  • If necessary, prime the pen to remove any air from the needle
  • Turn the knob on the end of the pen (or “dial”) to the number of units needed
  • Insert the needle into the skin
  • Press the button on the end of the pen to deliver the dose
  • Count to five
  • Remove

Where to Inject When Using Insulin Pens:

It is important to inject insulin pens in the proper part of the body and most of the time your doctor will make this decision for you. The most recommended injection sites include the abdomen, buttocks and thigh area.  As well the upper side area of the arms can be used, as well as the front and side of thighs.  Your medication will be absorbed better if it is delivered into the layer of tissue, or fat, located between the skin and the muscle.

Important Information: do not change the type of insulin you use unless directed by your doctor. The insulin dose and the time you take your medication can change with different types of insulin. Make sure you read the Patient Information that comes with your insulin medication including insulin pens before you start taking it and each time you get a refill.

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Important Facts Between Humalog and Regular Insulin

Humalog and regular insulin are very different as one is a fast acting insulin (Humalog) and the other is long acting insulin to help control blood sugar levels throughout the day.  Talking to your doctor will help you both decide which is the best one for your particular situation.

There are some important facts between Humalog and regular insulin that you should know if you are a diabetic, as most meals are going to raise the blood sugar for about two to three hours after finishing the meal.  If you use regular insulin, it will take about thirty minutes before it starts to affect the blood sugar and will peak after two to four hours and may last as long as six to eight hours.

Humalog and regular insulinHowever, Humalog vs Novolog insulin will begin affecting the blood sugar in about ten minutes and will peak in about one to two hours.  The effects of this medication will end in about three to four hours after taking it.

Researchers have discovered that many people have found that using the faster insulin medications have found that their control of their disease has been improved.  One advantage between Humalog and regular insulin is that the “faster insulins” can be taken at meals whereas regular insulin must be taken at least thirty minutes before eating.

A Few More Important Facts Between Humalog and Regular Insulin

Another important consideration for using Humalog vs Novolog insulin, is that since most meals raise blood sugar, these medication will help to lower it for several hours after eating bringing the blood sugar back into the normal range.

One of the most important aspects between Humalog and regular insulin is that while regular insulin takes around two and a half hours in normal individuals to peak, researchers found that it takes Humalog about three quarters of an hour to peak.

The different types of insulin can differ with respect to their source, how fast they start to act, and how long their effect lasts. Today most people use synthetic brands of insulin, such as Humalog and Novolog.  These insulins tens to be identical to natural human insulin. Older insulin brands such as Iletin were extracted from the pancreases of cattle or pigs and differ slightly from human insulin.  The older brands make them more likely than synthetic types to cause side effects such as skin rashes and fat deposits under the skin.

It is important to note that using the faster insulin seems to help people manage their diabetes better by lowering the blood sugar after eating in less time than when using regular insulin. Knowing the important facts between Humalog and regular insulin can help you make the best decision for your health.

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