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What Is Insulin Lispro Used For?

Insulin lispro is used for controlling blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Specifically, it is a rapid-acting drug that is injected within 15 minutes before or after a meal to help control the blood sugar spike that occurs after meals. Occasionally, healthcare providers may recommend off-label insulin lispro uses, such as for the treatment of gestational diabetes.

An Overview of Insulin Lispro Uses

Insulin lispro (Humalog®) is a form of insulin used to help control blood sugar in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This medication is rapid-acting and is used to control blood sugar after meals. Alternatively, insulin lispro can be used in an insulin pump. Insulin lispro is designed to start working more quickly and has a shorter duration of action when compared to regular human insulin.
 
This article refers to plain insulin lispro. Insulin lispro is also available in combination with an intermediate-acting insulin (Humalog Mix75/25® and Humalog Mix50/50®).
 

Why Is Insulin Lispro Used for Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes usually begins in young children and teenagers, although this is not always the case. People with this type of diabetes have a pancreas that produces little or no insulin. This means that such people need to have insulin on a regular basis to help keep their blood sugar at the right level.
 
In healthy people without diabetes, insulin levels do not stay the same throughout the day; instead, they fluctuate in response to changes in blood sugar levels. In order to mimic the natural insulin changes that help keep blood sugar safely controlled, many healthcare providers recommend "basal-bolus" insulin regimens. These regimens often involve a longer-acting insulin to provide a basal insulin level (a relatively steady background level of insulin throughout the day). A rapid-acting insulin such as insulin lispro is added to provide the bolus (a quick, fast-acting, short-lived dose of insulin) to handle the sudden rise in blood sugar levels that follows each meal.
 
If you use insulin lispro in an insulin pump, you do not need to take a long-acting insulin.
 
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