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From Buenos Aires, Argentina:

I have been a diabetic for 9 years now, and have taken NPH from the start (my doctor prescribed me Regular only for the times when my blood sugar levels are higher than 250). After my last visit, my doctor said he'd like to put me on a test study of Humalog in my country. I'd like to know which basic differences my using of Humalog would cause in my treatment.


Lispro insulin [Humalog®] is a new form of semi-synthetic human insulin in which two of the component amino acids have changed positions. The effect of this 'substitution' has been to make the insulin act faster, within ten minutes, and to limit the time it acts to four hours. This shorter and more immediate time frame is useful because it makes it possible to take this insulin immediately after a meal and so to adjust the dose to both the pre-meal blood sugar level and appetite. Its shorter period of activity is also helpful to people who are on 'intensive insulin therapy' and taking a dose of regular insulin before each meal.

I think it is important first to ask your doctor why he thinks you now need to start taking Regular insulin routinely. Possibly a review of your blood sugars and of your A1c tests suggests that you need to have better control of the after-meal rise in blood sugar. He/she may also feel that it is now appropriate to try to maintain much more strict control of blood sugars and that he is thinking of asking you to start on three or four shots a day instead of two.

There are perhaps some disadvantages in starting on a new insulin when you will be one of the first to use it; but it has been widely used in other parts of the world with remarkably little in the way of problems so that I think it would be well worth trying, especially if you are already fairly confident in managing your diabetes.


Original posting 10 Apr 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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