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From Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, USA:

I just found out what some of the ingredients are in Humalog, and I think they are very disturbing. They include lead, gold, copper, arsenic, platinum, beryllium, uranium, zirconium, titanium, and a couple of others. I think you get my point, though. Can you tell me why Humalog has all this stuff in it? Where are the studies if there were any done? Could all this stuff have a long-term effect on people who take insulin several times a day for the rest of their lives? Could you tell me why Humalog has all this stuff in it?


I do not know where you have gotten your information about the content of Humalog, but here is the list from the manufacturer as published in regulatory texts.

Each milliliter of Humalog injection contains insulin lispro 100 Units, 16 mg glycerin, 1.88 mg dibasic sodium phosphate, 3.15 mg m -cresol, zinc oxide content adjusted to provide 0.0197 mg zinc ion, trace amounts of phenol, and water for injection. Insulin lispro has a pH of 7.0-7.8. Hydrochloric acid 10% and/or sodium hydroxide 10% may be added to adjust pH. The various agents to adjust the pH means to balance the acids/bases so as to make the material stable under the skin and to not burn upon injection. The other agents are mostly stabilizers and preservatives. It does not contain "arsenic, uranium" and the other hooey that you was relayed to you.

Please discuss your concerns with your diabetes team.


Additional comments from Dr. Donough O'Brien:

I know of no reports that link the presence of the trace elements you list, as being in Humalog. My guess would be that at least some of these trace metals are monitored as part of routine quality control and if you are concerned you could contact the Medical Director at Lilly to confirm this.


Additional comments from Dr. Philip Ledereich:

I cannot confirm that Humalog contains these ingredients.


Additional comments from Jeff Hitchcock, The Editor:

A representative from Eli Lilly was contacted in response to your question. She investigated the contents of Humalog and reported that it includes the following inactive ingredients:
  • Metacresol (a preservative)
  • Glycerin (from a synthetic source)
  • Zinc oxide
  • Water
  • Dibasic sodium phosphate (a buffer)
  • Sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid as needed to adjust pH
  • Dimethicone NF (stopper lubricant)
In addition, all materials used in the production of Humalog are tested to ensure that no heavy metals are present. In short, the metals you list are not present in Humalog.


Original posting 10 Feb 2003
Posted to Insulin Analogs


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:42
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