Compare Human insulin vs. Humalog

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Humulin
(Human Insulin)

Humalog
(Insulin Lispro)

Lowers blood sugar. This form of insulin is one of the few medications in its class that you can get without a prescription, but it's expensive.Lowers blood sugar. Humalog is a fast-acting insulin that provides meal-time sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.947368421052632Human insulin
Reviews for Humulin (Human Insulin)
67%
of people say Humulin (Human Insulin) is worth it
46%
say it works well
11%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Humalog (Insulin Lispro)
64%
3% vs. Humulin (Human Insulin)
49%
+3% vs. Humulin (Human Insulin)
16%
5% vs. Humulin (Human Insulin)
Side effects
Human insulinHumalog

The Human insulin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Human insulin side effects »

The Humalog FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Humalog side effects »
How it works
Human insulinHumalog
Insulin is a hormone normally produced by your pancreas. It helps your body absorb and store sugar and fat from your bloodstream.Humalog is a short-acting insulin medicine for diabetes. It acts like the insulin that your body normally makes to process sugars and fats, and it keeps your blood sugar stable after meals.
Type of medication
Human insulinHumalog
Anti-diabetic
Insulin
Prescription only
Anti-diabetic
Insulin
Prescription only
Available as
Human insulinHumalog
  • Injection
  • Inhaler
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
Human insulinHumalog
Risk factors for serious side effects
Human insulinHumalog
        Detailed Humulin (Human Insulin) risks & warnings »
        • Insulin dose too high
        • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
        • Poor injection techniques
        • Unstable kidney functions
        • Unstable liver functions
        • Use of other medicine that lowers potassium
        • Current electrolyte imbalance
          Detailed Humalog (Insulin Lispro) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          Human insulinHumalog
          BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

          Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

          See the FDA package insert
          BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

          Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

          See the FDA package insert
          Alcohol
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          Food
          No specific food-related info.
          • You have to check your blood sugar multiple times every day, usually before each meal.
          • Humalog is a fast-acting insulin that provides sugar control after meals.
          • Short-acting insulin good for blood sugar control around meal times.
          • Take 5 to 10 minutes before a meal. Effects last for 2-4 hours.
          Kidneys and liver
          No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
          • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
          Sex
          No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
          Sleep
          No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
          Weight
          • People on Humulin (Human Insulin) can experience weight gain. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about changing your diet if this bothers you.
          • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
          • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
          Upsides and benefits
          Human insulinHumalog
          • Some types of this medication are available without a prescription.
          • Available as a shot to be injected into the fatty part of the skin, and as a powder to be inhaled through your nose.
          • Available in different combinations so that you can do one shot or multiple shots a day.
          • Insulin is the most effective blood sugar-lowering medicine. When used correctly, it'll lower blood sugar every time you use it and prevent the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
          • Humalog is a fast-acting insulin that provides sugar control after meals.
          • Dose can be easily adjusted to make a customized regimen that's tailored to your body.
          • Starting insulin early in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes can maintain your body's insulin-producing cells and slow down disease progression.
          • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
          Downsides and risks
          Human insulinHumalog
          • Has to be taken exactly as directed or it can cause high or low blood sugar.
          • As with all insulins, you have to work with your doctor closely to make sure you're giving yourself the correct dose, or you can have low or high blood sugar.
          • You have to take insulin by injection.
          • You have to check your blood sugar multiple times every day, usually before each meal.
          • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
          • Higher risk of low blood sugar episodes than other kinds of diabetes medicines.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          Human insulinHumalog
          • Change the location where you give yourself the shot every time.
          • Don't use if the liquid in the vial looks different than normal.
          • Store the unopened vials in the refrigerator. The used vials can be kept at room temperature for up to 28 days.
          • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
          • Know the symptoms of low blood sugar.
          • Short-acting insulin good for blood sugar control around meal times.
          • Take 5 to 10 minutes before a meal. Effects last for 2-4 hours.
          • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
          • Make sure you and your family know the symptoms of low blood sugar: sweating, shakiness, weakness, fast heartbeat, nervousness, headache, blurry vision, trouble thinking clearly, or passing out.
          • Always have a good source of sugar nearby for low blood sugar episodes.
          • Make sure you understand how to give yourself the injections.
          • When mixing with another insulin (such as insulin NPH), draw this insulin into the syringe first.
          • Don't shake the vial. Store unopened vials in the refrigerator. Opened vials are good at room temperature for 28 days.
          • Check your blood sugar levels every day.
          Learn more
          More about Human insulinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about HumalogSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert