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Difference between Humulin and Humalog

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While Humulin and Humalog may seem similar, they have significant differences that you need to know. These differences may include their usage, types, and side effects.


Humulin is a form of man-made insulin that fills the gap when our pancreas is incapable of producing enough of them. Insulin is a hormone that functions by maintaining normal blood sugar levels.

Humulin has different types, including Humulin R, Humulin N, and Humulin 70:30 or Humulin 50:50. This insulin medication treats people with type 2 diabetes.

Meanwhile, Humalog is a human insulin analog that improves glycemic control in individuals with varying blood glucose levels, particularly those with type 2 diabetes. Its injection recommendation is 15 minutes before or after eating.


Humulin is also called insulin isophane. It works rapidly after injecting it into the body. This medication can take approximately 30 minutes to reach the body’s bloodstream and begin its functions. Meanwhile, Humalog is faster compared to Humulin. It only takes 15 minutes for the insulin to reach your bloodstream and start functioning.

Types of Humulin

The following are the different types of Humulin:

  • Humulin R is a short-acting insulin that works within 30 minutes after administration. Humulin R can continue to function for about 8 hours.
  • Humulin N is an intermediate-acting insulin that begins working within 2 – 4 hours after injecting it into the system. Contrary to Humulin R, Humulin N can keep working for 18 hours.
  • Humulin 70:30 / Humulin 50:50 – This combination of insulin is both short-acting and intermediate-acting.

Types of Humalog

The following are the different types of Humalog:

  • Insulin Lispro is a rapid-acting insulin that functions within 15 minutes after injection. It can keep working for about 2 – 4 hours.
  • Humalog Mix – This insulin mixture contains protamine, a fish protein. The composition of protamine enables the delay of insulin absorption.

Side Effects of Humulin and Humalog

Humulin and Humalog have similar side effects because they are both insulin medications. These side effects are:

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels)
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Vision problems
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Changes in mood
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium levels)
  • Skin rashes (usually on the injection site)
  • Scars on the injection site

If you are hypersensitive to any of these medications, avoid using them. Your healthcare professional will provide you with an alternative to ensure treatment safer treatment.


Both insulin medications come in injectable forms. If not in vials, you can get them in pre-filled pens. If any of these medications are in a vial form, extract the insulin from the vial using a clean and sanitized syringe.


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