An estimated 34.2 million Americans are currently suffering from either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and an estimated 7.3 million of these individuals have not yet been diagnosed.
While some diabetics may be able to manage their condition with lifestyle changes, others will require over-the-counter medications and medical supervision in order to keep their blood sugar levels in check. Patients who rely on human insulin may use Admelog or Humalog to manage their diabetes, but when seeking medical advice regarding Admelog vs. Humalog, what’s the difference?
Admelog and Humalog are both insulin lispro injections that help to control blood sugar, or glucose levels, in people with diabetes.
Both medications are short-acting mealtime insulins. Humalog is manufactured by Eli Lilly and was first introduced to the healthcare market following approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2015. Admelog is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis and was approved by the FDA in September 2017. Admelog is considered a “follow-on” biologic drug to Humalog.
Biologic drugs are medications that are made from living organisms, and follow-on drugs are medications that are very similar in nature to other medications. Typically, follow-on drugs treat the same conditions, work in the same way, and are equally as safe and effective when compared to their parent drug. Admelog and Humalog are both insulin products. Insulin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body by the pancreas. The body uses insulin to convert glucose, or blood sugar, into energy in the body.
When food is consumed, it is broken down into different macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, fat, and protein, in the digestive system. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which then enters the bloodstream through the small intestine. When the body detects glucose in the bloodstream, it releases insulin to direct the body to start to absorb the glucose into its cells and convert it into energy.
If the body does not respond to insulin or there is too little insulin produced (or none produced at all) to direct the body to absorb glucose, levels of blood sugar rise, which can be dangerous and in some cases, life threatening.
When excess glucose is detected in the bloodstream, insulin directs the body to store excess amounts in the liver. When blood sugar levels drop, the extra glucose is released. However, diabetics may have difficulty receiving the insulin dose signal in their bodies. Popular forms of injection come from products such as kwikpen and the solostar pen.
Admelog and Humalog are both used as insulin therapy. Both medications can be used to control blood sugar levels in children and adults ages three years and older with type 1 diabetes and in adults with type 2 diabetes.Approximately 10 percent of the population of the United States is affected by either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, making the condition extremely common. The vast majority of people with diabetes, approximately 90 percent of those who are diagnosed, have Type 2 diabetes, while the remaining 10 percent have type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune condition in which the pancreas does not produce the proper amount of insulin. By contrast, type 2 diabetes typically develops later in life and is characterized by insulin resistance, which occurs when the body’s cells do not respond to the insulin well and cannot use glucose for energy.
In people without diabetes, the body begins to break down carbohydrates into glucose as soon as food is consumed. As glucose enters the bloodstream, blood sugar levels rise, which triggers the pancreas to produce insulin. Once insulin enters the bloodstream, it helps the glucose to be absorbed into the cells to convert glucose into energy. People with type 1 diabetes do not have enough insulin, so they are not able to adequately convert glucose into energy. People with type 2 diabetes produce insulin but do not respond appropriately to it, which renders them unable to use glucose properly.
Regardless of which type of diabetes a person has, blood sugar levels stay higher than they are supposed to. Patients with type 1 diabetes must receive daily injections of insulin in order to supply the body with adequate insulin to use glucose properly, while patients with type 2 diabetes may be able to manage their condition using lifestyle changes, medications, insulin injections, or a combination of several options.
Regardless, it is important for blood sugar levels to stay under control, because high blood sugar levels can lead to serious life-threatening medical issues.
Serious conditions and complications associated with high blood glucose include:
- Increased risk of heart problems like heart disease and heart failure
- Damage to the blood vessels of the eyes (retinopathy)
- Increased risk of kidney disease
- Nerve damage in the feet and hands (neuropathy)
Use and Effectiveness
Both Admelog and Humalog are rapid-acting insulins that are either injected, through their upper arm, upper leg, buttocks or stomach, or infused via an insulin pump within 15 minutes of a meal.
The medications are typically injected 15 minutes before a meal is consumed but can also be used immediately after a meal. Both medications are available in the form of an injection or injectable prefilled pen or in the form of a cartridge that can be inserted into an insulin pump.
While Humalog and Admelog are generally rapid-acting prescription drugs, Humalog can be combined with a type of insulin called insulin lispro protamine.
Unlike the rapid-acting forms of Humalog and Admelog, this type of Humalog utilizes insulin lispro protamine in order to extend the length of time that the insulin works in the body, as insulin lispro protamine is a longer-acting insulin.
This form of Humalog is an intermediate-acting insulin and is available in two strengths:
- Humalog 75/25 (contains 75% insulin lispro protamine and 25% insulin lispro)
- Humalog 50/50 (contains 50% insulin lispro protamine and 50% insulin lispro)
Admelog and Humalog are considered equally effective and can be used with equal confidence. The effectiveness of Admelog and Humalog can be measured by examining hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), which reflects how well the blood sugar levels are being controlled over a few months. The American Diabetes Association recommends a HbA1c goal of less than 7 percent in most patients with diabetes.
Studies conducted on the treatment of type 1 diabetes found that Admelog and Humalog were nearly equally effective in lowering HbA1c, with Admelog lowering the HbA1c in study participants by 0.40 percent and Humalog lowering the HbA1c by 0.46 percent over a period of 26 weeks. Studies examining the effectiveness of Admelog and Humalog for the treatment of type 2 diabetes found that the medications were similarly effective. In this study, Admelog was slightly better at reducing HbA1c, with a reduction of 0.86 percent, while Humalog showed an HbA1c reduction of 0.80 percent.
Admelog and Humalog both contain insulin lispro and are nearly identical from a chemical perspective. As a result, the medications have very similar side effects.
Common side effects associated with Admelog and Humalog include:
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)
- Injection site reactions (redness, pain, or swelling around the injection site)
- Weight gain
- Swelling of the hands and feet
- Lipodystrophy (changes in the thickness of the skin around the injection sites)
- Itchy skin
- Skin rash
- Respiratory infections, such as the common cold or flu
- Severe hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar level)
- Low potassium levels
- Severe allergic reactions
If you experience any of these side effects, seek medical advice from your healthcare professional.
Although many people think that Admelog is a generic form of Humalog, both medications are brand-name prescription drugs. There is no generic version of Admelog available, but there is a generic form of Humalog available. Generic drugs are held to the same rigorous standards as brand name medications in terms of testing and quality, but generic drugs are less expensive because there is less money spent on research, development, and marketing. When comparing the cost of Admelog and Humalog, Admelog is about half of the cost of Humalog. A prescription of Admelog can be purchased for approximately $142, while Humalog can be purchased for approximately $292.
Admelog and Humalog are both equally effective options for the treatment of type 1 diabetes in children ages three and older and adults and type 2 diabetes in adults.
Both medications have similar side effects and work in a similar manner to help convert your glucose levels into energy in the body.
Regardless of which medication you choose, it is possible to save on the cost of your medication with a pharmacy discount card from USA Rx.
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Fact Checked and Editorial Process
Diabetic.org is devoted to producing expert and accurate articles and information for our readers by hiring experts, journalists, medical professionals, and our growing Diabetic.org community. We encourage you to read more about our content, editing, and fact checking methods here. This was fact checked by Erik Rivera and medically reviewed by Dr. Angel Rivera.
Owner, entrepreneur, and consumer health enthusiast.