Published: December 2010

Medication error - confusion over Humalog insulins

Prescriber Update 31(4): 33
December 2010

Medication errors involving Humalog insulin products continue to occur in New Zealand hospitals.

Three Humalog products are currently available and funded in New Zealand: Humalog, Humalog Mix 25, and Humalog Mix 50. Errors continue to occur during the prescribing, dispensing and administration of these products.

There is potential for harm if a patient receives the wrong Humalog product, for example, the rapid acting Humalog when a combination rapid/ intermediate acting Humalog Mix product is intended.

The following actions are recommended to prevent these errors occurring:

The manufacturer of Humalog products has made changes to the product labels to help better distinguish between the different products. These changes followed similar issues experienced in Europe.