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Fast Facts About Apidra Insulin

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jan 05, 2023

Fast Facts About Apidra Insulin

Insulin is an antidiabetic agent that helps patients control their blood sugar levels. People with type 1 diabetes use insulin from the get-go, while type 2 diabetics might only need it depending on their disease progression. One type of insulin is Apidra, which contains insulin glulisine. Here are some fast facts about Apidra insulin. 

Type and Indication

This medicine is a rapid-acting insulin, thus it begins working within 15 minutes of administration, with the effects lasting for up to 2-4 hours. 

Apidra insulin is an antidiabetic agent used in treating high blood sugar in adults, adolescents, and children aged 6 and up with diabetes mellitus. 

However, reports say it is NOT known whether Apidra is safe for type 1 diabetic children below the age of 4 and children with type 2 diabetes. 


Apidra insulin is administered through injections or injection pens to the tissue between the skin and muscles (subcutaneous) therefore, it is safe to administer this medicine in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm, provided that you rotate the sites with each injection

If the Apidra came from the refrigerator, you can bring it to room temperature by gently rolling the vial, pen, or cartridge between the palms of both hands. DO NOT shake the medicine vigorously. Also, DO NOT administer when it’s cloudy. Apidra insulin should be clear and colorless. 

Finally, administer this medicine within 15 minutes before a meal or within 20 minutes after. Do not delay eating after administering the medicine.


Dosing and frequency of administration are unique to each person. When creating a prescription, doctors consider many factors, including:

  • Age
  • Body weight
  • Activity level
  • Diet 
  • Type of diabetes
  • Sensitivity to insulin
  • Type, dose, and frequency of previous insulin 

Be sure to follow the dose and frequency advised by your doctor. 

Side Effects

Apidra insulin may, in extreme cases, cause serious side effects that when left untreated, may lead to death. Below are the potential serious side effects:

  • Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. It’s crucial not to administer Apidra when the patient already experiences hypoglycemia. Signs and symptoms include lightheadedness, dizziness, hunger, sweating, and shakiness. It would also help to have food with you when you administer Apidra.  
  • Hypokalemia or low potassium. Expect your doctor to regularly monitor your potassium levels. 
  • Heart failure.
  • Serious allergic reactions. Signs and symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include the appearance of rashes all over the body, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fast pulse, and feeling faint. 

Hypoglycemia is a very common side effect. And while serious allergic reactions are uncommon, allergic reactions, per se, are common. Skin changes at the injection site are also possible, but cases are rare. 

Additional Reminders and Considerations

When using Apidra insulin, you need to take the following into considerations:

  • Storage. Unopened vials and pens should be stored in the refrigerator, not the freezer. At first use, store vials at room temperature or in the fridge. And at first use of pens, store at room temperature. 
  • Interactions. Be careful with medicines and herbs that might cause hypoglycemia, like garlic and chromium. 
  • Needles. Never reuse or share needles. Discard them in a sharps container and dispose according to community guidelines. 
  • Mixing. Apidra insulin can be mixed with NPH insulin, but always draw Apidra first. Never mix Apidra with any type of insulin when it comes in pens or pumps

Key Takeaways

Apidra insulin is a rapid-acting insulin, hence it starts working within just 15 minutes, with the effects lasting for only 2 to 4 hours. It’s an antidiabetic agent available in vials, pens, and pumps. Since the most common side effect is hypoglycemia, doctors highlight the importance of taking the medicine within 15 minutes before a meal or within 20 minutes after. 

Learn more about Diabetes here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Jezreel Esguerra, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jan 05, 2023

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