Which are the signs and symptoms of insulin allergy?

Updated: Sep 13, 2019
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Generalized insulin allergy is rare. Symptoms occur immediately after the injection and include urticaria, angioedema, pruritus, bronchospasm, and, rarely, circulatory shock. As a rule, allergy may be treated with antihistamines. Some cases may require epinephrine and intravenous (IV) steroids.

Local allergic reactions can occur at the site of insulin injections and can cause pain, burning, local erythema, pruritus, and induration. These complications are less common with the human insulins now in use than with the animal insulins once widely employed. Such reactions usually resolve spontaneously without any intervention.

Local fat atrophy or hypertrophy at injection sites was common with animal insulins but is rare with human insulin and insulin analogues. Patients do not require any specific treatment of local fat hypertrophy, but injection sites should be rotated. Changing to a different insulin preparation may be necessary. [123]


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