What are the signs of an allergic reaction to insulin?

The most common signs of an allergic reaction to insulin will appear at the injection site soon after the insulin shot is administered. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include swelling, redness, itching and a burning sensation. In people who have an allergic reaction, the insulin usually does not work as well as it should. Less than 1% of people are allergic to insulin.

If you suspect that you are allergic to your insulin, talk to your doctor. Most likely you’re having a reaction to a preservative in the insulin and not the insulin itself, so trying another brand of insulin may relieve your symptoms. In some cases, you may need to take an oral antihistamine or have a steroid added to your insulin injection.
Signs of a local allergic reaction to insulin are:

• dents under the skin at injection sites

• redness at injection sites, either persistent or temporary

• groups of small bumps, similar to hives

• swelling at injection sites

If you think you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to your insulin preparation, talk  to your provider.

Continue Learning about Insulin

What You Need to Know About Insulin
What You Need to Know About Insulin
Watch Darria Long-Gillespie, SVP of Clinical Strategy with Sharecare, explain why insulin is one of the most important hormones in the human body, and...
Read More
What skin problems occur at insulin injection sites?
Two main skin problems can occur at insulin injection sites: lipoatrophy and hypertrophy. Learn more...
More Answers
What type of diabetes requires insulin injections?
People with type 1 diabetes have to replace their body's production of insulin with injections of in...
More Answers
What are advantages and disadvantages of insulin treatment?
On the positive side for insulin, it is always effective provided the proper dose is used. Learn mor...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.