Types of Insulin Available

Madison Evans

Jul 14, 2022

Diabetes is a condition that occurs either when an individual's body does not produce insulin or when it does not appropriately react to insulin. Insulin treatment may be helpful in circumstances like these for managing glucose levels in the blood. Insulin is the therapy of choice for those with type 1 diabetes (T1D), but it is not as often prescribed for those with type 2 diabetes (T1D). Diabetes may be treated using a variety of insulin preparations. They are categorized according to how quickly they begin to exert their effects and how long those effects continue to be active.

Your lifestyle, the type of diabetes you have, and the degree to which your blood glucose levels fluctuate throughout the day all play a role in determining the type of insulin most suitable for you. There is one kind of inhaled insulin in addition to the five injectable insulins.

Rapid-Acting Insulin

After being injected, rapid-acting insulin (Novolog, Humalog, or Apidra), sometimes referred to as fast-acting insulin, starts to operate almost immediately and continues to do so for two to four hours. Injections of rapid-acting insulin are given before meals to prevent your blood glucose from increasing and to bring down already elevated blood sugar levels. It is compatible with insulin that has a longer duration of action.

Regular Insulin or Short-Acting Insulin

Short-acting insulin is another name for regular insulin, which is marketed under the brand name Novolin R. It is also used to cover your insulin demands at mealtime. Still, unlike rapid-acting insulin, it may be administered a little bit longer before meals. This allows you to cover your insulin needs more effectively. Additionally, it remains active in the body for a longer period compared to rapid-acting insulin. It is possible to combine it with insulin, which has a longer action duration.

Intermediate-Acting Insulin

Intermediate-acting insulin, also known as Novolin N, is a form of insulin prescribed to patients far less often than other types of insulin; yet, it is likely that your healthcare practitioner may advise you to take it. Because this form of insulin is effective for almost half a day, it may be beneficial for providing insulin coverage throughout the nighttime hours.

Long-Acting Insulin

Insulin requirements during the day may be met using long-acting insulin such as Levemir, Lantus, or Basaglar. It is intended that you will only need to inject it once and that it will assist you in maintaining control of your blood sugar levels for twenty-four hours. To continuously manage your blood sugar levels throughout the day, you may inject long-acting insulin either first thing in the morning or just before going to bed. Whether or whether you also need to take normal or rapid-acting insulin with it will depend on the kind of diabetes you have and the instructions given to you by your healthcare professional.

Ultra-Long-Acting Insulin

The absence of a peak in the action of ultra-long-acting insulin (Tresiba, Toujeo) is the primary distinction between long-acting insulin and ultra-long-acting insulin (these brand names). Because of this, there is never a period when your body is experiencing the highest action of insulin, which lowers the likelihood that you may have a low blood glucose level (hypoglycemia).

Inhaled Insulin

After being breathed, the rapid-acting insulin known as Afrezza begins to operate between 12 and 15 minutes after it has been administered. The maximum concentration is reached thirty minutes after inhalation and exits the body three hours later. This kind of insulin shouldn't be taken instead of long-acting insulin but in conjunction with it since it doesn't work as quickly.

Schedule of Taking Insulin For Diabetes

To control their blood glucose levels, some persons with diabetes may only need one kind of insulin, while others may require many different types. Your healthcare physician will assist in determining which of the following insulin regimens is most suitable for you and will propose it to you.

Once-Daily or Twice-Daily Insulin

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, oral drugs don't always cut it. If this is the case, your healthcare professional may decide to complement your current insulin regimen with once- or twice-daily doses of intermediate- or long-acting insulin types. This will assist in maintaining a blood glucose level within the ideal range.

Basal-Bolus Regimen

Insulin administered through injection replaces what is typically produced by the body. Between meals, basal insulin, which may be either long-acting or ultra-long-acting, can assist with managing blood glucose levels. While bolus insulin, also known as quick or short-acting insulin, may help manage blood glucose levels during meals. You may need more than one daily injection while following a basal-bolus regimen. People who have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes can benefit from this strategy.

Sliding Scale Insulin

At each meal, people with diabetes may choose between two different ratios to assist them in keeping their blood sugar levels within the normal range. The first is a proportion of insulin to carbohydrates, while the second is a variable scale (or correction factor).


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