Diabetes Insulin Classification
Good control of blood glucose levels is always important for your health. Proper insulin supervision will help you to take control of your diabetes. It will also help you to fit the diabetes into your life rather than trying to fit your life around the diabetes. Insulin is classified according to how long it is effective in the body. There are five different types of insulins ranging from short to long acting. Some insulins are clear in appearance, while others are cloudy. Diabetics need varying amounts of both short and long acting insulin as everyone is different and will respond differently to the insulin they take.
Let’s see the classification of different types of insulin
Rapid onset-fast acting insulin: It is fast acting so starts working within one to 20 minutes. It is clear in appearance and its peak time is about one hour later and lasts for three to five hours. When you inject rapid onset-fast acting type of insulin, you must eat immediately after you inject. The two rapid onset-fast acting insulin types currently available are:
- Novo Rapid (Insulin Aspart)
- Humalog (Lispro)
Short acting insulin: It looks clear and begins to lower blood glucose levels within 30 minutes, so you need to take your injection half an hour before eating. Short acting insulin has peak effect of four hours and works for about six hours. Short acting insulin types, currently available include:
- Hypurin Neutral (bovine - highly purified beef insulin)
Intermediate acting insulin:- Intermediate acting insulin looks cloudy. They have either protamine or zinc added to delay their action. This insulin starts to show its effect about 90 minutes after you inject, peak at 4 to 12 hours and lasts for 16 to 24hours.
Intermediate acting insulins presently available with protamine:
- Humulin NPH
- Hypurin Isophane (bovine)
Mixed insulin: Mixed insulin is cloudy in appearance. It is a combination of either a rapid onset-fast acting or a short acting insulin and intermediate acting insulin. Advantage of it is that, two types of insulin can be given in one injection. When it shows 30/70 then it means 30% of short acting is mixed with 70%of intermediate acting insulin.
Note: - Roll or shake well the vial of insulin in order to mixed them evenly.
The mixed insulins currently available include:
- Humalog Mix 25
- Mixtard 30/70
- Mixtard 20/80
Long acting insulin: There are two kinds of long acting insulin available in market, both with clear appearance.
- Lantus (Glargine) - It has no peak period as it works constantly when released into your bloodstream at a relatively constant rate. (full 24 hours)
- Levemir (Detemir) - It has a relatively flat action, can last up to 24 hours and may be given once or twice during the day.