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Types of Insulin

Insulin is a type of hormone. It helps the body use blood sugar (glucose) for fuel. With diabetes, your body may not make enough insulin. You may need insulin injections to help manage this condition. In addition, your cells may have trouble using insulin if you have type 2 diabetes. There are many types of insulin that can be prescribed for your treatment. Your doctor will work with you to find the types that are best for you. Most insulin is made in a lab. It’s called human insulin because it’s just like the insulin that’s made in the body. Some types of insulin work fast. Other types work slowly and last longer.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the different types of insulin work in the following ways:

Woman talking to health care provider.

1. Rapid-acting insulin

  • Begins working about 15 minutes after taken.

  • Peaks about 1 hour after taken.

  • Continues working for 2 to 4 hours.

Name of insulin:                                                                          

2. Short-acting or regular insulin

  • Begins working about 30 minutes after taken.

  • Peaks within 2 to 3 hours after taken.

  • Continues working for 3 to 6 hours.

Name of insulin:                                                                       

3. Intermediate-acting insulin

  • Begins working about 2 to 4 hours after taken.

  • Peaks within 4 to 12 hours after taken.

  • Continues working for 12 to 18 hours.

Name of insulin:                                                                       

4. Long-acting insulin

  • Begins working about one to several hours after taken.

  • No peak.

  • Continuous even action for about 24 hours

Names of insulin:                                                                       

5. Premixed combinations of intermediate-acting and short-acting insulins

  • Begins working about             hours after taken.

  • Strongest action is about             hours after taken.

  • Continues working for              hours.

Name of insulin:                                                                       

6. Premixed combinations of intermediate-acting and rapid-acting insulins

  • Begins working about ___ hours after taken.

  • Strongest actions are about ___ hours after taken.

  • Continues working for ___ hours.

Names of insulin: _____________________________


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