Diabetes Care Group

Insulin Chart

When we eat sugar or carbohydrates that�turns into glucose our body has a need to�use that�glucose for energy.� The chemical our body releases to do this is called insulin.

For those who do not have diabetes this is something the body does without them ever knowing.� However for a diabetic whose body does not make insulin or produce enough of it this valuable chemical has to be supplemented.

Insulin InhalerCommonly insulin is delivered by regular needle injection, insulin pens or an insulin pump.� There are other delivery systems available for insulin that are not commonly used such as the Jet Injector.� In the future pharmaceutical companies hope to bring inhalable insulin. Inhalable insulin would work a lot like the inhaler an asthma sufferer would use.

For what is available now there are over 20 different types of insulins.� Each insulin is judged by these characteristics.

Onset: This term refers to how fast the insulin starts working.
Peak time: Peak time describes when the insulin is most potent.
Duration: The duration is how long insulin remains active.

Our chart below is made up of some of the most commonly used insulins.� It shows the general onset, peak and duration of these insulins.

Insulin Type Brand Onset Peak Duration
Long acting Ultralente 4-8 hours 8-12 hours 36 hours
Long acting Lantus 1 hour No Peak 24 hours
Intermediate acting Humulin N
Novolin N
1-3 hours 8 hours 20 hours
Intermediate acting Humulin L
Novolin L
1-2.5 hours 7-15 hours 18-24 hours
Short acting Humulin R
Novolin R
30-60 minutes 50-120 minutes 5-8 hours
Rapid acting Humalog (lispro) 15 minutes 30-90 minutes 3-5 hours
Rapid acting NovoLog (aspart) 15 minutes 40-50 minutes 3-5 hours
Mixtures Humulin 50/50
Humulin 70/30
Humalog Mix 75/25
Humalog Mix 50/50
Novolin 70/30
Novolog Mix 70/30

Insulin brand information and data provided by the FDA.


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This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

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