What is insulin glulisine?

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Glulisine is the technical name for a fast-acting insulin made by Sanofi-Aventis (the folks that make the 24-hour insulin Lantus) and sold under the brand name Apidra.

Apidra competes with HumaLog and NovoLog and has similar uses and characteristics. In most people all three insulins take effect in about 20 minutes, hit peak action in two hours, and are effectively out of the system in four hours. They are taken before eating to prevent high blood sugars associated with meals, and as a medicine to correct high blood sugars. Fast-acting insulin is generally used in connection with an extended release insulin called a basal insulin.

Apidra carries a unique indication for injection not only before meals, but up to 20 minutes after starting a meal as well. This can be handy for parents of young Type-1 diabetics, as with young children how much they will eat in any given meal is anybody’s guess. Being able to inject the insulin once you know how much the kiddo has eaten to eat is handy. (But note that the other two fast-acting insulins show similar curve shapes and could probably be administrated “off label” after meals as well, but this has not been studied.)

Apidra is approved for use in syringes, pumps, and is also sold in disposable pens called SoloStar pens.
Insulin glulisine is a prescription medication that helps to control blood sugar levels for people with diabetes mellitus. It is a manufactured version of the human insulin. Insulin glulisine is fast-acting, so it should be taken around mealtimes to compensate for the spike in blood sugar that occurs when you eat. You will likely need other prescription diabetes medication that control your condition over longer periods of time. Insulin glulisine is available under the brand name Apidra.

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