What kind of injected insulin is used for diabetes?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
Rapid-acting forms of insulin include lispro (Humalog), aspart (Novolog), and glulisine (Apidra). They start working in about 15 minutes. These drugs reach their peak effect in about an hour, and the effects last for 2 to 4 hours.

Short-acting or regular insulin (Humulin R, Novolin R) starts working in about 30 to 60 minutes. It reaches peak effect in about 2 to 3 hours, and its effects last about 3 to 6 hours. Intermediate-acting or NPH insulin (Humulin N, Novolin N) starts working in 2 to 4 hours. It reaches peak effect in 8 to 16 hours, and the effects last for 12 to 18 hours.

Long-acting insulins include detemir (Levemir) and glargine (Lantus, Toujeo). They start working in several hours. They have no peak, and their effects last for about 24 hours.

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Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

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