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What kind of injected insulin is used for diabetes?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

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.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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