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Types of Insulin

Insulin is a type of hormone. It helps the body use blood sugar (glucose) for fuel. You may need insulin injections to help manage your diabetes. With this condition, your body may not make enough insulin. Or, your cells may have trouble using insulin. 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.

Woman talking to healthcare provider.

1. Rapid-acting Insulin

  • Begins working about 5 minutes after taken.

  • Strongest peak action is about 60 minutes after taken.

  • Continues working for 2-4 hours.

Name of Insulin:                                                                          

2. Short-acting Insulin

  • Begins working about 30 minutes after taken.

  • Strongest peak action is about 2-3 hours after taken.

  • Continues working for 3-6 hours.

Name of Insulin:                                                                       

3. Intermediate-acting Insulin

  • Begins working about 2-4 hours after taken.

  • Strongest action is about 4-12 hours after taken.

  • Continues working for 12-18 hours.

Name of Insulin:                                                                       

4. Long-acting Insulin

  • Begins working about 6-10 hours after taken.

  • Minimal peak action.

  • Continues working for 20-24 hours

  • Another type of long-acting insulin works continuously for 24 hours with very little peak action.

Name 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:                                                                       


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