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Types of Fast- and Short-Acting Insulins

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Updated March 28, 2011

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Types of Fast- and Short-Acting Insulins

Preparing fast-acting insulin

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Mealtime and Bolus:

Fast- and short-acting insulins are primarily used to balance glucose levels at mealtimes (called a bolus dose).

Fast-Acting Insulins:

There are currently three fast-acting insulins

1. Brand name: Novolog (generic name: aspart):

  • Onset: 5-15 minutes
  • Peak action: 1-3 hours
  • Duration: 3-5 hours

2. Brand name: Apidra (generic name: glulisine):

  • Onset: 5-15 minutes
  • Peak action: 30 minutes-90 minutes
  • Duration: 3-5 hours

3. Brand name: Humalog (generic name: lispro):

  • Onset: 5-15 minutes
  • Peak action: 30 minutes-90 minutes
  • Duration: 3-5 hours

Short-Acting Insulin:

There are currently two short-acting insulins available. Both go by the generic name "regular" and are displayed as (R).

1. Brand name: Humulin (R):

  • Onset: 5-15 minutes
  • Peak action: 2-4 hours
  • Duration: 5-8 hours

2. Brand name: Novolin (R):

  • Onset: 5-15 minutes
  • Peak action: 2-4 hours
  • Duration: 5-8 hours

Sources:

Insulin. American Diabetes Association. " Consumer’s Guide 2011. " Diabetes Forecast, January 2011, Vol, 64, No. 1.

Hieronymus, L. M.S.Ed., A.P.R.N., B.C.-A.D.M., C.D.E., Geil, P. M.S., R.D., C.D.E. "Types of Insulin. " Diabetes Self-Management, 2009.

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  5. Fast Acting Insulin - What is Fast Acting Insulin

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