Types of Insulin

 

There are many types of insulin. All insulins help sugar to get inside the cell, but they are not all the same. Each type may be different in how fast it takes to start working. Each type may be different in howfast it takes to start working, how long it takes to control blood sugar, and how long it lasts in the body. These differences are important to know when learning about insulin so you will use your insulin in the right way.

•  Onset: the length of time after injection that insulin begins to work

•  Peak: the length of time after injection that the insulin takes to reach its maximum effect

•  Duration: the length of time that the insulin continues to work inside the body

Three major drug companies manufacture insulin in the United States. These are Sanofi-aventis, Eli Lilly, and Novo Nordisk.

Types of insulin available in the United States

Rapid-Acting: Administer within 15 minutes before a meal or eat within 5-15 minutes after injection.
Generic Name Brand Name Concentration Manufacturer
insulin aspart NovoLOG 100 units/mL Novo Nordisk
insulin glulisine APIDRA 100 units/mL Sanofi-aventis
insulin lispro HumaLOG 100 units/mL Eli Lilly
insulin lispro (U-200) HumaLOG KwikPen U-2001 200 units/mL Eli Lilly
insulin (oral inhalation) AFREZZA Available in single-use cartridges of 4 units, 8 Units and 12 Units Sanofi-aventis
Short-Acting: Takes effect within 30 minutes. The max effect is between 2.5 hours-5 hours. The duration is approximately 8 hours.
Generic Name Brand Name Concentration Manufacturer
insulin regular HumuLIN R2 100 units/mL Eli Lilly
insulin regular NovoLIN R2 100 units/mL Novo Nordisk
insulin regular (U-500) HumuLIN R U-500 Concentrated2,3 500 units/mL Eli Lilly
Intermediate-Acting: Takes effect with 90 minutes of injection. The greatest blood sugar lowering effect is between 4 and 12 hours after the injection. This blood sugar lowering may last up to 24 hours.
Generic Name Brand Name Concentration Manufacturer
NPH HumuLIN N 100 units/mL Eli Lilly
NPH NovoLIN N2 100 units/mL Novo Nordisk
Long-Acting: Provides slow steady release of insulin (*no pronounced peak). Duration up to 24 hours.
Generic Name Brand Name Concentration Manufacturer
insulin detemir LEVEMIR 100 units/mL Novo Nordisk
insulin glargine LANTUS 100 units/mL Sanofi-aventis
insulin glargine (U-300) TOUJEO1 300 units/mL Sanofi-aventis
Ultralong-Acting: Insulin degludec has an onset of action of 30–90 minutes and has a duration of action that lasts up to 42 hours.
Generic Name Brand Name Concentration Manufacturer
insulin degludac TRESIBA*,1 100 units/mL Novo Nordisk
insulin degludac (U-200) TRESIBA*,1 200 units/mL Novo Nordisk
Mixtures
Generic Name Brand Name Concentration Manufacturer
75% insulin lispro protamine and 25% insulin lispro HumaLOG Mix 75/25 100 units/mL Eli Lilly
50% insulin lispro protamine and 50% insulin lispro HumaLOG Mix 50/50 100 units/mL Eli Lilly
70% NPH and 30% insulin regular HumuLIN 70/30 100 units/mL Eli Lilly
70% NPH and 30% insulin regular NovoLIN 70/302 100 units/mL Novo Nordisk
70% aspart protamine and 30% insulin aspart NovoLOG Mix 70/30 100 units/mL Novo Nordisk
70% insulin degludec, 30% insulin aspart RYZODEG 70/30*,1 100 units/mL Novo Nordisk

List updated November 2015

* FDA approved September 2015; expected availability 1st quarter 2016

1Available in pen device only

2 Available in vial only

3 Application submitted to FDA in June 2015 for pen device

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