Medications for Diabetes:
Types of Insulin |
Oral Medications |
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Very Fast acting - The fastest acting insulins are called lispro
(Humalog)and insulin aspart (Novolog). They should be injected under the skin within 15
minutes before you eat. You have to remember to eat within 15 minutes after you take a shot.
These insulins start working in five to 15 minutes and lower your blood sugar most in 45 to
90 minutes. It finishes working in three to four hours. With regular insulin you have to
wait 30 to 45 minutes before eating. Many people like using lispro because it's easier to
coordinate eating with this type of insulin.
Medications for Diabetes - Types of Insulin
Fast acting - The fast acting insulin is called regular insulin. It
lowers blood sugar most in 2 to 5 hours and finishes its work in 5 to 8 hours.
Intermediate acting - NPH (N) or Lente (L) insulin starts working
in one to three hours, lowers your blood sugar most in six to 12 hours and finishes
working in 20 to 24 hours.
There may be advantages of using insulin mixtures and these
should be discussed with your doctor.
Which Insulin is Right for Me?
Most people who use insulin inject it with a needle and syringe, but there are several
other devices that are available. These include:
People don't respond to individual types of insulin the same way. So, working
with your doctor, you have to find the right insulin or combination that works for you.
Your insulin choice should dovetail with your eating and exercise patterns, so it's
important for you to plan your insulin intake with your doctor or diabetes educator.
Where should you inject?
- Insulin pens - These are handy if you want the
convenience of carrying insulin with you in a discreet way. An insulin pen looks
like a cartridge pen. Some pens use replaceable cartridges of insulin and other
models are disposable. The tip of the pen has a fine, short needle. Users turn a
dial to select the desired dose of insulin and press a plunger on the end to
deliver the insulin.
Insulin pens selection
- Insulin jet injectors - These send a fine spray of insulin through the skin by a
high-pressure air mechanism instead of needles. These are great for people who
fear needles, but they're expensive and you have to boil and sterilize the
Insulin jet injectors selection
- External insulin pumps - These connect to narrow, flexible plastic tubing that ends
with a needle inserted just under the skin near the abdomen. The insulin pump is about the
size of a deck of cards, weighs about 3 ounces, and can be worn on a belt or in a pocket.
Users set the pump to give a steady trickle or 'basal' amount of insulin continuously
throughout the day. Most pumps have the option for setting several rates. Pumps release
bolus doses of insulin (this means several doses at a time) at meals and at times when
blood sugar is too high based on the user's programming. If you use an insulin pump,
it's really important to monitor your blood sugar frequently so you can determine the
right dose and also to be sure that the insulin is being delivered. These pumps can be
expensive to buy and maintain.
Insulin pumps selection
You can inject insulin into several places on your body. Insulin injected near
the stomach works fastest. Insulin injected into the thigh works slowest and a shot in
the arm works at medium speed.
Ask your doctor or
diabetes educator how and where to inject insulin properly.
|These are good places to give yourself insulin shots.
How to store it
- If you use a whole bottle of insulin within
30 days, keep that bottle of insulin at room temperature. On the label write the date that
is 30 days away. That date is when you should throw out the bottle with any insulin left
- If you don't use a whole bottle within thirty days then you should store it in the
refrigerator all of the time.
- If insulin gets too hot or too cold, it doesn't work right. So, don't keep insulin
in the freezer or in the glove compartment of your car during warm weather.
- Keep at least one extra bottle of insulin around your house. Store extra insulin
in the refrigerator.
Additional information on insulin