Some people, suffering from Type 2 diabetes, need insulin inhalers, shots or injections to maintain recommended blood glucose levels in the body. There are several types of this medication available in the market.
Types of Insulin
Insulin Type 2 diabetes has come a long way since its introduction in the form of medicine. The insulin available nowadays is more effective than it was before. Moreover, people are less at risk of experiencing hypoglycemia. Presently, four different types of insulin are available in the market. While some are bolus, rest are basal.
Bolus insulin is there to maintain the rising blood glucose levels due to food intake. Basal insulin takes care of blood glucose levels between meal and overnight. People need half of their insulin supply from bolus and the other half from basal.
The different types of insulin vary in their action curve:
1. The onset: This is when the insulin begins to lower the levels of blood glucose.
2. The peak: This is the time period when the blood glucose levels are the lowest.
3. The duration: The length of time until the effect of the insulin lasts.
The four primary types of insulin are:
1. Rapid-acting: This insulin is of the bolus type which starts to work after 15-20 minutes it is taken. It helps in controlling blood sugar levels during or after meals. Lispro (Humalog), Aspart (Novolog), Glulisine (Apidra) are names of some of the rapid-acting insulin.
2. Short-acting or regular: This is another type of bolus insulin which takes longer than rapid-acting insulin to lower blood glucose levels. This bolus insulin which was the only option before the year 1995 is rarely used now. Some names of short-acting insulin are Regular (R) or Novolin, Velosulin (for use in the insulin pump)
3. Intermediate-acting: This works slower and helps to lower blood glucose levels all through the day to take care of both bolus and basal needs. Since long-acting insulin is now available, intermediate-acting ones are not used that much these days. NPH (N) is a popular intermediate-acting insulin.
4. Long-acting: This type of insulin is to be taken once or twice a day. Insulin glargine (Basaglar, Lantus, Toujeo), Insulin detemir (Levemir), Insulin Degludec (Tresiba) are the names of insulin in this category.
There are combination insulin available as well with varying quantities of basal and bolus insulin to control the levels of blood sugar. Some names in this category are Humulin 70/30, Novolin 70/30, Novolog 70/30, Humulin 50/50 and Humalog mix 75/25.