What are the types of insulin?
Insulin is classified based on how quickly it takes effect. There are four categories:
- Rapid acting should be taken just before or just after eating. It begins to lower blood glucose in less than 15 minutes.
- Short acting should be taken 30 minutes before a meal. It begins to lower blood glucose within 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Intermediate acting has an effect for 14-20 hours, depending on the type, so it is typically only taken once per day.
- Long acting has an effect for 20-30 hours, depending on the type, so it is only taken once per day.
Insulin can be packaged in vials, pens/cartridges, or inhaled. There are also pre-mixed insulins that contain a combination of insulin types described above.
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This document is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.