University of Illinois Extension
 

What are the types of insulin?

Ver esta página en Español

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.

Back to: Diabetes Medications

This document is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.