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Injectable Insulin Brands: What You Should Know

Injectable Insulin Brands: What You Should Know

What is insulin?

Insulin is a natural hormone that is produced by the beta cells in the pancreas. When you eat foods with carbohydrates, glucose will be absorbed into the bloodstream. Glucose is a form of sugar which is one of the main sources of energy for the body and all of its cells. This naturally occurring hormone works by transporting glucose to the body tissue for energy. People with diabetes cannot produce enough insulin or use it properly. Because of this, glucose cannot enter the body cells, hence they stay in the bloodstream and build up. Too much glucose in the bloodstream can lead to health complications such as nerve damage, kidney problems and blindness. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetics make little or no insulin as a result of the immune system attacking and destroying the beta cells in the pancreas.

People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin injections so that they can survive. Injectable insulins work similarly to the natural hormone produced in the body, which acts by lowering blood sugar levels. There are many insulin brands available on the market which can be used to treat diabetes. Insulin analogs are used to treat type 1 diabetes and can be used in combination with oral diabetes drugs in the latter stages of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition where the body cannot produce enough insulin or use it properly. Insulin brands are usually grouped depending on how fast they start to work to reduce blood sugar levels and how long their effects last in the body.

The type of insulin analogs includes:

  • Rapid-acting
  • Short-acting
  • Intermediate-acting and
  • Long-acting insulin analogs

Types of insulin brands

Rapid acting insulins

Humalog

Humalog is a rapid acting insulin, which refers to the brand name of insulin lispro. Insulin lispro helps to improve glycemic control in people with type 1 diabetes. As a rapid acting insulin, humalog begins to work after 15 minutes when you inject it under the skin. This medication will peak after 1 hour and will keep working in your body for about 2 to 4 hours.

Novolog

Novolog is a brand name of insulin aspart. Insulin aspart refers to a man made insulin which is similar to the natural occurring hormone. This fast acting insulin analog improves blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. After taking this type of insulin brand, you should eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes. This medication can be used in combination with long acting and intermediate acting insulins.

Apidra

Apidra is a rapid acting insulin which works by reducing blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. Apidra is a brand name of insulin glargine which replaces the natural hormone produced in our bodies. When injected under the skin, insulin glargine begins to work faster and last for a shorter while than the insulin regular.

Intermediate acting insulin

Humulin N

Humulin is a man made insulin that works by reducing blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Humulin is an intermediate acting insulin, which is a brand name of insulin isophane. This medication is usually administered subcutaneously into the fat tissue of the thighs, upper arm or stomach.

Novolin N

Novolin is an intermediate acting insulin that is used to control blood glucose levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This insulin medication is taken by injection under the skin. You should not take this medication in smaller or larger doses than what is prescribed by your doctor.

Long acting insulin

Lantus

Lantus is a long acting insulin that reduces blood sugar in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Lantus is the brand name of insulin glargine. After injection, this type of insulin brand starts to work after several hours and the effects will last up to 24 hours. Insulin glargine works longer compared to regular insulin, providing a steady and low amount of insulin.

Levemir

This is another long acting insulin brand that can be used to treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This medication works by lowering blood glucose levels. Levemir is a brand name of insulin detemir. Insulin levemir is a man made insulin, which after injection will keep working in the body for up to 24 hours. You should not take this medication if you are allergic to insulin detemir or in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis.


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Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.
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