What is Rapid Acting Insulin? Peak Time, Onset and Brands
What is insulin?
Insulin is a natural hormone produced by the beta cells in the pancreas. As a medication, it can be injected with an insulin injection pen or insulin pump. This hormone works by reducing high blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. When you eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates, the amount of blood sugar tends to rise. Glucose is a form of sugar, which is one of the main sources of energy for the body. Insulin helps glucose enter the blood cells to be used or stored as energy. In addition, this naturally occurring hormone controls the amount of glucose that is released by the liver. This helps to regulate blood glucose levels to prevent them from falling too low or going too high. Insulin is normally taken by people with type 1 diabetes, although it is also often used in combination with oral diabetes drugs to control blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes produce little or no insulin because of their immune system mistakenly attacks the beta cells in their pancreas. Because of this, people with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin injections so that they can survive.
What is rapid acting insulin?
Rapid acting insulin is commonly used by people with type 1 diabetes to help them control their blood glucose levels. However, it can also be prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes. This medication can be injected subcutaneously using an insulin pen or can be administered with an insulin pump. When injected under the skin, rapid acting insulin starts to work very fast in reducing high blood sugar levels which arises after eating. It is usually taken right before a meal, or together with a meal. It is usually prescribed together with long acting insulin to provide blood sugar levels throughout the day and after meals.
Rapid acting insulin onset, peak time and duration
Onset refers to the amount of time it takes before the insulin reaches the blood and starts to reduce blood glucose. The peak is the period of time when the insulin is working the best at reducing blood sugar levels. Duration refers to how long the insulin works in the body to reduce blood sugar levels. Rapid acting insulin has an onset time of between 10 to 30 minutes, the peak period is generally 1 to 2 hours and the duration period is between 2 to 4 hours.
Humalog is a brand name of insulin lispro, which helps to treat type 1 diabetes in adults. Insulin lispro is a man made insulin which mimics the work of the natural hormone in controlling blood sugar levels. Insulin lispro can be prescribed together with oral diabetes medications to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. After injection, insulin lispro starts to work after 15 minutes and peaks after 1 hour.
Novolog is a brand name of insulin aspart. Insulin aspart is a rapid acting insulin which works by lowering high blood sugar levels. It can be used in combination with intermediate acting and long acting insulin. This medication is injected under the skin using an insulin pen or into a vein with an IV. You should not inject this medication on the same spot twice. It is advisable you eat within 5 to 10 minutes after taking this medication.
Insulin glulisine works faster compared to regular insulin in lowering blood sugar levels. It is normally taken together with long acting insulin. You should not take this medication in larger or smaller amount than what is recommended by your doctor. After taking insulin glulisine, you should eat within 15 minutes. Insulin glulisine is only part of a treatment program which also includes exercise, diet, weight control and blood sugar testing. Make sure you follow carefully the instructions given by your doctor.
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.