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Studies Show Swearing Eases Pain

Children’s Hospital Pioneers Electronic Medical Recording

SVN Release Guidelines to Improve Patient Care


Tip of the Week– Types of Insulin

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing lifestyle-related diseases. In the year 2007, the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed cases of diabetes reached a total 23.6 million or 7.8% of the population in the United States.

Other than diabetes itself, complications like kidney failure and diabetic ketoacidosis are serious problems diabetics should look out for. Since patient teaching is a major role of nurses, it is important for them to be knowledgeable on the different types of insulin to be able to impart what they know to their patients. Better understanding of the drug and the disease will foster adherence to the medication and voluntary lifestyle modifications, thus, preventing serious or even life-threatening complications later on.

Insulin, the drug of choice for type I diabetes, comes in different variants depending on how fast they start to work and how long their effects last.

Types of insulin:

  • Rapid acting– covers insulin needs for meals eaten at the same time as the injection and used with longer-acting insulin.
    • Humalog (lispro), Novolog (aspart), Apidra (glulisine)
  • Short acting– covers insulin needs for meals eaten within 30-60 minutes.
    • Regular humulin (novolin), Velosulin (for insulin pump)
  • Intermediate acting– covers insulin needs for about half the day or overnight and is often combined with rapid- or short-acting insulin.
    • NPH, Lente
  • Long acting– covers insulin needs for about 1 full day and is often combined, when needed, with rapid- or short-acting insulin.
    • Ultralente, Lantus, Levemir (detemir)
  • Pre-mixed– a combination of specific proportions of intermediate-acting and short-acting insulin in one bottle or insulin pen (the numbers following the brand name indicate the percentage of each type of insulin). Generally taken twice a day before mealtime.
    • Humulin 70/30, Novolin 70/30, Novolog 70/30, Humulin 50/50, Humalog mix 75/25

Deciding on the kind of insulin that will best suit an individual depends on many factors including the body’s individual response to insulin, lifestyle choices, number of preferred injections in a day, frequency of checking blood sugar level, age, and blood sugar management goals.

Diabetes Learning Center

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse

Types of Insulin for Diabetes Treatment by WebMD


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