Pharmacokinetics of Insulin Preparations

Each insulin preparation has a different pharmacokinetic profile, i.e., onset, peak effect, and duration.

Time of Action

Preparation Onset, h Peak, h Effective Duration, h
Short-acting, subcutaneous
Lispro <0.25 0.5–1.5 3–4
Aspart <0.25 0.5–1.5 3–4
Glulisine <0.25 0.5–1.5 3–4
Regular 0.5–1.0 2–3 4–6
Short-acting, inhaled
Inhaled regular insulin <0.25 0.5–1.5 4–6
Long-acting
NPH 1–4 6–10 10–16
Detemir 1–4 a 12–20
Glargine 1–4 a 24
Degludec 1–4 >40
Insulin Combinations
75/25–75% protamine lispro, 25% lispro <0.25 1.5 hb Up to 10–16
70/30–70% protamine aspart, 30% aspart <0.25 1.5 hb Up to 10–16
50/50–50% protamine lispro, 50% lispro <0.25 1.5 hb Up to 10–16
70/30–70% NPH, 30% regular insulin 0.5–1 Dual 10–16
50/50–50% NPH, 50% regular insulin 0.5–1 Dual 10–16

aGlargine has minimal peak activity; detemir has some peak activity at 6–14 h.
bDual: two peaks; one at 2–3 h; the second several hours later.
 
 

References:

  1. Hirsch IB. Insulin analogues. N Engl J Med. 2005 Jan 13;352(2):174-83. [Medline]
  2. DeWitt DE, Hirsch IB. Outpatient insulin therapy in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus: scientific review. JAMA. 2003 May 7;289(17):2254-64. [Medline]
  3. Jonassen I, Havelund S, Ribel U, et al. Insulin degludec is a new generation ultra-long acting basal insulin with a unique mechanism of protraction based on multi-hexamer formation. Diabetes. 2010;59(Suppl 1):A11.

Created: Dic 31, 2008

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