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Function, Type, Dosage, How to Use, to Side Effects

Diabetics need additional insulin to control blood sugar because their body system cannot produce this hormone on its own. Find out the function, dosage, how to use it and the side effects in the following discussion.

Diabetic Insulin: Function, Type, Dosage, How to Use, to Side Effects

Summary Information About Insulin

Medicine name Insulin
Content Insulin hormone
Class Insulin preparations
Category Prescription drug
Benefit Increase the need for insulin and normalize blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Contraindications Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level).
preparation Injections, syringes, pens, pumps and inhalation preparations.

What is Insulin?

Insulin is a hormone naturally produced by the pancreas to control the amount of glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. This hormone will store blood sugar in the liver, fat, and muscles and also regulate the metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in the body.

When you eat, blood sugar levels will increase from the food content. The pancreas will release insulin so that the blood sugar will be stored to later be processed into energy.

So, the function of insulin is very important for the body. Without this hormone, blood sugar levels will increase and cannot be processed into anything, but can cause health problems.

Functions of Insulin for Diabetics

People with diabetes have problems with the natural production of insulin by the pancreas. The pancreas of a diabetic patient may not produce enough insulin or it may not produce it at all (type 1 diabetes).

As a result, patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes can experience excess or deficiency of this hormone, both of which can cause health effects. Diabetic patients need insulin injections when their sugar levels are high or according to their blood sugar levels.

Type 1 diabetes patients need insulin intake to survive. While many type 2 diabetes patients can manage their diabetes symptoms by adjusting their diet and exercise so they don’t need to use this hormone all the time.

Also Read: Understanding Myths and Facts About Insulin in Diabetics

Insulin Type

All types of insulin work in the same way, i.e., imitating the increase and decrease of natural insulin for the daily needs of the body.

Diabetic patients may need different types depending on how fast and how long this additional hormone will work in the body.

The following types of additional insulin hormone:

  • Fast Acting Insulin (Rapid-Acting): Insulin will immediately work in the body 15 minutes after injection, usually injected before eating. The effect will last for 3-4 hours.
  • Short Acting Insulin (short-acting): The additional insulin hormone will work after 30-60 minutes after being injected into the body and the effect lasts for 5-8 hours.
  • Intermediate-Acting Insulin: The hormone will work 1-2 hours after being injected and the effect lasts within 14-16 hours.
  • Long Acting Insulin (Long Acting): The hormone begins to act on the body within 1-2 hours after it is injected and its effects can last for 24 hours or more.
  • Combined Insulin (Combining-Acting): This hormone injection is used before meals or at night before going to bed.

Every diabetes patient should consult a doctor about what type and when to use it. Patients should also check their blood sugar levels every time before using this additional hormone.

Insulin Trademark

The following is a list of trademarks for this drug:

  • Actrapid HM.
  • Novorapid Flexpen.
  • Glargine (Lantus, Basaglar, Toujeo).
  • Detemir (Levemir).
  • Degludec (Tresiba).
  • NPH (Humulin N, Novolin N, Novolin ReliOn Insulin N).
  • Aspart (NovoLog, Fiasp).
  • Glulisine (Apidra).
  • Lispro (Humalog, Admelog).
  • Humulin R.
  • Novoline R.

You may be able to find insulin in a brand name and other preparation according to your needs.

Warning Before Using Insulin

Diabetes treatment and care must be determined and approved by a doctor. Here are some warnings for people with diabetes before taking supplemental insulin:

  • All types of diabetes treatment must be based on doctor’s advice.
  • The patient already understands when and how to use this drug. Ask the doctor in detail.
  • Diabetic patients should check their blood sugar at any time (eg before eating, after eating, or after fasting for 8 hours, etc.) to determine whether you need additional insulin hormone or not.
  • Each patient requires a different dose according to his blood sugar level.
  • Do not use insulin when your blood sugar is low (hypoglycemia) because that will make you very weak.
  • Hypoglycemia may occur when you inject too high a dose.
  • Every diabetic patient must limit sugar intake. Understand what can and cannot be eaten for diabetics.
  • Continue to live a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly to improve your health every time.

Ask your doctor to explain everything you need to know about daily diabetes care, including the use of diabetes medications, insulin, a healthy diet, physical exercise, and first aid when your blood sugar rises or falls suddenly.

Insulin Dosage

The need for additional insulin hormone for each diabetes patient varies, depending on:

  • Dietary habit.
  • physical activity.
  • Current blood sugar levels.
  • The severity of diabetes symptoms.

The following is the dosage of insulin injections for each type of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, the patient’s body cannot produce the hormone insulin, so additional insulin injections need to be done to control blood sugar levels.

Insulin dosage in patients with type 1 diabetes must be adjusted based on the patient’s metabolic needs, blood glucose monitoring results, and glycemic goals.

The total daily insulin requirement for type 1 diabetics is generally between 0.5 to 1 unit/kg/day.

Type 2 Diabetes

Meanwhile, in type 2 diabetes, managing blood sugar levels and lifestyle properly is a lifetime treatment. However, if these treatments do not help control blood sugar levels, diabetic patients may also need insulin injections.

The initial dose used in type 2 diabetes is about 4-6 units or 0.1 units/kg or 10% of the basal insulin dose.

Also Read: Using Insulin Pills to Treat Diabetes, Is it Effective?

How to use insulin

These hormone supplement kits are available in several options, including:

  • Insulin injections. Using a sterile syringe and injecting it in the fat under the skin, such as the stomach, upper arm, or thigh.
  • Insulin shot or pen. The tool is shaped like a pen with a syringe attached to it. Insulin is injected with the pen into the fat just below the surface of the skin.
  • Insulin pump. The pump is attached to a thin tube that is implanted under your skin, the pump can be automatic or computerized or actuated depending on instructions; will inject insulin before or while you eat small doses.
  • Sucked insulin (Afrezza). You can inhale insulin just before eating.

In addition, use sterile insulin injections or devices. Don’t inject insulin near your belly button because your body won’t absorb it. Insulin injections at different skin locations to prevent skin thickening from constant exposure to insulin.

Insulin Interactions

Insulin interactions may occur if you use it at the same time as certain drugs.

Following are the interactions of the supplemental insulin hormone with other drugs:

  • Increased risk of weight gain and peripheral edema w/ pioglitazone, rosiglitazone.
  • Triggers a hypoglycemic effect when you use it with beta-blockers.
  • The effect of insulin will be decreased if you take it with corticosteroids, danazol, diazoxide, diuretics, glucagon, isoniazid, phenothiazine derivatives, somatropin, sympathomimetic agents, thyroid hormones, estrogens, and progestins.
  • Increased hypoglycemic effect when you take with other oral antidiabetic agents, ACE inhibitors, disopyramide, fibrates, fluoxetine, MAOIs, pentoxifylline, propoxyphene, salicylates, and sulfonamide antibiotics.
  • Reducing insulin resistance with octreotide And lanreotide.

It should be understood that all diabetics should not use any medication without a doctor’s prescription. If you experience indications of other diseases, please consult a doctor for a prescription for safe and effective medication.

Insulin Side Effects

Incorrect dosage, schedule and method of use can cause the risk of hypoglycemia, which is a state of low blood sugar. If you don’t eat enough or do strenuous activities, blood sugar levels will drop and trigger an insulin reaction.

Following are the side effects:

  • Limp body.
  • Confusion.
  • pale skin
  • Sweating.
  • Muscle twitches
  • Hard to talk.
  • seizures
  • Faint.

If blood sugar levels are very low and there is no insulin to regulate blood sugar, the patient may experience diabetic ketoacidosis.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is an emergency condition in diabetic patients who simply don’t have enough insulin, so the body will break down fat to be used as energy without insulin.

Insulin Storage Instructions

Here’s a recommended way to save:

  • The insulin you are going to use or your daily stock should be stored at room temperature around 20°C-25°C.
  • You can store a month’s supply in the fridge.
  • Do not let this hormone liquid exposed to excessive cold or heat.
  • Pay attention to the expiration date of the product before using.
  • Store insulin pens after use at room temperature.

This information does not replace direct consultation with a doctor.

  1. Anonymous. 2020. Insulin. (Accessed February 23, 2023).
  2. Anonymous. 2022. Insulin Regular Dosage. (Accessed February 23, 2023)
  3. Felman, Adam. 2018. An overview of insulin. (Accessed February 23, 2023).
  4. Hess-Fischl, Amy. 2020. What Is Insulin?. (Accessed February 23, 2023).
  5. Higuera, Valencia. 2019. Everything You Need to Know About Insulin. (Accessed February 23, 2023).
  6. Morris, Susan York. 2021. Insulin Injection Sites: Where and How to Inject. (Accessed February 23, 2023)

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