The Insulin type noted above can be ordered without a prescription.
Types of Insulin.
Types of insulin differ with respect
to their source, how fast they begin to act, and how long their effect
persists. Today most people use synthetic brands of insulin, such as Humulin
and Novolin, which are identical to natural human insulin. Older insulin brands
such as Iletin are extracted from the pancreases of cattle or pigs and differ
slightly from human insulin, making them more likely than synthetic types to
cause side effects such as skin rash and fat deposits under the skin.
With respect to speed of onset and duration of effect, there are prompt, short,
intermediate, and long-acting insulins. Lispro (brand name Humalog) is a
prompt-acting insulin. It starts to lower blood sugar in about 15 minutes,
reaches its peak sugar-lowering effect after 60 to 90 minutes, and stops
affecting blood sugar four to five hours after you inject it. You should inject
Lispro just before a meal.
Regular insulin such as Humulin R and
Novolin R is defined as short acting. It begins lowering blood sugar from 30 to
60 minutes after you inject it. The peak effect from an injection occurs after
two to three hours and the effect lasts for a total of five to seven hours.
NPH (Humulin N, Novolin N) is an intermediate-acting insulin. It
starts to work within two to four hours after injection, achieves its peak of
activity after four to 12 hours, and lasts for a total of 14 to 20 hours.
Insulin glargine (Lantus) is a newer form of long-acting insulin. It
starts to work within one to two hours and continues acting for about 24 hours.
Lantus is different from other forms of insulin in that is does not have a peak
effect. Instead, it lowers blood sugar a relatively constant amount during the
24-hour period it is in the body.
Many people use more than one type
of insulin to control their blood sugar. You shouldn't mix certain types of
insulin together in the same syringe, so make sure to check with your doctor or
pharmacist first. Some people use premixed combinations of regular and NPH.
Examples include Humulin 70/30, Novolin 70/30, and Humulin 50/50. 70/30 insulin
is 70 percent NPH and 30 percent regular insulin. 50/50 insulin contains 50
percent NPH and 50 percent regular insulin. These insulins provide the same
activity as if you injected NPH and regular insulin separately. But they can be
easier to use, since you don't have to measure two separate doses.