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  • Category: General Medicine

    Generally the insulin injection are labeled as 30/70 or 50/50. What such digits denote?

    short acting insulin, intermediate acting insulin, and rapid acting insulin

    What are short acting, intermediate acting, and rapid acting types of insulin? Generally, the insulin injections are labeled as 30/70 or 50/50. What such digits denote? Also generally how many minutes before the meal, the insulin injection should be taken?
  • #137751
    Insulin is categorised into different types based on their peak action duration and disappearance fully.

    Short acting insulin : after administering into the body, peaks between 2 to 4 hours and wears out in 6 to 8 hours. The effect or onset starts within 30 minutes to one hour. Hence they are administered about half an hour before meals.
    Rapid acting insulin on the other hand takes 1 to 2 hours and 3 to 4 hours for same action. The onset of action is within 10 minutes of administering to 30 minutes. Hence it is administered immediately before meal.
    Intermediate Acting insulin has longer duration of action that short acting and Rapid acting types. Action peaks between 4 -12 hours and disappears in 16 to 24 hours. The onset is 1.5 hours to 4 hours. Hence it needs to be administered just once a day generally before breakfast ot twice if so needed, one in the evening.
    Likewise there are Long acting insulin whose durations of peak action and wear out is longer than all the above and hence administration is needed only once in a day.

    Generally insulin is used as a pre-mix of different types of insulins. Commonly used mix is of 30% Short acting and 70%Intermediate acting. This is denoted as 30/70.. If it shows 50/50 then each type is of 50 percent. The specific need of a patient is assessed and suggested by the doctor. Patients should never do self medication or changing the mix ratio as that may lead to serious situations . Proper guidelines on administering of insulin should also be followed.

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