Human insulin is used to treat diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a condition where your pancreas does not produce enough insulin to control your blood sugar (glucose) level. Extra insulin is therefore needed.
There are two types of diabetes mellitus:
Type 1 diabetes – also called juvenile onset diabetes
Type 2 diabetes – also called maturity onset diabetes
Patients with type 1 diabetes always require insulin to control their blood sugar levels.
Some patients with type 2 diabetes may also require insulin after initial treatment with diet, exercise and tablets.
Human insulin lowers your blood sugar level after injection. Each of the following human insulins is available in Penfill®, a 3mL glass cartridge designed to be used with Novo Nordisk insulin delivery devices such as NovoPen®:
Actrapid® is Neutral Insulin Injection, a fast-acting insulin. This means that it will start to lower your blood sugar level about half an hour after you inject it, and the effect will last for approximately 8 hours. Actrapid® is often used in combination with longer-acting insulin products.
Protaphane® is Isophane Insulin Injection, an intermediate-acting insulin. This means that it will start to lower your blood sugar level about one and a half hours after you inject it, and the effect will last for approximately 24 hours. Protaphane® is often used in combination with fast- or rapid-acting insulin products.
Mixtard® 30/70 and Mixtard® 50/50 are Biphasic Isophane Insulin Injection, and each is a mixture of fast- and longer-acting insulins. Mixtard® 30/70 and Mixtard® 50/50 will start to lower your blood sugar level about half an hour after you inject, and the effect will last for approximately 24 hours.
As with all insulins, the duration of action will vary according to the type of insulin, the dose, injection site, blood flow, temperature and level of physical activity.
Actrapid® is also used by doctors to treat some people with diabetes in emergency situations.
Human insulin is not addictive.