Last reviewed 11/2021
Replaced by insulin analogues as the quickest acting insulins.
Often known as soluble or ‘regular’ or 'neutral' insulin.
Some features of short-acting or neutral insulins include:
- peak 2-6 hours after subcutaneous injection
- tendency to form hexamers in the insulin vials - these dissociate slowly leading to reduction in absorption rate
- onset of action 30–60 mins
- peak 2–4 hours
- in some individuals can have an effect 8-12 hours after administration of injection
- injected 20-30 minutes before a meal
- may result in postprandial and nocturnal hypoglycaemia because of long-lasting effects
- in some patients short-acting insulins remain the optimum quick-acting insulin
- examples Human Actrapid®, Humulin S®, Insuman® Rapid? (also porcine and bovine equivalents of these)
- note that some of these insulins are also licensed for use in continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion i.e. insulin pumps (1)
Examples include human actrapid.
- MeRec Bulletin 2007;17(4).
- Prescriber 2001;12 (14): 43-50