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How Long Does Short Acting Insulin Last


Matching Insulin And Food

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In addition to understanding an insulins action curve, its important to understand how the food you eat affects your blood glucose level so that you can match your insulins action to the expected rise in blood glucose level following a meal. In general, people with normal stomach emptying can expect some glucose from the carbohydrate theyve eaten to start raising their blood glucose level within minutes of starting to eat. Blood glucose level tends to peak about one to two hours after the start of a meal and gradually drops over the next three hours.

Some other factors that may cause insulin action to differ from the action curve given in product literature or to vary from person to person include thickness of the subcutaneous fatty layer at an injection site, temperature, blood flow, exercise, and dose size. Injecting into areas that have more subcutaneous fat tends to slow insulin absorption. Widened blood vessels allow insulin to be absorbed more quickly constricted blood vessels can cause slower absorption. Large doses of insulin may also be absorbed somewhat more slowly than smaller doses.

How Long Does Regular Insulin Last

There are several types of human-made insulin. Which one you choose can affect when and how long youll feel the benefits of these medications. For example, regular human insulin starts working anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour after injection. It attains maximum effectiveness within 2 to 4 hours, and its effects last up to 8 hours total.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.


What Is Insulin Made Of

Insulin is made in different ways. You and your healthcare team will discuss which insulin you can take.

  • Human insulin this is synthetic and made in a laboratory to be like insulin made in the body.
  • Analogue insulin the insulin molecule is like a string of beads. Scientists have managed to alter the position of some of these beads to create genetically engineered insulin known as analogues.
  • Animal insulin This isnt used much anymore, but some people find that insulin from animals works best for them. It is usually from a cow or pig.

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How Much Insulin Should I Take For Low Blood Sugar

Insulin will lower your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is already low, you shouldnt inject more insulin.

Signs that your blood sugar is too low include sweating, dizziness, blurred vision, and significant fatigue. If this happens, try to consume rapid-acting carbohydrates, like sugared sodas, fruit juice, or glucose tablets, to get your blood sugar levels back up quickly.

How Is Lispro Made

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Insulin lispro is an analog insulin. An analog insulin is a genetically modified insulin. Human insulin is made up of a linked A and B polypeptide chains and insulin lispro is made by switching the sequence of two beta-chain amino acids: the proline at B-28 is switched with the lysine at B-29.


This results in more rapid dissolution of the insulin to a dimer and then to a monomer which means it is absorbed more rapidly after subcutaneous injection and lasts for less than five hours.

Although one unit of insulin lispro has the same glucose-lowering effect as one unit of regular insulin, it has:

  • Faster subcutaneous absorption

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Do I Need To Monitor My Blood Sugar Level

Yes. Monitoring and controlling your blood sugar is key to preventing the complications of diabetes. If you dont already monitor your blood sugar level, you will need to learn how. Checking your blood sugar involves pricking your finger to get a small drop of blood that you put on a test strip. You can read the results yourself or insert the strip into a machine called an electronic glucose meter. The results will tell you whether your blood sugar is in a healthy range. Your doctor will give you additional information about monitoring your blood sugar.

How Do I Take It

Many people get insulin into their blood using a needle and syringe, a cartridge system, or pre-filled pen systems.


The place on the body where you give yourself the shot may matter. You’ll absorb insulin the most evenly when you inject it into your belly. The next best places to inject it are your arms, thighs, and buttocks. Make it a habit to inject insulin at the same general area of your body, but change up the exact injection spot. This helps lessen scarring under the skin.

Inhaled insulin, insulin pumps, and a quick-acting insulin device are also available.

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How Long Does Lantus Solostar Last Once I Have Started Using It

The Lantus SoloStar pens expiry, once you have started using it, is 28 days. If you are on a low dose then one Lantus SoloStar pen may contain more than 28 days worth of insulin. In this case it is important to remember to discard the remaining Lantus SoloStar pen 28 days after you have started using it, even if it still contains insulin.

Once you have started using Lantus SoloStar it should be kept at room temperature and NOT in the refrigerator.


Is There Anything In Between Rapid

What are long acting and short acting insulins

Yes. There are short-acting and intermediate-acting insulins available.

  • Short-acting insulins are used like rapid-acting insulin to cover blood sugar elevation from eating.

  • Intermediate-acting insulins are similar to long-acting insulins as they are used to cover blood sugar elevations when the rapid-acting or short-acting insulins finish working.

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Basal insulin. Small amounts of insulin are released by the pancreas 24 hours a day. On average, adults secrete about one unit of insulin per hour regardless of food intake.

Bolus insulin. In response to food, larger amounts of insulin are secreted and released in two-phase boluses. The first phase starts within minutes of the first bite of food and lasts about 15 minutes. The second phase of insulin release is more gradual and occurs over the next hour and a half to three hours. The amount of insulin that is released matches the rise in blood glucose from the food that is eaten.

In people with normal insulin secretion, insulin production and release is a finely tuned feedback system that maintains blood glucose between about 70 mg/dl and 140 mg/dl at all times, no matter what or when a person eats or when he engages in physical activity. During illness, when insulin needs may rise, the pancreas just produces more.


People whose pancreas does not secrete insulin normally often must inject insulin or infuse it with an insulin pump. People who have Type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas secretes no insulin or virtually no insulin, must inject or infuse insulin. But learning when to take insulin and how much to take is challenging, because injected or infused insulin does not act exactly like insulin released from the pancreas. The first step to figuring out when to take insulin and how much to take is understanding an insulins action curve.

Putting It All Together

Now that you know the how and why behind insulin dosing, lets consider how you may calculate your insulin needs.

Youll usually give yourself an insulin dose around your meals since thats when you take in carbohydrates. You also will typically check your blood sugar to see if youre meeting your premeal target dose.

To calculate your insulin needs:

  • Check your blood sugar level before a meal.
  • If your blood sugar level is in your target range, you do not need to calculate for extra insulin.
  • If your blood sugar level is higher than your target range , calculate how much insulin youll need. You should talk with your doctor about this, but usually, 1 unit will bring your levels down by 50 points.
  • Calculate the number of carbohydrates youre about to eat. You can usually estimate these using carbohydrate counters.
  • For every 10 grams of carbohydrates, give yourself 1 unit of insulin. Ask your doctor if this number may be different for you.
  • Add the number of units needed to adjust for both your target range and meal.
  • Administer the total units of insulin.
  • You may find that if you generally eat about the same amount of carbohydrates each day, you may be able to consistently inject the same amounts of insulin outside of special occasions. It takes time to find out how your body best responds to insulin.


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    How Many Doses In A Lantus Pen And How Long Will It Last Me

    The Lantus SoloStar is 100Units/mL and is a 3ml unit, so each Lantus Solostar contains 300 units.

    To work out how long one Lantus SoloStar pen will last you, you need to divide 300 units by your daily dose. For example:

    • If you are using 12 units a day
    • 300÷12= 25 days
    • The Lantus SoloStar will last you 25 days.

    If you are priming your pen before each dose, which is recommended, you do need to add this into your calculation. For example:

    • If you are using 13 units a day
    • Plus 2 units for priming = 15 units per day
    • 300÷15= 20 days
    • The Lantus SoloStar will last you 20 days.

    When Should Long

    When do Type I diabetics decide to inject their insulin?

    Generally, long-acting insulin can begiven at any time of the day as long as you stay consistent with how you takeit. For example, if you usually take your long-acting insulin in the morning,you should keep taking it in the morning, instead of taking it at differenttimes of the day.


    However, because some long-actinginsulins can last varying amounts of time, your doctor may instruct you to takeit at a specific time of day to avoid low blood sugar. For example, if yousometimes have low blood sugar overnight, your doctor may instruct you to takeyour long-acting insulin in the morning. Because long-acting insulins likeglargine and detemir frequently do not last a full 24 hours,taking them in the morning could help avoid overnight low blood sugars.

    Your doctor may sometimes instruct you toinject your long-acting insulin multiple times a day. Usually, long-actinginsulin is given no more than twice a day. The reasons you may need to take itmore than once a day include:

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    Can I Mix Rapid

    You can mix a rapid-acting insulin with an intermediate-acting insulin, according to your doctors instructions. Rapid-acting insulin should always be drawn into the syringe first. This will keep the intermediate-acting insulin from getting into the rapid-acting insulin bottle. After mixing rapid-acting insulin in the same syringe with an intermediate-acting insulin, you must inject the mixture under your skin within 15 minutes. Remember to eat within 15 minutes after the injection.

    When Should I Take Insulin

    You and your doctor should discuss when and how you will take your insulin. Each persons treatment is different. Some people who use regular insulin take it 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. Some people who use rapid-acting insulin take it just before they eat.


    Types of insulin:

    • Rapid-acting insulin starts working in about 15 minutes. It lasts for 3 to 5 hours.
    • Short-acting insulin starts working in 30 to 60 minutes and lasts 5 to 8 hours.
    • Intermediate-acting insulin starts working in 1 to 3 hours and lasts 12 to 16 hours.
    • Long-acting insulin starts working in about 1 hour and lasts 20 to 26 hours.
    • Premixed insulin is a combination of 2 types of insulin .

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    Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes

    If you have type 2 diabetes and your doctor thinks insulin can help you, it doesnt mean you now have type 1 diabetes. You still have type 2 diabetes, but you’ve changed treatment.

    If you have type 2 diabetes, you may not need to use insulin straight away. But some people have very high blood sugar levels when they are first diagnosed. Insulin can be used as a short-term treatment to help quickly bring down your blood sugar levels.

    Some people may need to take insulin for a particular reason, like during pregnancy or a severe illness, or after surgery. But you may also need to start it as a treatment if other medications havent helped managed your blood sugar levels or are not appropriate for you.


    If you need insulin it isnt your fault and it doesnt mean you havent managed your diabetes well. It’s simply another medication that can help to keep you as healthy as possible. Managing blood sugars effectively is really important in reducing your risk of future diabetes complications and insulin may be the most appropriate treatment choice for you. Many people with type 2 diabetes need to use it as treatment at some point.

    Its still important to keep going to your appointments and manage your condition with healthy lifestyle choices. Staying active and eating a healthy diet will reduce the risk of complications from your diabetes.

    Questions Your Doctor Might Ask You

    Meet the Insulins, Part 1 – Long Acting Insulin
    • How do you feel while taking your insulin?
    • Have you noticed any side effects?
    • How are you responding to your insulin dose? Are you having any problems with high or low blood sugar?
    • Have you had any trouble using your insulin syringe, pen, or pump?
    • Do you know how to store and dispose of your used syringes or needles?

    If you have any questions between doctor visits, write them down so you remember to ask them next time. Your doctor can check on your progress so that you can successfully manage your diabetes.

    Show Sources

    Vivian Fonseca, MD, FRCP, chief, Section of Endocrinology, Tulane University School of Medicine president, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association.

    American Diabetes Association: “Insulin Basics ” “Insulin Routines ” and “Insulin Storage and Syringe Safety.”


    National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “What I need to know about Diabetes Medicines.”

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “Insulin.”

    News release, FDA.

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    Are There Any Side Effects To Taking Insulin

    The most common side effect of taking insulin is low blood sugar levels, also called hypoglycemia. Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include feeling shaky, sweating, fast heartbeat, and hunger. You can treat the symptoms of hypoglycemia by eating or drinking a quick source of sugar such as fruit juice, hard candy, honey, or milk. You can lower your risk of hypoglycemia by actively managing your blood sugar levels and increasing the frequency of glucose monitoring.


    Other less common side effects of insulin include weight gain and allergic reactions, which can also happen at the injection site if you are not using an inhaler. Allergic reactions can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, fast heartbeat, and sweating. If you have an allergic reaction to insulin, stop using it and call your doctor right away. If you think you or someone else is having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

    What Type Of Insulin Is Best For My Diabetes

    Your doctor will work with you to prescribe the type of insulin that’s best for you and your diabetes. Making that choice will depend on many things, including:

    • How you respond to insulin.
    • Lifestyle choices. The type of food you eat, how much alcohol you drink, or how much exercise you get will all affect how your body uses insulin.
    • Your willingness to give yourself multiple injections per day
    • Your age
    • Your goals for managing your blood sugar

    Your doctor may prescribe more than one type. You might need to take insulin more than once daily, to space your doses throughout the day, or to add other medicines.

    Afrezza, a rapid-acting inhaled insulin, is FDA-approved for use before meals for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The drug peaks in your blood in about 15-20 minutes and it clears your body in 2-3 hours. It must be used along with long-acting insulin in people with type 1 diabetes.

    The chart below lists the types of injectable insulin with details about onset , peak and duration . These three things may vary. The final column offers some insight into the “coverage” provided by the different insulin types in relation to mealtime.


    Type of Insulin & Brand NamesOnset
    30 min.-2 1/2 hours16-20 hours
    *Premixed insulins combine specific amounts of intermediate-acting and short-acting insulin in one bottle or insulin pen.

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    How Can You Tell If Insulin Has Gone Bad

    There are two ways in which you can tell if your insulin has gone bad.

    The first method is visual inspection. If your insulin looks cloudy or discolored in any way, dont use it. If it has clumps or what look like little strings in it, its probably not safe to use.

    The second way to know your insulin is not working properly is unexplained high blood sugars, as mentioned above.

    How Much Insulin To Take For Bodybuilding

    Types of Insulin and Their Action Profiles  Steemkr

    Injecting insulin is not a safe approach to weight training. However, some bodybuilders will inject it as a performance-enhancing drug. They believe injecting insulin will allow energy in the form of glucose to enter their cells so they can build more muscle.

    This practice is unsafe and can lead to severe and potentially life threatening hypoglycemia, according to 2019 research.

    You should not take insulin unless you have diabetes. If you do have diabetes, talk with your doctor about how your training regimen may affect your blood sugar levels.

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