What You Need To Know About Diabetes And Insulin Medications

Depending on the type of diabetes and the severity of the issue it is possible that you might not even need insulin to live a healthy and normal life. In fact, some individuals are just able to adjust their diet and way of living to get by. With that being said, some individuals don’t have a choice and have to take insulin in order to get by. Whatever the situation is, choosing to take insulin is never an easy task, and there are many different considerations that must be made. How do you even know if you need insulin, when do you start taking it, and what is the best type of insulin for you to take? Before you just run out and start a long-term plan with your healthcare provider there are several different things that you need to know about insulin medications.

Below, you will learn more about diabetes and the different types of insulin drugs that available to you.

Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin

When most people think of insulin they automatically think of type I diabetes. Well, you might be surprised to learn that between 30 to 40 of people suffering from types II diabetes are currently taking insulin. In fact, the recent studies show that more people with type II are taking insulin as compared to people with type I. Why is this so? This is the case, because there is a larger population of people that are actually suffering with type II diabetes. Experts say that if you are diagnosed with type II diabetes there will become a point in your life where you will have to take insulin in order to live a healthy and normal life.

Understanding Why Insulin Is So Important

The pancreas is a gland that is located behind your stomach and it is solely responsible for producing the hormone known as insulin. This hormone is what allows your body to convert glucose from food into energy. Glucose is basically just a type of sugar that can be found in a variety of different carbohydrates. After consuming carbohydrates your body will break them down and convert them into usable energy. Once this energy enters your bloodstream it is the responsibility of the insulin to make sure that the cells absorb the energy appropriately. In addition to this, insulin will also make sure that your glucose levels are always balanced out, as they should be.

If your body has too much glucose the insulin will automatically tell your body to store the extra in your liver. Once the levels are dropped your body can tap into this energy that is stored in the liver. If your body doesn’t have enough insulin then your body will signal the pancreas to produce more. As you can see, insulin plays a major role in the body, and the slightest off set can have major negative impacts.

A Look At The Different Insulin Drugs Available

As a diabetic you will quickly discover that there are a variety of different insulin medications available to you. Insulin was basically created to mimic the action of the pancreas by releasing small amount of insulin to balance out your glucose levels. Most types of insulin including Canadian insulin can be characterized by the way it works.

  • Onset – The onset basically describes how long it takes for the insulin to hit the bloodstream and start adjusting the glucose levels.
  • Peak – Peak is basically what the name suggests, and it is when the insulin is working at its most effective levels.
  • Duration – This is just basically how long the insulin stays active in the body.

Of course, you need to keep in mind that every individual is different and everyone’s body will react in different manners to different drugs. This is why it is imperative that you rely on a medical professional for assistance in adjusting your medicine to specifically fit your needs.

Now, that you know a little bit about the drugs it will be time to look at the different types of insulin medications available to you.

  • Rapid-acting insulin – After being injected into the blood stream the insulin will begin to take affect in about 15 minutes. However, this medicine will peak in just under an hour and the effects will last for a few hours. This type of medication must be injected right before consuming a meal, and it is imperative that all meals are consumed on time.
  • Short-acting insulin – Short acting insulin is a bit different, as it beings to take affect 30 minutes after injection. Unfortunately, it takes right around 2 to 3 hours before this type of medication peaks and the effects can last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours.
  • Intermediate-acting insulin – Intermediate acting insulin is in a whole different category, because it was actually created to control glucose levels for 10 to 12 hours.

Long-acting insulin – While long-acting insulin enters the bloodstream 1 to 2 hours after

  • injection, its effects can last as long as 24 hours. This type of insulin was actually designed to act just like the pancreas, so there is no peak.

How To Take Your Insulin

When it comes to administering insulin, you will discover that there are a wide range of different methods available for administering the medicine. Below, you will learn about some of the methods, and which ones might be more suitable for your specific needs.

  • Syringe filled needles – One of the oldest and most popular methods of administering insulin is with a syringe. This method is so popular because it can be measured quickly and accurately. However, some individuals have a fear of needles, so other methods might be more suitable.
  • Insulin Pens – Insulin pens are somewhat similar to that of syringes. However, they have built-in cartridges that are prefilled with insulin. Once used you will have to simply replace the cartridge with another one.

Visiting Your Doctor

When it comes down to it, nobody is able to figure out what type of insulin diabetesdrugs they should be consuming on their own. Instead, it is absolutely pertinent for you to visit your primary physician to discuss the situation with him or her. If you do not speak with a doctor and you wind up taking a medication haphazardly, there is a possibly that you’ll experience negative side effects. Before taking any type of medicine, you should take the time to speak with your doctor. Tell them about your situation and take the time to figure out what works before you.

Remember that there are tons of different drugs for diabetics and not all of them will work well for everyone. Therefore, you will need to take an individualistic approach to the situation at hand.

Medication Precautions

Before doing anything, you should realize that all drugs come with some degree of risks. For instance, if you’re taking a specific type of medication, there is a possibility that the remedy will had an adverse reaction with another medicine that you’re consuming. There is also a possibility that you should not consume a drug before driving an automobile or operating machinery. Before doing anything, you should make sure that you’re going to be taking a medicine that is actually safe for you. Do not consume anything that could potentially put you in a risky situation.

Again, speak with your doctor to ensure that your insulin drug is safe for you and will not have any negative interactions with your other medications.

When To Take Insulin Medications

Another thing to remember is that there are tons of medications frequently prescribed to diabetics. Each medicine is unique and the instructions from one product to the next can vary widely. With this in mind, you should realize that the frequency of consumption will depend solely on the type of drugs that you’re taking. If you’re going to be consuming a diabetes medication, you need to make sure that you take it correctly. Some can be taken once a day, while others should be consumed after each meal. And, there are other drugs that must be taken when you feel your blood sugar dropping.

In order to figure out what works best for you, it is pertinent to speak with your doctor. Usually, most diabetics will be required to take two shots each day to keep their blood sugar in control. Others may need 3 or 4 shorts each day. Speak with your doctor to find out what will work best for your unique situation.

Proper Insulin Storage

One of the most important aspects of insulin that you must consider is how to store it. While some manufacturers will recommend storing their insulin in the refrigerator, this may not be necessary. According to the American Diabetes Association, insulin can be stored at room temperature for up to one month after the date the vial is opened.

If you are like most people, you probably buy several vials of insulin at once to save money. While this is great, it is important to make sure you store all the unused bottles in the refrigerator. Injecting cold insulin can be mildly painful, which is why many diabetics prefer leaving their medicine at room temperature. If you do decide to keep it in the refrigerator, you should remove it prior to your next injection. Never put the vials of insulin in the refrigerator or expose them to direct sunlight.


Lantus is classified as a long-acting insulin, which means it works for up to 24 hours. Many physicians and endocrinologists will prescribe Lantus along with rapid-acting or short-acting insulin to prevent hyperglycemia. In this case, the rapid-acting insulin will only be utilized on an as needed basis. You will only inject the Lantus once a day and the rapid-acting insulin, when your blood glucose is higher than normal.

Never inject fast-acting or short-acting insulin without checking your blood glucose level first. If your blood sugar is low, you should consume a piece of fruit or a glass of juice to increase your glucose prior to injecting any type of insulin.


Afrezza is a very fast acting medication, but it is unique. The medicine is actually inhaled. This makes it a great alternative for consumers that are sick of getting shots. This drug should not be used for patients suffering from episodes of low blood sugar or those with chronic lung problems. Afrezza is approved by the FDA and it has been proven to be very helpful for adult diabetics, who need to control their blood sugar during mealtime. This insulin drug will reach its maximum effectiveness within 12 to 15 minutes and it can remain active in the body for at least 3 hours.


Humalog is one of the most popular insulin drugs on the market. It comes in the form of a pen and is incredibly easy to use. In most cases, the U-200 KwikPen is a good option for patients that need to remain in control of their insulin during mealtime. Over the years, it is suggested that nine out of 10 patients have preferred this product compared to the alternatives. The insulin is very easy to inject, so you should have little to no trouble getting insulin when you need it. On average, the user should consume around 20 to 39 units of the medication around their daily mealtime.


Humulin is a very effective drug for controlling high blood sugar in adult diabetics. It can also be utilized for children suffering from diabetes mellitus. This insulin is recommended for patients that need more than 200 unit each day. It is considered to be the most concentrated insulin on the market and is available in various forms. For instance, you can acquire it in vials or in an injector pen form. The good news is that Humulin is fairly inexpensive and you should be able to get cost savings by relying on your insurance.

If you want to inject less liquid, but still get the require dose, you will definitely want to check out the Humulin KwikPen.


Apidra is a very common mealtime insulin for adult patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. It is best to use this medication approximately 20 minutes after or before a meal. Remember that you should be very careful when utilizing this medicine. Never share your needs or pens with another individual, as this could cause diseases to be spread around. Apidra has very few side effects, but the most common one is hypoglycemia.