A drug may be classified by the chemical type of the active ingredient or by the way it is used to treat a particular condition. Each drug can be classified into one or more drug classes.
Insulin is a polypeptide hormone that is important for regulating the amount of glucose in the blood. It is produced in the pancreas by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans.
Insulin given by injection acts similar to endogenous insulin. There are more than 20 different types of insulin available for diabetes treatment in the United States. The various types of insulin differ in several ways: such as source (animal, human or genetically engineered), the time for insulin to take effect and the length of time the insulin remains working.
Different types of insulin have been developed to satisfy the needs of individual patients.
Insulin is classified according to how it works in the body (onset, peak and duration) and whether it is rapid acting, short acting, intermediate acting, long acting or very long acting.
Insulin is used to treat Type 1 diabetes and it may be used together with oral medication in later stages of Type 2 diabetes.
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Data sources include Micromedex® (updated Oct 30th, 2014), Cerner Multum™ (updated Nov 17th, 2014), Wolters Kluwer™ (updated Nov 3rd, 2014) and others. To view content sources and attributions, refer to our editorial policy.