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How long does Tresiba last?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on June 19, 2023.

Official answer

  • Tresiba lasts at least 42 hours.
  • It is considered an ultra-long acting insulin.
  • Tresiba is injected under the skin (subcutaneously) once a day.

Tresiba is an ultra-long-acting human insulin analog (insulin degludec) that is given by subcutaneous injection (under the skin) for the treatment of diabetes in adults and children over the age of one year.

Tresiba (insulin degludec)

  • Starts to work within 60 minutes after injection
  • Peaks in 12 hours after administration
  • Keep working for up to 42 hours.

How is Tresiba made?

Tresiba (insulin degludec) is made using genetic engineering technology.

Although it resembles human insulin in most of its structure, the amino acid threonine in position B30 has been replaced by a side chain containing glutamine and a C16 fatty acid.

Tresiba exists as stable insulin dihexamers bonded by zinc. Once Tresiba is injected, the insulin dihexamers form multihexamers. The rate of insulin absorption depends on the size of the insulin molecules, so these large insulin hexamers stay in place, creating an insulin depot (storage).

With time the zinc diffuses, which releases insulin monomers from each end of the chain. These monomers are the correct size for absorption into the bloodstream.

Because of the slow and steady way Tresiba breaks up and diffuses under the skin, it lasts for at least 42 hours. This means Tresiba can be dosed once a day, at any time of the day.

If you miss a dose of Tresiba, it should be injected as soon as you remember. However, if it is less than eight hours before your next dose, just skip that dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Modifying the structure of human insulin in this way has ensured Tresiba has a slow and consistent rate of absorption into the circulation.

The primary activity of insulin, including Tresiba, is to allow cells throughout the body to uptake glucose (sugar) and convert it into a form that can be used by these cells for energy.

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