postheadericon Intermediate acting insulin and its drugs

There are many types of insulin drugs that treat diabetes. They are categorized based on how fast they act and how long they persist and the timing of dosage. One such a kind of insulin is Intermediate insulin also referred as NPH (Neutral Protamine Hagedorn) or Isophane. They help to regulate blood sugar levels and are extensively used to cure type 2 diabetes patients. The period of treatment varies from person to person as it depends on an individual life style and food habits. The action of insulin drugs also varies from day to day. Intermediate acting insulin cover the requirements of basal insulin and are made to secrete between meals and overnight. This type of insulin comes in conjunction with fast-acting insulin for achieving better blood sugar level control. The proper proportion of mixing NPH insulin with fast-acting insulin is to obtain a solution that is clear before getting cloudy. Hence the mnemonic to be remembered is “clear before cloudy”. Since NPH insulin is found to have greater risk of hypoglycemia particularly in the night time (deficiency of glucose in the blood stream), it is always used in conjunction with fast-acting insulin.

Intermediate acting insulin has its onset effect within one hour of injecting and its peak action lasts from 4 to 8 hours. The effect of this type of insulin can be noticed up to 24 hours and hence it is given once or twice a day before breakfast or before bed. Smaller doses of drugs will have earlier peak effect and persist for short time, while higher doses takes more time to reach its peak effect and persist for longer time.

NPH Insulin Drugs Names

Some of the names of insulin drugs available in practice are Humulin N, Novolin N, Novolin NPH, Gensulin N, SciLin N and Insulatard. Most of the insulin drugs are obtained from yeast or bacteria. Dosage is always expressed in USP units and is to be administrated using the calibrated syringes. Insulin is injection by the method of subcutaneous injection which means injecting under the skin. NPH drugs when used in conjunction with other insulin, should me mixed immediately before insertion. The vial containing the drug must be carefully watched so that it looks homogeneously opaque.

Humulin N

Humulin N is prepared to have slower onset of action than other insulin and has prolonged effect on the diabetic patient. It is used in the treatment of type2 diabetes. The onset effect of this drug can be found in 1-2 hours, peak effect can be felt in 6-12 hours, existing for duration of 18-24 hours.

Novolin N

Novolin N is intermediate-acting insulin that helps to regulate the blood sugar levels. It is used in adults and in children with chronic diabetes. This type of insulin starts its effect within 2-4 hours, peaks in 4-12 hours and prolongs for 12 -18 hours.

Genusulin N

Genusulin N, M10, M20, M30, M40, M50 are intermediate acting insulin. The physical and chemical property of this drug is, it has an appearance of white suspension and includes components like protamine sulfate, zinc oxide, m cresol and acidium hydrochlorium, glycerin, Sodium hydro phosphate. Genusulin N starts its action within 30 minutes of injection, peaks in 2-8 hours, prolongs for the duration of 24 hours. This profile is based on the quantity of dosage. The mode of injection is by subcutaneous injection method or in some exceptions by intramuscular injection method.

SciLin N

SciLin N is intermediate acting insulin that is used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Recombinant human insulin effectively regulates blood glucose level in type 2 diabetes. The main ingredient of this drug includes protamine zinc. This drug has shown significant improvement in patient’s health and large metabolic efficacy. SciLin N, SciLin R and SciLin M30 are in regular practice. Some of the side effects include insulin resistance, post-insulin lip dystrophy.


Insulatard is used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. This drug is available in the form of Pre-filled pens, penfill cartridges and vials. It is injected by subcutaneous injection method in the thigh, the abdominal wall. It starts to work within 1-2 hours and lasts for duration of 16-24 hours.

It is advisable to get medical help immediately if any sign of insulin allergy is found.

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