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What is Fast-acting Insulin

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Fast acting insulin, lowers blood sugar after meals and begins acting within 15 minutes of injection. Some of the advantages of taking fast-acting insulin are:

  1. It is absorbed quickly from your fat tissue into the bloodstream.
  2. It is prescribed to manage blood sugar levels during meals and snacks and to control high glucose in the bloodstream.


How Long Does Fast-acting Insulin Last?

Analogs, such as insulin aspart, insulin lispro, and insulin glulisine, have an onset of action of 5 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, they have a peak effect in 1 to 2 hours and a duration of action lasting for 4 to 6 hours.

The onset of action and the time to peak effect of fast-acting insulin are similar. The duration of it is affected by the dose. Hence, a few units may last 4 hours or less, while 25 or 30 units may last 5 to 6 hours.

For a safe medical estimate, it has an average duration of action of 4 hours.


Insulin Brands

Some of the known brands of a fast-acting insulin are the following:

  • Humalog are prescribed to patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels. It is a fast-acting insulin that starts working immediately for a shorter period than regular human insulin.
  • Novolog that helps control blood sugar spikes. It is effective both on children and adults. Typically, Nololog is taken together with long-acting insulin.
  • Apidra used for adults and children with high blood sugar. When used as a mealtime  Apidra is typically given 15 minutes before or within 20 minutes after a meal.


Side Effects

When taking any brand of fast-acting insulin, you should note some of the adverse effects you may experience shortly after injection:

  • Rashes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Weight gain
  • Swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
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