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What Is Rapid Acting Insulin?

rapid acting insulin

Rapid acting Insulin, a kind of analogue insulins, can be administered intravenously or through an insulin pump. They are typically taken just before or immediately after a meal.

As the name suggests, they act very quickly in minimizing high sugar levels after eating. People with type 1 diabetes typically take this insulin. However, there may be times when they can also be prescribed for patients with type 2 diabetes.

Since it is work so quickly, there is a risk of hypoglycemia. This is why utmost care should be observed when taking this prescription drug.

How Does Rapid-acting Insulin Work?

Rapid acting insulin functions are almost similar to natural human insulin.

They act faster than soluble insulin. It is why these drugs are highly effective around mealtimes.

They work by replacing the insulin typically produced by the body. Other than that, rapid-acting insulin also helps regulate blood sugar levels. More importantly, they inhibit the liver from making more sugar which could do more harm than good to your body.

Rapid-acting Insulin names

Currently, there are three brands of rapid-acting insulin available, specifically:


Fiasp and NovoRapid (insulin aspart)

Onset: 15-30 mins

Peak: 30-90 mins

Duration: 3-5 hours


Humalog (insulin lispro)

Onset: 10-20 mins

Peak: 40-50 mins

Duration: 3-5 hours


Apidra (insulin glulisine)

Onset: 20-30 mins

Peak: 30-90 mins

Duration: 1-2.5 hours


After injection, rapid-acting insulin begins to function between 2.5 to 20 minutes. Its effects peak between one and three hours after injection and last up to five hours.

Like the body’s natural insulin, this kind of insulin medicine reacts more rapidly after a meal, lowering the risk of low blood sugar (below 4 mmol/L).  It is important to note that you must eat immediately or shortly after injecting.



Here are the two main types of rapid-acting insulin that you may have already heard of if you are dealing with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes:

Humalog can be taken together with intermediate or longer-acting insulin for a more effective management of your sugar levels.

Novorapid can be combined with other longer-lasting types of insulin. In this manner, you can maintain an average blood sugar level all day.

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