- Clinical science
Insulin is an anabolic peptide hormone that is produced and secreted from beta cells located in the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas. It has important metabolic functions, which include promoting the storage of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fat in the liver, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissues. By modulating glucose absorption from the blood, insulin lowers blood glucose levels. Insulin therapy is an important part of treatment for individuals with insufficient or absent insulin production (e.g., diabetes mellitus, gestational diabetes). Several insulin analogs (e.g., insulin glargine) are available that are related to human insulin but have a different molecular structure and differ in onset, peak, and duration compared to human insulin. It is crucial that patients receiving insulin therapy undergo in-depth training to prevent potentially life-threatening conditions such as hypoglycemia as a result of an insulin overdose or drug interactions.
For further information on insulin therapy and regimens, see .
|Types of insulinand trade names||Effect||Application||Special features|
|Insulin lispro|| || || |
|Regular insulin|| || || |
|NPH insulin|| |
|Insulin glargine|| || |
|Mixed insulin|| |
- Insulin is an anabolic peptide hormone; that is produced and secreted from beta cells in the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas in response to a rise in blood glucose
- Several insulin analogs (e.g., insulin glargine) are available that are related to human insulin but have a different molecular structure; after injection they exert the same actions but differ in onset, peak and duration compared to human insulin
- Insulin binds to insulin receptors (a type of tyrosine kinase receptor) located in various tissues in the body (e.g., liver, skeletal muscle, adipose tissue) and has the following actions:
|Carbohydrate metabolism|| |
|Lipid metabolism|| || |
|Protein metabolism|| |
|Other effects|| |
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
Type 2 diabetes mellitus, if weight normalization, physical activity, and oral antidiabetic drugs do not keep blood glucose levels in the target range
- All type 2 diabetic patients with end stage renal failure (oral antidiabetic drugs are contraindicated in this case)
- Pancreatic insufficiency with secondary diabetes
- Gestational diabetes, if change of diet is not sufficient
- Acute hyperkalemia: A drip containing regular insulin and a solution of glucose reduces blood potassium levels.
- See also “ ” in .
|Either increased or decreased|| |
- Absorption: The absorption time determines the onset, peak, and duration of effect.
Prolonged absorption time
- Low temperature
- Peripheral injection site
- Superficial subcutaneous injection
Shorter absorption time
- Manipulative therapy (e.g., massages)
- Deep subcutaneous injection
- Injection into the abdominal skin around the navel