USMLE

Short Acting Insulin

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Anti-Diabetic Drugs
  1. Insulin Overview
  2. Rapid Acting Insulin
  3. Short Acting Insulin
  4. Intermediate Acting Insulin
  5. Long Acting Insulin
  6. Metformin
  7. Sulfonylureas
  8. Canagliflozin
  9. Pioglitazone

Summary

Short-acting insulin formulations include regular insulin. As a short acting insulin, regular insulin works slower than rapid-acting insulins but faster than intermediate acting insulins, with a peak around 2 hours after subcutaneous administration. Importantly, regular insulin is special because it is the only type of insulin that can be given through an IV line. Regular insulin has a clear appearance, and when mixed in a syringe with intermediate-acting insulins, the regular insulin should be drawn up in the syringe first.

Key Points

  • Short Acting Insulin
    • Drug Names
      • Regular Insulin (Humulin R, Novolin R)
    • Onset, Peak, Duration
      • Onset = 30 minutes - 1 hour
      • Peak = ~2 hours
        • Exact peak depends on patient and ranges from 2-5 hours
      • Duration = 5-8 hours
    • Nursing Considerations
      • The only insulin administered via IV
      • Clear” in appearance
      • When mixing with NPH, draw Regular insulin FIRST
        • Clear before cloudy, or “RN” - regular before NPH