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Soluble Insulin

  • Actrapid
  • Humulin S
  • Hypurin Porcine Neutral
  • Insuman Rapid

Once injected it is absorbed into the bloodstream and starts to work within 30 minutes, peaking between 2-4 hours after and lasts for up to 8 hours. Usually injected 20-30 minutes before main meals.

Quick-Acting Analogue Insulin

  • Humalog
  • Novorapid
  • Apidra

Used instead of soluble insulin, QA Analogue insulin should be injected immediately before or immediately after main meals. It works within 15 minutes of injecting, peaks between 50-90 minutes and can continue to have an effect on blood sugar for 2-5 hours, depending on the insulin dose. The higher the dose the longer the duration of action.


Isophane Insulin

  • Insulatard
  • Humulin I
  • Hypurin Porcine Isophane
  • Insuman Basal

Isophane Insulins are cloudy in appearance, requiring mixing prior to injection. More often these insulins are taken twice daily in the morning and again at bed time. However may also be once daily. They begin to work 2 hours after injection, peaking at 4-6 hours and last for 8-14 hours.

Long Acting Analogue

  • Levemir ( Can be taken once or twice daily )

  • Lantus ( Usually taken once daily at the same time of day )

Long acting analogues are clear in colour, can be used instead of Isophane and last longer, beginning to work 2 hours after injection and last for 18-24 hours.


A mixture of quick acting and longer acting insulin, pre mixed in various strengths.

Mixed human insulin

  • Humulin M3
  • Insuman Comb 15
  • Insuman Comb 25
  • Insuman Comb 50

  • Usually taken twice daily prior to eating breakfast and evening meal.

Mixed Analogue

  • Novomix 30
  • Humalog mix 50 (sometimes injected 3 x daily, with an additional lunchtime dose.)
  • Humalog mix 25

Analogue mixes have a quicker action; they are usually administered twice daily and can be given immediately before or immediately after breakfast and evening meal.

Insulin Resource Table

Insulin Names Onset Peak Duration
Novorapid, Humalog Apidra 5 - 15 mins 50 - 90 mins 2 - 5 hours
Actrapid, HumulinS, Hypurin Neutral 30 mins 2 - 4 hours Up to 8 hours
Insulatard, Humulin I, Hypurin Isophane 2 hours 4 - 6 hours 8 - 14 hours
Levemir 2 hours No distinct peak Up to 18 hours
Lantus 2 hours No distinct peak Up to 18 - 24 hours

For more information on insulin and insulin pens look up meds kit document

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