What are concentrated insulins?

What is concentrated insulin?

All About Insulin, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Medicine

There are now several different types of concentrated insulin available in the United States and your doctor may have recommended one to you to manage your higher insulin doses.

A doctor may recommend a more concentrated form of insulin to manage patients with diabetes who require higher insulin doses. There are now several different types of concentrated insulin available in the United States. Insulin is classically prescribed at a very specific concentration – called U-100. The U stands for units. The 100 stands for the number of units present in the liquid (1 milliliter). U-100 insulin has 100 units in 1 milliliter. U-100 is also referred to as “regular” insulin, but this is misleading since many different types of insulin come in this concentration.

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Your doctor might recommend:
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    Changing all of your shots over to a concentrated insulin

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    Changing only the long acting insulin shot or the shot you take at meal time


The new available concentrated insulins are: Degludec U-200, Lispro U-200, Glargine U-300, Regular U-500

These are the different types of concentrated insulin:

U-500 Regular Mealtime Insulin

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    Typically recommended when the dose of insulin for the entire day is greater than 200units (calculated by adding up all the shots taken during the day).

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    5 times more concentrated than “regular” insulin

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    Can be prescribed either twice or three times per day, to be given 30 to 60 minutes before a meal.


U-200 Lispro Mealtime Insulin

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    This is almost identical in action to the very commonly used insulin lispro U-100

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    Currently only available in pen form and is very convenient for patients on doses of more than 30 units of insulin with their meals.


U-200 Degludec and U-300 Glargine

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    Ultralong-acting insulins

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    Last longer than 24 hours in the body, therefore convenient as the exact time of day this injection is taken can be less precise without affecting the blood sugar.

This U-100 abbreviation is similar to what beer companies use when they provide the percentage of alcohol (alcohol by volume) on the bottom of a beer bottle. Beer that contains 5% alcohol is not as strong as one that has 9% alcohol. The higher the concentration percentage, the more alcohol you are drinking in the same 12-ounce bottle. In a very similar way, U-200, U-300, and U-500 are more concentrated forms of insulin – meaning they have much more insulin in the same amount of liquid. If you took the same size injection of U-500 (as compared to U-100) you would get 5 times the insulin! This is like drinking a beer that has 25% alcohol. Be prepared to get drunk on much less!

If you took the same size injection of U-500 (as compared to U-100) you would get 5 times the insulin! This is like drinking a beer that has 25% alcohol.
About the Author
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Chris Palmeiro D.O.

Dr. Palmeiro is Chairman of Endocrinology at the HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, he also serves patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the Westchester Institute of Human Development in Valhalla, New York. He has a Masters of Science degree in clinical nutrition and is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine. His interests within the realm of endocrinology include nutrition support, obesity counseling and the progressive management of diabetes.

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Last Modified: Jun 17, 2017 @ 3:25 pm

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What is concentrated insulin?
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What is concentrated insulin?
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A doctor may recommend a more concentrated form of insulin to manage patients with diabetes who require higher insulin doses.
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