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From Los Angeles, California, USA:

I'm 25 year old, female, and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two months ago. What is the difference between NPH and Regular insulin?


Regular insulin is the only clear insulin or solution of insulin; all the others are suspensions. Regular insulin is the only insulin appropriate for IV administration. Regular insulin's onset of activity is in 30 to 60 minutes, with the peak of activity at 2 to 4 hours. The therapeutic duration of Regular insulin is 6 to 8 hours, although it is pharmcokinetically active for 5 to 12 hours.

NPH insulin contains protamine and some zinc, and is considered as intermediate in action. In contrast to Regular insulin, the onset of activity of NPH insulin is 1 to 4 hours, with the peak effect at 8 +/- 2 hours and therapeutic effect for 10 to 16 hours. It is pharmacokinetically active for 16 to 24 hours.

Human biosynthetic NPH insulin appears to be absorbed faster and therefore acts more quickly than animal-derived NPH insulin, even though the pharmacological effect is similar.


Original posting 2 Jan 1999
Posted to Insulin


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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