You are watching: How much is 1 unit of insulin

What is it?

Insulin is a substance developed by the pancreas the is supplied by the human body to breakdown sugars in the blood. While in a healthy and balanced adult that occurs naturally in the body, it have the right to be manufactured from artificial materials or harvested and refined from animal sources so the it deserve to be provided to patients who have a shortage the insulin in your bodies.

What is it used for?

Insulin is mostly used in the therapy of diabetes. Who who has diabetes has actually too much sugar in their blood; come maintain reduced blood sugar levels that space in the regular range, diabetics are regularly given insulin.

What is the exactly dosage?

The exactly dosing that insulin is an extremely important:

Giving a patient too little insulin does not adequately lower blood street so the they are still left through too much sugar in the blood; too lot sugar the the blood can cause damage come blood vessels, causing blindness, kidney failure, severe problems with four (especially the feet), stroke and also heart disease.

Giving a patience too much insulin can lower blood sugar also much and lead to dangerously low levels of sugar in the blood, which can reason seizures and coma, due to the fact that the mind depends mostly on glucose (sugar) in the blood because that fuel. Even before a person"s blood street level autumn low sufficient to cause seizure or coma, short blood sugar levels deserve to lead to mood swings, impaired psychological function, blurred vision, nausea and also vomiting, love palipitations and shakiness.

How is the given?

Insulin is offered by injection since it can not be bring away orally - the stomach will certainly break it under so that is is no longer efficient in breaking down blood sugar.

Insulin should constantly be dosed using one-of-a-kind insulin syringes marked with insulin units. Usual insulin U-100 syringes can hold 100 units; over there are likewise Lo-dose syringes, which are syringes that deserve to hold a full of 30 systems or 50 units. (See picture below.)


The above picture shows the syringes themselves but they are so tiny that they can be tough to read, so often we flatten out the measure up on the next of the syringes, so that each syringe label looks something prefer the photos below:


Lo-Dose insulin syringe because that measuring as much as 50 devices Each note is 1 unit apart.
Insulin syringe for measuring up to 100 units Each mark is 2 devices apart.
Insulin syringe because that measuring as much as 100 systems Each note is 2 units apart. also numbers are significant on the scale on the rightand odd number are significant on the scale on the left.

How is that measured?

Insulin is measure in International Units (units); most insulin is U-100, which method that 100 devices of insulin space equal to 1 mL.

What are the different kinds the insulin?

There are two various ways in i m sorry insulin deserve to be classified.

Origin: Is the insulin obtained from pet sources, such as beef and/or pork, or human sources in a laboratory? This deserve to be important, together a drug order might specify the beginning of the prescribed insulin, since some patient respond much more effectively to insulin from one resource rather than another.

Action: How quickly does the insulin take effect? there are now four straightforward action speed of insulin:

Rapid Action: The many rapidly-acting insulins are reasonably new; the the two brands available, one has been approximately for 5 years and the other, 10 year (by comparison, the rapid action insulins were arisen in the th 1920"s). These insulins start to occupational in 5-10 minutes, optimal in 1-1.5 hours, and end in 3-5 hours. This rapid-acting insulins space taken at the beginning of a enjoy the meal to against the increase in blood sugar due to eating, or they are offered to reduced blood street levels easily when they are too high. The name lispro (brand name Humalog) and insulin aspart (brand surname Novolog) both suggest rapid-action insulins.

Fast Action: Fast-acting insulin begins to occupational in about fifty percent an hour, top in 2.5 come 5 hours, and then finish in about 8 hours. Fast activity insulins are regularly taken around a half hour prior to a meal, to against the increase in blood sugar that follows. The surname Regular and also Semilente (the term used by the Humulin brand) both indicate fast-action insulins. To check out a intuitive illustration of the distinction in action between rapid and fast-acting insulins, watch the charts listed below which present insulin levels over time in hrs after one insulin injection:

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Intermediate Action: The intermediate-acting insulins start to job-related in 1.5 come 2.5 hours, peak in 4 come 15 hours, and also then end in 16 to 24 hours. The name NPH and Lente (the term offered by the Humulin brand) both show intermediate activity insulins.

Long Action: The long-acting insulins begin to occupational in about 4 hours, optimal in about 10 come 30 hours, and also end in around 36 hours. The name Ultralente (the term offered by the Humulin brand) indicates a long activity insulin. The name glargine (brand surname Lantus) likewise indicates a fairly newly arisen long-acting insulin, but it has a much more even activity which keeps insulin levels secure throughout the day, so that does not height in the method that the various other insulins do. (See graph below.) Glargine/Lantus can not be mixed with various other insulins.


Sometimes 2 different action speeds of insulin might be ordered come be provided at the very same time. Once this happens, both insulins are attracted up into the exact same syringe and also given concurrently so the the patient does not have to be stuck with a syringe more than once. Once this happens, the an ext rapidly exhilaration insulin is always drawn up right into the syringe first, because this avoids any kind of possibility of the much more rapidly exhilaration insulins being contaminated v the much more slowly exhilaration kinds. It likewise establishes a habitual order in the dosing process that helps to get rid of the mistake which occurs once the human being measuring the insulin confuses the sheep of the fast-acting insulin with the sheep of the more slowly-acting insulin.

Rapid and also fast acting insulins are constantly clear, and intermediate or long-acting insulins are always cloudy (except glargine/Lantus, which is clear) , because the longer acting insulins space actually made up of a suspension - if you look closely at insulin labels, you deserve to see the the longer-acting insulins are constantly described together suspensions.