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What is Intermediate-acting Insulin?

What is Intermediate-acting Insulin? Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, intermediate-acting insulin, also called isophane insulin, is used to manage high blood sugar in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

As a result of their body’s inability to produce insulin, people with type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, are unable to regulate their blood sugar levels. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is a metabolic condition that steadily worsens due to lifestyle and genetic factors.

You can take intermediate-acting insulin often with short-acting insulin. It usually starts working during the first hour of injection, with seven-hour peak effectiveness.


How does Intermediate-acting Insulin Work?

You may be wondering how intermediate-acting insulins act in your body. Here is a detailed list of how they help you manage your insulin and blood sugar levels:

  1. They serve as a substitute for baseline insulin and operate as an inducer of hepatic glycogen synthesis (the process of glucose production in the liver) and fatty acid metabolism for the synthesis of lipoproteins.
  2. They aid in boosting the liver, adipose tissue, and skeletal muscles’ capacity to absorb glucose.
  3. They encourage the production of protein and glycogen in skeletal muscles.
  4. They aid in creating triglycerides, a form of fat, in fatty tissues and control lipolysis (breaking down fats and other lipids) to release fatty acids.


Intermediate-acting Insulin Side Effects

Common adverse effects of intermediate-acting include:

  • Pain, redness, and irritation to the injection site
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea


Other rare side effects also include:

  • Weight gain
  • Hypokalemia (low blood potassium level) (low blood potassium level)
  • Muscle pain
  • Dizziness
  • Arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs swelling
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Tremors
  • Paresthesia
  • Lipodystrophy
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level)
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Blurry eyesight


Intermediate-acting Insulin Brand Names

Intermediate-acting insulins may also are known as Isophane or Neutral Protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulins. The following are intermediate-acting insulin brand names available in the market:


Reminder: If you take these medications with other drugs, check with your doctor or pharmacist about how they interact and if they would have any side effects on you. Similarly,  never stop taking your medicine or change the quantity/ strength/ schedule or frequency without consulting your doctor.

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