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Other ways of classifying insulins

More recently, two new ways of classifying insulin have emerged:

  • Concentrated insulins - preparations in which there is a smaller volume of liquid to inject with a higher concentration of insulin
  • Biosimilar insulins - insulins produced using modern biotechnological methods

Concentrated insulins

(Where 1mL liquid volume ALWAYS contains more than 100 units of insulin)

These are typically indicated for individuals who require a large amount of insulin to help regulate blood glucose levels (e.g., more than 100 units per day)

A more concentrated preparation enables a smaller volume of insulin to be injected

In the UK, Diabetes specialists are often involved when use of these insulins is being considered

‘Concentrate on Concentration’ when prescribing these insulins

Types of ‘concentrated’ insulins:

  • U500 insulin (available as Humulin R in the UK), where 1mL volume = 500 units of insulin
  • U300 insulin lantus (available as Toujeo in the UK), where 1mL volume = 300 units of insulin
  • U200 insulin degludec (available as Tresiba in the UK), where 1mL volume = 200 units of insulin
  • U200 insulin lispro (available as Humalog 200 in the UK), where 1mL volume = 200 units of insulin

Biosimilar insulins

These are insulins produced using modern biotechnological methods.

They have a clinical and safety profile comparable with existing insulins and their clinical use could be associated with equivalent clinical action at a lower cost.

Types of ‘biosimular’ insulins:

Only one currently available in the UK is Insulin glargine (available as Abasaglar in the UK)

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This article is from the free online course:

Understanding Insulin

University of Southampton

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