What Is the Difference Between Humalog and Humulin?

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Humalog is a rapid-acting insulin treatment for diabetes, while Humulin is short-acting, according to Drugs.com. Humalog has an on-set time of 15 minutes, a peak effectiveness at 1 1/2 hours and a duration of two to five hours. Humulin has an on-set time of 30 to 60 minutes, a peak effectiveness between two and five hours and a duration of six to eight hours.

It is important to understand how insulin works within the body to determine the best course of action for individual treatment. Drugs.com explains that insulin is classified based on three main evaluation criteria: on-set, peak and duration. On-set is defined as how soon the insulin starts to work, and peak refers to when it is working most effectively. Duration means how long the insulin lasts within the body.

Effective drug treatment depends on the type of diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes requires the use of replacement insulin, which can be delivered through injection, inhalation or pump. An ultra-rapid-acting insulin, Afrezza, was approved by the FDA in June of 2014. Insulin sources vary and can be from either animal, human or genetically engineered sources. There are more than 20 different types of insulin available within the United States.