Rapid-acting insulin analogues such as insulin lispro and insulin aspart produce a more physiological profile of insulin activity than does conventional regular human insulin because of their unique pharmacokinetics. These insulin analogues are absorbed rapidly from the subcutaneous injection site, resulting in a better matching of the appearance of insulin in the circulation with nutrient absorption from the intestine. In addition, they are shorter-acting than regular human insulin, thus decreasing the risk of late postprandial hypoglycaemia due to inappropriate hyperinsulinaemia. Because self-prepared mixtures of these rapid-acting insulin analogues with longer-acting insulins such as neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin have been shown to be clinically useful, and because manufactured fixed-ratio mixtures of regular human insulin and NPH already represent a large proportion of insulin use, manufactured fixed-ratio mixtures of insulin lispro and a sustained-release insulin known as NPL have been developed (insulin lispro mixtures). NPL is a protamine-based insulin lispro formulation with pharmacokinetics and glucodynamics comparable to those of human NPH insulin. NPL was developed for use within insulin lispro mixtures because an exchange between soluble insulin lispro and protamine-bound human insulin within human NPH precludes prolonged storage of mixtures of these insulins. An insulin lispro mixture consisting of 25% insulin lispro and 75% NPL is now commercially available. This preparation is intended primarily as an alternative to human insulin 30/70, which is commonly used within a twice-daily injection regimen. A mixture containing 50% insulin lispro and 50% NPL is also available. The rapid activity of insulin lispro is maintained within insulin lispro mixtures, allowing injection just prior to a meal, a convenience that is not available with commercial mixtures of regular human insulin and human NPH insulin, which should be injected 30 to 45 minutes prior to meals. As with insulin lispro itself, the rapid action of insulin lispro within the insulin lispro mixtures also results in a smaller increase in blood glucose levels after meals than with comparable human insulin mixtures. In addition, data from two studies have shown that when Mix25 is injected prior to the evening meal the incidence of nocturnal hypoglycaemia is decreased in comparison with the same dose of human insulin 30/70. The combined rapid and prolonged insulin activity provided by insulin lispro mixtures has been defined both in healthy subjects without diabetes and in patients with diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)