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Diabetes Care. 1993 Dec;16 Suppl 3:90-100.

Clinical pharmacology of human insulin.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases (WHO Collaborating Center for Diabetes), Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf, Germany.


Nowadays, human insulin is used daily by millions of diabetic patients. The biological effect of human insulin is comparable to that of porcine insulin. However, after subcutaneous injection, pharmacological and clinical studies showed pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic differences between human and animal insulins. Human insulin tends to have faster absorption and shorter duration of action compared with animal insulin. These differences are more pronounced and can be of clinical relevance with intermediate- and long-acting insulin preparations. Optimal metabolic control can be achieved with either human or highly purified animal insulin preparations, provided appropriate insulin replacement strategies are used.

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