Background: Pre-mixed insulins currently represent about 40% of the world market in human insulin. Despite the fact that many patients are being treated with these insulin formulations, there are surprisingly few data about fixed mixtures and comparisons with other administration schedules. The main advantages of using a pre-mixed preparation over a self-mixed insulin are increased accuracy of dosage, efficacy and patient convenience. These benefits may lead to increased compliance resulting in better long-term control of the disease. Insulin mixtures are used by a wide variety of patients with type-1 and type-2 diabetes. Pre-mixed insulins also appear to be useful in elderly and adolescent patients with diabetes, although there are few published data on patients in these groups.
Conclusions: It is likely that, in the future, fixed mixtures containing rapid-acting insulin analogues, such as insulin lispro, and possibly newly formulated intermediate-acting insulin analogues, such as neutral protamine lispro, may allow further improvements in both metabolic control and patient convenience.