Insulin analogues and other developments in insulin therapy for diabetes

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2003 Jul;4(7):1141-56. doi: 10.1517/14656566.4.7.1141.


Diabetes mellitus is a common chronic disorder, which is increasing in prevalence on a global scale. Insulin replacement therapy is required for all people with Type 1 diabetes and for many with Type 2 diabetes, to correct the metabolic abnormalities of these disorders. However, the pharmacokinetics and glucodynamics of available insulins have numerous limitations. Problems include delayed absorption from subcutaneous absorption sites (soluble [regular] insulin), and wide variability of absorption characteristics (insulin isophane suspension [NPH] and insulin lente) that is influenced by the adequacy of resuspension, and by a variable and insufficient duration of action, which usually requires intermediate-acting insulins to be administered twice-daily. All insulin preparations are associated with the common side effect of hypoglycaemia, and encourage weight gain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hypoglycemic Agents* / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents* / pharmacokinetics
  • Hypoglycemic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Insulin* / analogs & derivatives
  • Insulin* / pharmacokinetics
  • Insulin* / therapeutic use
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin