U500 regular insulin use in insulin-resistant type 2 diabetic veteran patients

Endocr Pract. Jan-Feb 2012;18(1):34-8. doi: 10.4158/EP11043.OR.


Objective: To evaluate the use of U500 regular insulin therapy in insulin-resistant patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who were previously treated with high-dosage U100 insulin regimens.

Methods: At a large Veterans Affairs medical center, a retrospective chart review was performed of all patients whose U100 insulin regimens were converted to U500 regular insulin regimens using a protocol to ensure patient safety. Patients were followed up for longer than 6 months. Data reviewed included total daily dosage of insulin before and after regimen conversion and changes in hemoglobin A1c, body weight, lipids, and episodes of severe hypoglycemia.

Results: Fifty-three patients met inclusion criteria. Average hemoglobin A1c level on U100 insulin regimens was 9.1 ± 1.7%, which decreased to 8.1 ± 1.3% (P<.001) after an average of 20 months (range, 6-52 months) on U500 insulin. The total daily insulin dosage at study end was not significantly greater on U500 (415 ± 166 units/day) than on U100 insulin (391 ± 120 units/day) (P = .34). Body weight did not change significantly (134 ± 29 kg vs 136 ± 30 kg, P = .18). There was a 20-mg/dL decrease in total cholesterol (P = .014). Triglyceride values decreased by 97 mg/dL (P = .005). Eight episodes of severe hypoglycemia were documented in patients treated with U500 insulin, but this was similar to the incidence in these same patients while treated with U100 insulin.

Conclusion: We conclude that U500 insulin can be safely and effectively used in insulin-resistant patients with type 2 diabetes followed up at a large Veterans Affairs medical center using a protocol that ensures patients are thoroughly educated and carefully monitored.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / blood
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / adverse effects
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Veterans


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides