Factors Affecting the Absorption of Subcutaneously Administered Insulin: Effect on Variability

J Diabetes Res. 2018 Jul 4;2018:1205121. doi: 10.1155/2018/1205121. eCollection 2018.


Variability in the effect of subcutaneously administered insulin represents a major challenge in insulin therapy where precise dosing is required in order to achieve targeted glucose levels. Since this variability is largely influenced by the absorption of insulin, a deeper understanding of the factors affecting the absorption of insulin from the subcutaneous tissue is necessary in order to improve glycaemic control and the long-term prognosis in people with diabetes. These factors can be related to either the insulin preparation, the injection site/patient, or the injection technique. This review highlights the factors affecting insulin absorption with special attention on the physiological factors at the injection site. In addition, it also provides a detailed description of the insulin absorption process and the various modifications to this process that have been utilized by the different insulin preparations available.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous*
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Insulin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Lipodystrophy
  • Needles
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin