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Insulin Action & Tails

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by MomofSweetOne, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

    Aug 28, 2011
    What kind of insulin action do you see...and what do tails look like for you?

    I'm fascinated...or frustrated...with the way each of the insulins act in my daughter's body. I realize it's different for everyone.

    Humalog gave us nice smooth rises and falls, with a 4 hour duration. By hour 3, I could tell if she was coming to target on the Medtronic IOB calculator.

    Novolog was similar but not as smooth. It went up smoothly but came down in drops, flats, followed by more drops. It was a bit hard to tell when the insulin was done acting at times.

    Apidra doesn't seem to have the fast action others write about. It seems to be at four hours. It almost seems the spikes are faster and the drops are faster but also that she flatlines at the top of the spike for longer. We need to do lots of basal and settings testing next week, but thus far we're getting really fast drops needing lots of carbs around 11 p.m, but then the rest of the night is going really well. We've slept through the night more times in January than we did the entire month of December.

    I guess part of what I'm looking to learn is whether Apidra dawdles and then comes back with a kick unexpectedly later? I've never seen what we're seeing now, but like I said, we need to do lots of testing.
  2. Ali

    Ali Approved members

    Aug 1, 2006
    Different from you. Humalog the most choppy, Novolog smooth but a long tail and not a match for food, i.e. up high then low at three hours and had to eat a bunch to cover the tail through hour 4. Reduce the insulin and never got meal spikes covered, i.e. up to 200 etc. Apidra, do not need to bolus 15-20 minutes in advance, stops after 2.5 hours no tail to feed, both food and insulin for me are out of my system by the 2 to 3 hour mark.
  3. Manuel

    Manuel Approved members

    Aug 3, 2016
    We have try only Novolog. With MDI the absorption was fast and the rises and falls were smooth. But now with the omnipod the absorption is slow and the rises and falls look just as you described: up smooth, then flat, drop, flat, drop.

    I will give it a try to humalog.
  4. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Aug 27, 2007
    Good post! Understanding how long various insulins are active is a key part of D management. Coming from a science background I spent a lot of time observing my daughter's responses to various insulins.

    For Novolog (sold as Novorapid in Canada) we saw the following after injections:
    - after 1 hour 25% used up
    - after 2 hours 60 % used up
    - after 3 hour 85% used up
    - after 4 hours 95 % used up, and done by 5 hours

    For Apidra we saw the following after injections:
    - after 1 hour 35% used up
    - after 2 hours 75 % used up
    - after 3 hour 95% used up, and done by 4 hours

    We never used Humalog, so I have nothing to add there.
  5. Sprocket

    Sprocket Approved members

    Mar 6, 2014
    I would agree that Apidra (at least for my DD) takes less time (than Novorapid) to act, has a nice steady action and by 2.5 hours, I can't expect any further drop. It doesn't have a final kick at 2-3 hours like Novorapid has shown us. We also find the injection site makes a huge difference with rapid acting insulins - abdomen being the quickest, leg, arm the slowest. If DD eats something with a high GI, we use Apidra, if we're eating pasta or something with a slower rise, we use Novorapid.

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