Analogues are new insulin compounds which are increasingly used. They are manufactured in the laboratory by modifying the chemical structure of human insulin so that the resulting compound has different chemical properties to human insulin. Insulin analogues are therefore manmade or artificial products.
The main difference is usually in the ‘time action profile’. This means the new insulin either works faster and for shorter periods or have a more prolonged course of action for twenty four hours.
Insulin Aspart (NovorapidR)
Humalog Mix25 - 25% Humalog, 75% Humulin I
Humalog Mix50 - 50% Humalog, 50% Humulin I
NovoMix30 - 30% Novorapid, 70% Insulatard
Note: further information on the above insulins is to be provided
The advantage in terms of improved glycaemic control is not that great. It is possible to achieve equally good control using conventional insulin.
Yes. Current practice suggest insulin analogues are indeed safe. However, as with all new drugs, long term safety can only be concluded by experience of use in patients over many years.
Concerns have been raised as to the potential to cause cancer though these fears are unfounded.
These drugs have not as yet been licensed for use in pregnancy.
Dr Nishan Wijenaike, Consultant Physician
West Suffolk Hospitals Diabetes Service
(Revised April 2006)