AskNadia: Injecting Insulin Once A Week

I am a 56-year-old with Type 2 and have my diabetes under control. I am seaman working on a ship. I use Humulin 70/30 thirty unit in the morning and thirty units in the evening. I heard there were new insulins that are injected once a day or once a week.
Naeem A


Dear Naeem,
The injections you are referring to is not insulin but medication for type 2 diabetes that is intended to help you maintain better blood sugars and improve your A1C.

It is not a replacement for insulin therapy.
These medications are classified as a GLP-1 receptor agonist also known as “Incretin Mimetics” meaning that they mimic the effects the hormones in your body release.
Four Incretin Mimetic Brands
Bydureon and Byetta from Bristol-Myers Squibb
Trulicity from Eli Lilly
Victoza from Novo Nordisk

Frequency of Injections
Bydureon, Victoza and Trulicity are all injected once weekly.
Byetta on the other hand is injected twice daily.
Amylin which is in a class of its own; Amylin Mimetic, is injected with meals.

How These Type 2 Medications Help With Better Blood Sugars and A Lower A1C
These medications help you achieve better blood sugars by:
~ Increasing insulin production to prevent a high blood sugar
~ Prevent glycogen (sugar) release from your pancreas to prevent a high blood sugar
~ They make the kidneys bypass the bloodstream and send a percentage of glucose into the urinary system which slows down the absorption of starches in your stomach and prevents a blood sugar spike.
The 70/30 insulin you are taking is an intermediate insulin.

Not much money is going into research and development for this category of insulin. Market Watch reports that most of the R&D is for long acting insulin with the rapid acting insulin being the second growing segment.

Going back to your question, the once daily and weekly medications are “Incretin Mimetics” and not Insulin. The new insulins are either rapid acting or long acting insulin.

Three New Insulins in The Market
Afrezza is a short acting insulin is for people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

It’s a powdered insulin that penetrates the deep lung tissue. Physicians recommend that you take this rapid acting insulin before your meals. It peaks in 12-14 minutes and completely leaves your system in 2 to 3 hours.

Tresbia and Toujeo Long Acting
~ Tresbia is a long acting insulin that you inject. It starts working in 1.6 hours  and leaves your system over 42 hours.
~ Toujeo starts working in 6 hours and peaks 12 hours (at .4 units). It leaves your system in 24 hours.
Next month, look for our new updated insulin and Type 2 medications charts online.

International Diabetes Federation
Market Watch
Diabetes Health Charts


Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professionals therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.

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About Nadia:
Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview now Diabetes Health magazine.

Nadia holds 11 nominations for her work as a diabetes advocate.
Her passion for working in the diabetes community stemmed from her personal loss. She has used her experience as a caretaker to forge a career in helping others.

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