What Is Actrapid Insulin?

Medically Reviewed on 10/28/2022
Actrapid Insulin
Actrapid is very similar to the natural insulin produced by the pancreas.

Actrapid is fast-acting human insulin that can be combined with intermediate or long-acting insulin medications. Subcutaneous injections of Actrapid are given in the abdominal wall, gluteal region, thigh, or deltoid region. Only a doctor or nurse can administer Actrapid intravenously. The dose is usually between 0.3 and 1.0 international units per kilogram of body weight per day.

Actrapid is a solution for injection that contains the active substance human insulin. It is available in vials, prefilled pens, or cartridges. Actrapid is used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. This medicine can be used with a prescription only.

Actrapid is human insulin made by recombinant DNA technology. It has a structure and function similar to those of natural insulin. Insulin regulates glucose metabolism, stimulates ingestion, and helps in the utilization of glucose by the liver, muscle, and fat tissue. The replacement insulin acts in the same way as naturally produced insulin.

  • The insulin human (rDNA) R usually starts its action 0.5 hours after injection, reaches its peak effect at 1.5 to 3.5 hours, and lasts about 7 to 8 hours.
  • The insulin human (rDNA) N starts its action within 1.5 hours after injection, reaches its peak effect at 4 to 12 hours, and lasts about 24 hours.
  • Insulin human (rDNA) N is never to be administered intravenously.

What should you do before injecting insulin?

Before pulling the injection, check for any air bubbles. If there are any air bubbles, put the syringe upside and tap the syringe to discharge the bubbles.

  • Clean your hands
  • Shake the solution uniformly
  • Draw air into your syringe equal to the amount of insulin needed
  • Puncture the needle into the vial and inject the air completely
  • Withdraw the insulin into the injection

Choosing the ideal injection site

  • Choose the area where the skin is less tight. 
  • To avoid tissue damage, choose the injection site 1 cm away from the previous injection site.

Proper injection technique

  • The injection site should be washed with an alcohol swab
  • Enter the skin at 45°
  • Insert the needle into the skin and inject insulin
  • Pull the needle out
  • Put pressure over the injection site for seconds
  • Do not rub the injection site

Studies have reported that HbA1c levels are steady after using Actrapid for six months.

How does Actrapid insulin work and what are the risk factors?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body does not produce the required amount of insulin to control blood sugar levels. Actrapid is almost similar to the insulin produced by the pancreas.

  • The active ingredient of Actrapid is produced by a method called “recombination technology.”
  • In this method, the yeast produces insulin, which has a gene that enables it to produce insulin.
  • This insulin acts as the natural human insulin and prevents an increase in blood glucose levels.
  • Symptoms and complications of diabetes are reduced by regulating blood glucose levels.

Risk factors associated with Actrapid


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Safety advice and how to store vaccines

Actrapid is contraindicated in people who are hypersensitive to human insulin.

  • Safe: Insulin in pregnant and nursing mothers does not have any restrictions. Insulin does not pass the placental barrier; hence, it is safe during pregnancy.
  • Unsafe: Avoid alcohol as it may impair blood glucose control.
  • Caution: Actrapid HM 100 IU/mL Penfill should be used cautiously in people with kidney disease.
  • Caution: Actrapid HM 100 IU/mL Penfill should be used cautiously in people with liver disease.

Storing vaccines properly

Do not freeze. Store at 35.6°F to 46.4°F (2°C to 8°C) in the refrigerator. The insulin in use can be kept at room temperature for one month.

What are the precautionary measures?

Inadequate dosing or discontinuation in type I diabetes may lead to hyperglycemia. Hypoglycemia may occur if the insulin dose is too high about the insulin requirement.

  • Do not use it if you are allergic to human insulin or any other medicine.
  • Avoid using Actrapid if you suspect hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels).
  • Do not use it if the cap is loose or missing.
  • If it is not stored properly or frozen, you should replace it with another vial.
  • If the insulin does not appear clear and colorless, do not use it or change the vial.

What are the side effects of Actrapid?

Serious allergic reaction is one of the severe but rare side effects of Actrapid that may cause potentially life-threatening dangers. It may affect very few people (1 in 1,000).

Some common side effects may include:

  • Signs of localized allergic reactions
  • Vision problems
  • Painful neuropathy
  • Swelling in the joints

Rare side effects include:

Medically Reviewed on 10/28/2022
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