I found this information on Wikipedia today and thought it was interesting. I've always understood that Lantus was the same as Levemir, just a different company. And that Humalog was the same as Novolog, but different company. But looking at Wiki this morning, I noticed a few other differences.
In 1946, Nordisk was able to form crystals of protamine and insulin and marketed it in 1950 as NPH insulin. NPH insulin has the advantage that it can be mixed with an insulin that has a faster onset to complement its longer lasting action.
NPH has peaks and valleys and lasts for up to 12 hours. I used to be on this when I was first diagnosed 12 years ago, but because of the peaks (about 4 or 6 hours after injection), I would have to eat at certain times to avoid severe lows.
Sanofi-Aventis developed glargine as a longer lasting insulin analogue, and markets it under the trade name Lantus.
When the pH 4.0 solution is injected, most of the material precipitates and is not bioavailable. A small amount is immediately available for use, and the remainder is sequestered in subcutaneous tissue. As the glargine is used, small amounts of the precipitated material will move into solution in the bloodstream, and the basal level of insulin will be maintained up to 24 hours.
Wow. That totally explains why I would DIP into insulin shock comas while I was sleeping. And it also explains why Lantus burned. It's an acid based insulin.
Novo Nordisk created insulin detemir and markets it under the trade name Levemir as a long-lasting insulin analogue for maintaining the basal level of insulin. The basal level of insulin may be maintained up to 20 hours, but the time is clearly affected by the size of the injected dose.
There aren't peaks in Levemir like there are in Lantus, but HELLO! how come my doctor never told me that Levemir only lasts UP TO 20 hours? I noticed it on my own. I split my Levemir dose (with the suggestions of you guys) on my own - against the doc's orders. Duh! It says it right there! Levemir is NOT a 24 hour basal... but it doesn't have peaks and valleys like Lantus does.
Eli Lilly and Company had the first insulin analogue with "lispro" as a rapid acting insulin analogue. It is marketed under the trade name Humalog.
It's been documented that Humalog lasts from 4-6 hours in the blood stream. For me, it decreased in potency as time wore on. For the first hour, it would drop my BG relatively quick (depending on the dosage I took), but then its potency would taper off and it would become even slower before it was out of my bloodstream after 4 hours time.
Novo Nordisk created "aspart" and marketed it as NovoLog/NovoRapid (UK-CAN) as a rapid acting insulin analogue.
NovoLog works the same way, basically, as Humalog- but it is made with yeast.
Glulisine is a newer rapid acting insulin analog from Sanofi-Aventis, approved for use with a regular syringe, in an insulin pump or the Opticlik Pen . Standard syringe delivery is also an option. It is sold under the name Apidra. The FDA-approved label states that it differs from regular human insulin by its rapid onset and shorter duration of action
Apidra seems to stay in the system for 2-3 hours and it works as soon as 15 minutes after injection. For me, it would lower my BG within 15 minutes, sometimes dropping it 100 points (depending on the dosage and correction factor). When I first started Apidra, I had to cut my correction factor and Insulin:Carb ratios in HALF versus when I was on Humalog. Apidra was twice as fast and twice as strong. Apidra is newest on the market and no known side effects.