Aims: To increase awareness regarding the different types of insulin available and provide discussion regarding how each type of insulin can address the needs of diverse patients in terms of their unique requirements, preferences, medical history and lifestyle concerns. Summary: New classes of antidiabetes medications, the development of insulin analogues and novel insulin delivery systems, provide more options for the management of type 2 diabetes. Given the inevitable progression of β-cell dysfunction, along with the relatively limited glucose-lowering capacity of other agents, many patients will eventually require insulin for optimal glycaemic management. However, patients and physicians often fail to initiate insulin early enough during the progression of disease to maintain the recommended levels of glycaemic control. The inherent properties of the new insulin analogues, more physiological and user-friendly time-action profiles compared with older human insulin formulations, may partly address the barriers to insulin use. Insulin analogues include rapid acting (for prandial glycaemic control), long acting (for basal insulin coverage) and premixed insulin analogues, which combine both a rapid acting and an extended duration component in a single insulin formulation. Various case-based scenarios on initiating and intensifying therapy with insulin analogues will be presented. Conclusions: Development of an individualised treatment plan for initiation of insulin is a critical step in achieving target glycaemic levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.
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