What is intermediate-acting insulin?

Intermediate-acting insulin can help lower your blood sugar for around half a day or overnight.
This form of insulin reaches the bloodstream about two to fours hours after injection.

When does intermediate-acting insulin peak and how long is it active?

It peaks four to twelve hours after injection, meaning it achieves its maximum strength in lowering your blood glucose around this time. According to the American Diabetes Association, intermediate-acting insulin lasts in your system for 12 to 18 hours. Others say the duration is 18 to 24 hours.

When should I take intermediate-acting insulin?

Intermediate-acting insulin is meant for your basal needs, keeping your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. It serves as a background insulin that helps control blood glucose between and during meals.

With intermediate-acting insulin, you need to eat regularly; your blood sugar might drop significantly when the insulin peaks if you’re not eating on a regular schedule.

Which products should I look for?

Intermediate-acting insulin brands include Humulin N and Novolin N. It is generically referred to as NPH.

Anything else I should know?

Many people living with diabetes are prescribed rapid-acting or short-acting insulin as well as intermediate-acting insulin.

Learn more about insulin:

Everything You Need to Know About Rapid-Acting Insulin
Everything You Need to Know About Short-Acting Insulin
Everything You Need to Know About Long-Acting Insulin