The key difference between NPH and regular insulin is that NPH does not lower blood glucose levels rapidly while regular insulin lowers blood glucose levels rapidly.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the Beta cells of islets of Langerhans (pancreas). Insulin acts on blood glucose to lower blood glucose levels when normal values are exceeded. It allows the cells to take up blood glucose from the bloodstream and lower blood glucose levels.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is NPH
3. What is Regular Insulin
4. Similarities – NPH vs Regular Insulin
5. NPH vs Regular Insulin in Tabular Form
6. Summary – NPH vs Regular Insulin
What is NPH?
NPH is a therapeutic drug that treats both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. NPH stand for Neutral Protamine Hagedorn. NPH consists of two types of insulin in combination. They are human insulin and cow or pig insulin. With reference to the reaction, NPH has a slower reaction on lowering blood glucose levels. Hence, it is a long-acting form of insulin that could last for more than 24 hours after meals after activation.
NPH functions by slowing down the absorption rate of glucose into cells and creating more time for it to act on blood glucose levels. Hence, it does not drop blood glucose levels rapidly. NPH would not benefit patients with severe diabetes who require doses of insulin since it is slow to react. NPH is commonly used by patients with type 02 diabetes. But patients with less severe type 1 diabetes are also treated with NPH.
What is Regular Insulin?
Regular insulin is a type of insulin that lowers blood glucose levels rapidly. Human insulin, cow insulin, and pig insulin are the three types of insulin present in regular insulin. The human version of regular insulin is often made by modifying pig insulin or by using recombinant technology.
Regular insulin rapidly lowers blood glucose levels. Hence, it is administered to patients with severe levels of diabetes (both type 1 and type 2). The reaction of regular insulin starts in 15-20 minutes once injected and peaks within an hour. Unlike NPH, the effect of regular insulin wears off after 4-5 hours. Hence, regular insulin is a drug with a rapid onset but shorter in duration. For type 1 diabetes patients, regular insulin is the only option to manage high levels of blood glucose. Hence, it is a therapeutic drug used for the long-term management of type 1 diabetes.
What are the Similarities Between NPH and Regular Insulin?
- Both are two types of insulin.
- Pig and cow insulin is used to manufacture both NPH and regular insulin.
- Both NPH and regular insulin are therapeutic drugs.
- These control blood glucose levels.
- Both NPH and regular are used to treat type 01 and type 2 diabetes.
What is the Difference Between NPH and Regular Insulin?
NHP is a type of insulin that lowers blood glucose levels slowly, while regular insulin is a type of insulin that lowers blood glucose levels rapidly. Thus, this is the key difference between NPH and regular insulin. Moreover, NPH has a slower onset phase but lasts for a longer period of time. Regular insulin has a rapid onset but wears off in shorter time periods. Besides, during synthesis, NPH uses a mixture of different types of insulin, but in regular insulin production, only one type of insulin is used.
The below infographic presents the differences between NPH and regular insulin in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – NPH vs Regular Insulin
Insulin is a hormone. It is an essential component to reduce blood glucose levels. Different effects on beta cells of the pancreas cause a halt in the production of insulin and thereby cause type 1 and type 2 diabetes. When normal insulin levels are not maintained within the body, therapeutics should be used to control blood glucose levels. NPH and regular insulin are two types of insulin used to treat diabetic patients. NPH possesses a slow onset while regular insulin lowers blood glucose rapidly. NPH insulin consists of a mixture of different types of insulin, while regular insulin consists of only one type of insulin. Pig and cow insulin is used to manufacture both NPH and regular insulin. So, this is the key difference between NPH and regular insulin.