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Short-Acting Insulin Analogues vs. Human Insulin for Diabetes - Cochrane for Clinicians
Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults - Editorials
ABSTRACT: Glycemic control in hospitalized patients who are not in intensive care remains unsatisfactory. Despite persistent expert recommendations urging its abandonment, the use of sliding-scale insulin remains pervasive in U.S. hospitals. Evidence for the effectiveness of sliding-scale insulin is lacking after more than 40 years of use. New physiologic subcutaneous insulin protocols use basal, nutritional, and correctional insulin. The initial total daily dose of subcutaneous insulin is calculated using a factor of 0.3 to 0.6 units per kg body weight, with one half given as long-acting insulin (the basal insulin dose), and the other one half divided daily over three meals as short-acting insulin doses (nutritional insulin doses). A correctional insulin dose provides a final insulin adjustment based on the preprandial glucose value. This correctional dose resembles a sliding scale, but is only a small fine-tuning of therapy, as opposed to traditional sliding-scale insulin alone. Insulin sensitivity, nutritional intake, and total daily dosing review can alter the physiologic insulin-dosing schedule. Prospective trials have demonstrated reductions in hyperglycemic measurements, hypoglycemia, and adjusted hospital length of stay when physiologic subcutaneous insulin protocols are used. Transitions in care require special considerations and attention to glycemic control medications. Changing the sliding-scale insulin culture requires a multidisciplinary effort to improve patient safety and outcomes.
Glucose Control in Hospitalized Patients - Article
ABSTRACT: Evidence indicates that hospitalized patients with hyperglycemia do not benefit from tight blood glucose control. Maintaining a blood glucose level of less than 180 mg per dL (9.99 mmol per L) will minimize symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia without adversely affecting patient-oriented health outcomes. In the absence of modifying factors, physicians should continue patients’ at-home diabetes mellitus medications and randomly check glucose levels once daily. Sulfonylureas should be withheld to avoid hypoglycemia in patients with limited caloric intake. Patients with cardiovascular conditions may benefit from temporarily stopping treatment with thiazolidinediones to avoid precipitating heart failure. Metformin should be temporarily withheld in patients who have worsening renal function or who will undergo an imaging study that uses contrast. When patients need to be treated with insulin in the short term, using a long-acting basal insulin combined with a short-acting insulin before meals (with the goal of keeping blood glucose less than 180 mg per dL) better approximates normal physiology and uses fewer nursing resources than sliding-scale insulin approaches. Most studies have found that infusion with glucose, insulin, and potassium does not improve mortality in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction should have moderate control of blood glucose using home regimens or basal insulin with correctional doses.
The Blood Sugar Diaries - Close-ups
ABSTRACT: Research has established the importance of maintaining blood glucose levels near normal in patients with type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. Short-acting insulin analogs are designed to overcome the limitations of regular short-acting insulins. Compared with regular human insulin, the analog insulin lispro offers faster subcutaneous absorption, an earlier and greater insulin peak and a more rapid postpeak decrease. Insulin lispro begins to exert its effects within 15 minutes of subcutaneous administration, and peak levels occur 30 to 90 minutes after administration. Duration of activity is less than five hours. Rates of insulin allergy, lipodystrophy, hypoglycemia and abnormal laboratory test results are essentially the same in patients using insulin lispro and in those using regular human insulin.
Management of Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Article
ABSTRACT: Diabetic ketoacidosis is an emergency medical condition that can be life-threatening if not treated properly. The incidence of this condition may be increasing, and a 1 to 2 percent mortality rate has stubbornly persisted since the 1970s. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs most often in patients with type 1 diabetes (formerly called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus); however, its occurrence in patients with type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus), particularly obese black patients, is not as rare as was once thought. The management of patients with diabetic ketoacidosis includes obtaining a thorough but rapid history and performing a physical examination in an attempt to identify possible precipitating factors. The major treatment of this condition is initial rehydration (using isotonic saline) with subsequent potassium replacement and low-dose insulin therapy. The use of bicarbonate is not recommended in most patients. Cerebral edema, one of the most dire complications of diabetic ketoacidosis, occurs more commonly in children and adolescents than in adults. Continuous follow-up of patients using treatment algorithms and flow sheets can help to minimize adverse outcomes. Preventive measures include patient education and instructions for the patient to contact the physician early during an illness.